I ain’t afraid to tell the world that it don’t take school stuff to help a fella play ball. – Shoeless Joe Jackson
Hurray, hurray! Step right up folks, and gaze with unabashed sympathy at an illiterate athletic savant who, in spite of his God-given talents, found himself in circumstances beyond his simple understanding of the world, which was the Black Sox Scandal, in which several White Sox players colluded to throw the 1919 World Series in exchange for riches. “Let’s light this scandal!” Joe shouted, and everyone else groaned. They learned the old lesson the hard way, that the boss (in this case the miserly White Sox owner Walter Comisky) might not always be right, but he is always boss.
Joe Jackson struck out only 186 times in 13 major league seasons, which ain’t much. Some of today’s players strike out that many times by September. He has baseball’s second-highest career batting average, a few points behind Ty Cobb.
In this painting the analysis, geometry and extreme calculation particular to baseball are iterated through line, color and the diamond format. Is that hell below? Is that a light of inspiration over Joe’s head, or is it a dunce cap? Or maybe some sort of tractor beam? No, I’m pretty sure he plowed with mules, so I don’t know. Jimmy Carter plowed with mules too, but there’s a right and a wrong question to every answer, and it’s up to us to find out what it is.
The bottom line, kids – adults too, is STAY IN SCHOOL! Learning never ends.