Say it ain’t so.
A jersey of Shoeless Joe Jackson that had been displayed in the Baseball Hall of Fame might not be authentic. The website “Haulsofshame.com” claims it has evidence that the Hall’s jersey is manufactured by the wrong maker and doesn’t match photos showing Jackson in his actual 1919 uniform.
Jackson was barred from the Hall of Fame in the aftermath of the “Black Sox Scandal,” but his alleged jersey from 1919 was welcomed in Cooperstown with open arms. It was acquired by Major League Baseball from noted collector Barry Halper in 1998 as part of an $8 million purchase of 175 items.
Jackson’s alleged 1919 jersey is a pinstriped gray flannel made by Spalding. However, with the aid of historical records, photographs and the examination of authentic Sox garments, Haulsofshame.com alleged that Halper’s Jackson jersey is counterfeit.
Research revealed that White Sox uniforms from 1916 to 1921 were manufactured by Wilson. An ad in the May 4, 1919, edition of the Chicago Tribune showed that Sox owner Charles Comiskey ordered his uniforms from Wilson for 1919, making it impossible for the Hall’s treasure to have been Jackson’s.
“This jersey’s not genuine,” Peter J. Nash, editor of Haulsofshame.com, said of the Jackson jersey, which is not currently on display. “The Hall and MLB need to investigate this scam.”
It’s a sad state of affairs when uniforms of players who cheated the game aren’t even real.
■ CHEERLEADERS SIDELINED — A dance team performing at the FIBA World Basketball Championships was barred from appearing at the host country’s games.
The Red Foxes, the official FIBA dance team, were told to stop performing in games involving Turkey because their risque costumes and routines are offensive to a nation that is nearly entirely Muslim. Islam prohibits women from exposing their skin in public.
Performers wore long pants Wednesday during a game between the United States and Iran. Iranian officials turned their backs when the dancers, who usually wear tiny shorts or skirts, performed in earlier games.
The Red Foxes will still perform at other FIBA tournament games. Maybe they can come to Las Vegas and do their thing at the NBA Summer League next year — assuming there is a summer league, with the NBA looking at a possible lockout.
■ AD AUDIBLE — West Virginia University said Nike will modify the graphic in a promotional ad for a new football uniform that depicts a mountaintop removal mine.
Nike said the new Pro Combat uniform was designed to honor the heritage of coal mining and the 29 victims of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. Nike said it will change the image to address the concerns of angry environmental activists who said the ad appears to be a tacit endorsement of the controversial form of strip mining in Appalachia. Activists also complained the ad made little sense, as Upper Big Branch was an underground operation.
COMPILED BY STEVE CARP
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL