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    "Did you ever make a statement in writing...concerning your connection with the scandal?"

    1922 Letter to "Shoeless Joe" Jackson from His Lawyer Regarding 1919 World Series Conspiracy. The legendary outfielder had just completed his second season of banishment from the game he loved as his lawyer sent this typed letter to Jackson's Savannah, Georgia, assuring him that his runner-up payment for the notorious 1919 World Series would be forthcoming. "It will be necessary for us now to initiate proceedings against Mr. Landis to compell (sic) him to pay the money which is now in his possession. There is no question but what the money will eventually be paid," writes Milwaukee attorney Raymond J. Cannon.

    The lengthy correspondence, typed on a single page of "Cannon, Bancroft & Waldron, Attorneys at Law" letterhead, mentions three Hall of Famers in the text: Landis, American League president Ban Johnson, and the skinflint Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, whose meeting with former White Sox pitcher "Sleepy Bill" Burns is discussed. Burns served as a representative of Arnold Rothstein in the sordid affair. Cannon assures Jackson that, "Burns admitted under my cross-examination that you were not present at any of the times when Abe Attell, Rothstein or himself were present." This statement appears to be the smoking gun that exonerates Jackson from culpability, a fact bolstered by the outfielder's MVP-caliber performance at the plate and in the field.

    Ultimately, of course, every optimistic assurance of Jackson's counsel would be rendered false, the redemption so eagerly sought still elusive on the brink of the scandal's centennial. This fascinating document can still transport us back to that gut-churning roller coaster ride of emotion, unhampered by the small tears at left edge of the 8.5x11" page, the original mailing folds, or the knowledge that Jackson would die still on the outside, looking in.








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