Handsome Ransom to Sign Books at Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum

The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, South Carolina, will be the site of a book signing for another Jackson, Handsome Ransom, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 8. 2016. The museum is located at 356 Field Street in Greenville.

Jackson will sign copies of his book, Handsome Ransom Jackson: Accidental Big Leaguer, which will be on sale for $34. Admission to the museum is free.

Handsome Ransom, now 90 and living in Athens, Georgia, played baseball two years at the University of Texas for Bibb Falk, the Chicago White Sox outfielder who replaced Shoeless Joe Jackson after he was banned from baseball for his alleged role in fixing the 1919 World Series.

Ransom in a University of Texas uniform.

Ransom in a University of Texas uniform.

Falk coached 25 years, leading the Longhorns to consecutive national titles in 1949 and 1950 and 20 Southwest Conference championships. He played 12 seasons with the White Sox and Cleveland Indians, hitting .352 in 1924, third best in the American League behind Babe Ruth, the batting champion. For his career, Falk hit .314.

“I remember his batting stance and riding the umpires the way he did in the majors to earn the nickname, Jockey,” Ransom writes in Accidental Big Leaguer. “He treated his players like big-leaguers but made sure they didn’t have big-league egos.”
The only time Coach Falk complimented Ransom was after he hit a ninth-inning homer to win a game. “Nice hit, son,” he said.

On another occasion, he handed Ransom an envelope addressed to him. Inside was a three-by-five card with a handwritten message reading: “Can’t you get a third baseman and get rid of that lousy Ransom Jackson?”

Around the same time Ransom received a letter from a Chicago Cub scout wanting to know when he was getting out of college. “I never dreamed of playing in the big leagues so it was nice knowing somebody thought I could,” he says.

One of the chapters in Accidental Big Leaguer is titled, Shoeless Joe and Other Jacksons.
Over the years, Ransom has received letters from people mistaking him for Randy Jackson, the former American Idol judge and the ex-Chicago Bears lineman also named Randy Jackson. His favorite letter is one that confused him with the legendary Shoeless Joe. “I hope in due time you will justly be proved innocent for a crime you did not commit,” the fan wrote, requesting an autograph.Shoeless Joe Letter

Shoeless Joe died in 1951, long before Ransom received the letter. So he answered: “You’re going to have to go to a higher power than me to get an autograph.”

Appearing with Jackson at the book signing will be co-author Gaylon H. White of Kingsport, Tennessee. White will sign copies of his book, The Bilko Athletic Club, about minor-league slugger Steve Bilko and the 1956 Los Angeles Angels.

‘Stinking Cool’

Seaman Ransom Jackson

Seaman Ransom Jackson

“Do it again, I’m not through,” Ransom Jackson said at the end of his interview with Mike Cameron and Matthew Laurence on their “Matthew & Mikey” show broadcast on WLXG-AM in Lexington, Kentucky.

“We’d love to call you again,” Mike said. “You’ve been fantastic.”

“How stinking cool is he?” asked Matthew after Jackson hung up the phone. “How stinking cool is he?”

“And he’s 90,” Mike added.

“Oh, my Lord, he’s more coherent than you and me put together,” Matthew declared.

Ransom will be back for another round of banter with Matthew and Mike Wednesday, July 6 at 6:05 p.m. EDT. You can listen to the live interview by clicking on the following link: http://www.wlxg.com/

Ransom opened the June 17 show by saying, “First thing I want you to do is send me some City barbeque.”

“You know about City Barbeque?” Matthew asked.

Handsome Ransom Jackson, Cub star

Handsome Ransom Jackson, Cub star

All Ransom knew about City Barbeque was what he heard listening to a commercial prior to the start of the interview. City Barbeque is a chain of restaurants located in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina: https://www.citybbq.com/

Jackson’s new book is titled, Handsome Ransom Jackson: Accidental Big Leaguer.

Asked how he got his nickname, Handsome Ransom explained, “Back in my day, everybody had to have a nickname. One of the announcers called me that and it stuck. I didn’t do it to myself, you got to understand that.”

“I saw your pictures from your playing days,” Mike said. “You were rather good looking.”

“Well,” Ransom said, “what do they call it – Photo…?”

“Photoshop,” Matthew said. “We know that’s not true.”

Of the stories in Accidental Big Leaguer, Ransom noted: “They’re all true, too.”

“We don’t know you but I don’t think you’d make anything up,” Matthew said.

“Listen,” Ransom said, “I have an honest voice, don’t I?”

“Yes, you do,” they agreed.

Ransom as a Brooklyn Dodger

Ransom as a Brooklyn Dodger

The best way to describe the interview is “stinking cool.” Click here and decide for yourself: http://www.wlxg.com/episode/handsome-ransom-jackson-2/

Secret to a Long Life

Ransom_Looking at you

Ransom has fun with his disc from an All-Star baseball game

At age 90, Ransom Jackson currently ranks 66th among the oldest living Major League Baseball players.

He is the second oldest Los Angeles Dodger, the ninth oldest Chicago Cub, the eighth oldest Cleveland Indian and tenth oldest Brooklyn Dodger. Click here for a list of the oldest living MLB players.

“Ransom, you sound great for 90, by the way,” Aric Lee of WDZ-AM in Decatur, Illinois, said during a telephone interview with the two-time National League All-Star. “You must still get around and keep the brain a-movin’ and have some fun in life.”

“I can tell you it’s a good phone connection, that’s what it’s,” Ransom quipped.

“Because in person you don’t sound near as good,” Lee guessed.

“Yeah, I crawl around on the floor.”

“What’s the secret to getting to 90?” Lee asked.

Ransom & Terry

Terry and Ransom Jackson

“I’ve got a great wife,” Ransom said. “She takes care of me.”

Ransom and Terry Yeargan Jackson have been married 43 years.

Of his book, Handsome Ransom Jackson: Accidental Big Leaguer, Ransom said, “Nobody gets shot. There’s no drama to it. It’s page after page of people they’ve heard of but are not playing now.”

For the record, the oldest living player is Eddie Carnett, 99. He’s also the oldest living Cleveland Indian. Carnett will be 100 on October 21, 2016.

Dwight “Red” Adams, 94, is the oldest Cub; Luis Olmo, 96, the oldest Brooklyn Dodger; and Irv Noren, 91, the oldest Los Angeles Dodger.

Here’s link to the podcast of Lee’s interview with Ransom:

Let’s Read Two

Ransom & Kids

The favorite saying of Ernie Banks, aka Mr. Cub, was, “Let’s play two.”Ernie’s sidekick at third base in 1954 and 1955 was Ransom Jackson, a National League All-Star both years.

On June 14, 2016, Ransom visited the Boys & Girls Club of Athens, Georgia, to donate two signed copies of his new book, Handsome Ransom Jackson: Accidental Big Leaguer, to the club’s library.

Ransom is one of the founders of the club.

 

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OnlineAthens was on hand to capture photos of Ransom’s visit. To see more photos, click on:

http://beta.spotted.onlineathens.com/mediadetail/26209141?gId=660969

Forrest Gump Lives

Ransom with Ralph Kiner, far left, and Stan Musial, center.

Ransom with Ralph Kiner, far left, and Stan Musial, center.

Ransom Jackson was the Forrest Gump of his time.

In 1945, he played in the same backfield at the University of Texas with Bobby Layne, hailed by Sports Illustrated as “the toughest quarterback ever.”

 

He was the Chicago Cubs’ star third baseman in 1953 when Ernie Banks became the first African-American to play for the team.

 

He once spent an afternoon talking sports at the apartment of the legendary football player, Harold “Red” Grange, also known as “The Galloping Ghost.”

 

He was twice a National League All-Star, sharing the field with such baseball greats as Stan “The Man” Musial, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle.

 

He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956 and played alongside Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo, Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax and other Dodger icons.

 

Ransom with baseball great Ty Cobb and Frank Sinkwich, 1942 Heisman Trophy winner. Sinkwich is behind Cobb, center.

Ransom with baseball great Ty Cobb and Frank Sinkwich, 1942 Heisman Trophy winner. Sinkwich is behind Cobb, center.

He appeared on the Ed Sullivan television show and at the 1956 World Series shook hands with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and chatted with Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Party candidate in the ’56 presidential election.

 

He played in the 1956 World Series and looked on in disbelief as Don Larsen, a journeyman pitcher, stunned the Dodgers by hurling the only perfect game in World Series history.

 

He roomed with Don Drysdale, a Hall of Fame pitcher, on the Dodgers’ goodwill tour of Japan in 1956.

 

He was the last Brooklyn Dodger to hit a home run but didn’t know it until it was a trivia question on the television show, Good Morning America.

 

He was with the Dodgers in 1958 when they moved to Los Angeles and the players in the dugout found it was more interesting watching Hollywood stars in the stands than the game on the field.

Ransom shaking hands with President Eisenhower prior to first game of 1956 World Series

Ransom shaking hands with President Eisenhower prior to first game of 1956 World Series

 

In his final at bat for the Cubs in 1959, he pinch-hit for Billy Williams, a 21-year-old rookie who went on to hit 426 homers in a Hall of Fame career.

 

“Jackson may very well be the game’s Forrest Gump, as he always seemed to be around the biggest names and starring in their monumental moments,” Jordan D. Hill writes in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Ransom with legendary golfer Sam Snead, center, and Hank Sauer, 1952 National League MVP with the Cubs.

Ransom with legendary golfer Sam Snead, center, and Hank Sauer, 1952 National League MVP with the Cubs.

 

You can read the entire story by clicking on the following link:

 

Jackson’s “Forrest Gump Sports Life” also is the subject of his interview with Damon Amendolara on “The DA Show” on CBS Sports Radio. Click here to listen to the podcast.