By Alon Preiss.
Shoeless Joe Jackson was innocent.
Granville Wyche Burgess, whom you remember as the playwright who brought us the hit musical, Conrack, is back with The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe, a new and acclaimed novel that imagines the disgraced baseball player, Shoeless Joe Jackson, in his twilight, and seeking redemption.
Granville is also making the case, wherever he can, that Shoeless Joe was innocent, and that justice is long past due.
This is personal for Granville; he grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, where Shoeless Joe died (Granville was a little boy at the time), and where his new novel takes place.
Granville says, “When I played baseball as a youth in 1950’s Greenville, SC, as an all-field no-hit second baseman, nobody ever mentioned that Joe Jackson, whom many considered the ‘greatest natural hitter of all time,’ lived in my hometown! Such was animus towards Shoeless Joe because of the Black Sox scandal. I think Joe himself wanted to keep a low profile. Years later, when I read about the scandal, I became convinced of Joe’s innocence and wanted to put the truth, as I saw it, out into the world.”
Read Granville’s take on Joe’s fate in History News Network, The Baseball Historian, Seamheads, in Audere Magazine, and in a Q&A with Deborah Kalb, and see some great reviews of Shoeless Joe from NY Post baseball columnist Ken Davidoff, Sport in American History, Booklist, BookAnon, Tehben’s Book Club and BooksNKisses.
Granville is also traveling around to make his case. He’ll be in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 12, Greenville, SC on July 14 and July 17, and in Manhattan on September 19 and, next year, on May 12, 2019.
Good work, Granville, and good luck clearing Joe’s name once and for all.
Granville Wyche Burgess is an Emmy-nominated playwright and novelist. He is the author of The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe, a novel about Shoeless Joe Jackson, published by Chickadee Prince, and which is available on Kindle, and in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and your local bookstore.