Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bill Jennings 1925 - 2010

We learned that Bill Jennings, a former St. Louis Browns player passed away this past week. Bill played shortstop for the Browns during the 1951 season appearing in 61 games. He was 84 years of age.

Bill was diagnosed with cancer recently and decided not to undergo the extensive treatment required. His last public appearance was at the Browns fan club luncheon on July 16, 2010. Mr. Jennings is pictured below with Roy Sievers at the luncheon. Bill turned 85 on September 28. (1925 – 2010)

Jennings is the fourth former Browns player to pass away this year and the third since September 15. The others were Ray Coleman, Al LaMacchia and Ken Holcomb (March).


Jennings, William L. asleep in Jesus, Wed., Oct. 20, 2010. Beloved husband for 60 years of Correne Jennings (nee Chambers); dear father of Nancy (Paul) Hutchinson, Peggy (Mike) Noonan and Janet (Wayne) Tucker; dear grandfather of Aaron, Stephen, Brian, Mark and the late Buddy; dear great-grandfather of 3; dear brother of Jerry (Marilyn) Jennings; special friend of Bob Pelc; dear uncle, cousin and friend to many.

Mr. Jennings played professional baseball for 8 years for several teams including the St. Louis Browns and was a retired milk man from Bailey Farms Dairy. Services: Visitation at KUTIS AFFTON Chapel, 10151 Gravois, Sun., Oct. 24, 3-8 p.m. Funeral Service at Salem Lutheran Church (8043 Gravois) Mon., Oct. 25, 10 a.m. Interment National Cemetery. Memorials to Salem Building Fund appreciated.

Roy Sievers (l), Bill Jennings (r)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shoeless Joe Jackson

Joseph Jefferson Jackson (July 16, 1887 – December 5, 1951), nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American baseball player who played Major League Baseball in the early part of the 20th century. He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. As a result of Jackson's association with the scandal, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's first commissioner, banned Jackson from playing after the 1920 season.

Jackson played for three different Major League teams during his 12-year career. He spent 1908–09 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics and 1910 with the minor league New Orleans Pelicans before being traded to Cleveland at the end of the 1910 season. He remained in Cleveland through the first part of the 1915; he played the remainder of the 1915 season through 1920 with the Chicago White Sox.

Jackson, who played left field for most of his career, currently has the third highest career batting average in major league history. In 1911, Jackson hit for a .408 average. It is still the sixth highest single-season total since 1901, which marked the beginning of the modern era for the sport. His average that year also set the record for batting average in a single season by a rookie. Babe Ruth later claimed that he modeled his hitting technique after Jackson's.

Jackson still holds the White Sox franchise records for triples in a season and career batting average. In 1999, he ranked number 35 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The fans voted him as the 12th-best outfielder of all-time. He also ranks 33rd on the all-time list for non-pitchers according to the win shares formula developed by Bill James.

Jackson was reported to be illiterate, and he was sensitive about this. In restaurants, rather than ask someone to read the menu to him, he would wait until his teammates ordered, and then order one of the things that he heard.

The sworn testimony given by Shoeless Joe Jackson on Sept. 28, 1920 is interesting. Click here to read the deposition.