Joe S. Jackson

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Joe S. Jackson
Joe S. Jackson.png
Jackson from 1907 Spalding Guide
Born Joseph Samuel Jackson
July 1871[1]
Providence, Rhode Island
Died May 19, 1936
San Francisco, California
Nationality American
Occupation Sportswriter
Known for President, Baseball Writers Association of America, 1908–1919

Joseph S. "Joe" Jackson (July 1871 – May 19, 1936) was an American sportswriter and editor for the Detroit Free Press, The Washington Post and The Detroit News. He was the founder and first president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, holding the office from 1908 to 1919.

Early years[edit]

Jackson was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1871. At the time of the 1900 United States Census, he was living in Providence and working as a reporter.[1] He worked for six years for the Providence Telegram from 1895 to 1901 and became the newspaper's Sunday and sporting editor.[2]


In November 1901, Jackson was hired to replace Ray M. Ziegler as the sporting editor of the Detroit Free Press,[2] a position he held until 1910.[3] In addition to his editorial duties, Jackson published a regular column titled "Sporting Facts and Fancies",[4] and feature stories on the major sports events in the city. He covered Michigan Wolverines football in the era of Fielding H. Yost's "Point-a-Minute" teams and the Detroit Tigers during the early years of Ty Cobb's career in Major League Baseball. Jackson is credited with having given Cobb the nickname, "The Georgia Peach".[5] In 1910, he became the sports editor of The Washington Post.[3] He published a regular column in The Washington Post called Sporting Facts and Fancies. After three years in Washington, D.C., Jackson returned to Detroit as a sports writer and editor for The Detroit News-Tribune. He subsequently returned to the Detroit Free Press.[6]

Baseball Writers Association of America[edit]

In 1908, Jackson and Jack Ryder of the Cincinnati Enquirer organized the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).[7] The BBWAA was established in response to ongoing disputes over working conditions in, and control over, press boxes. The press boxes at many fields were cramped, and team owners had begun to offer seating in the press boxes to actors, friends and others who were not members of the working press. Frequently, there was no room for reporters from the visiting team.[8][9] The issue came to a head during the 1908 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs when visiting baseball writers in Chicago were seated in the back row of the grandstand and in Detroit "were compelled to climb a ladder to the roof of the first base pavilion and write in the rain and snow".[10]

The organization was established at a meeting held at the Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit, Michigan on October 14, 1908, following the 1908 World Series.[5][11] Jackson was selected as the organization's first president and held that position for 11 years from 1908 to 1919.[12][13] When Jackson stepped down as president in October 1919, the Association presented him with "a handsome traveling bag".[14]

Later years and death[edit]

In 1921, Jackson moved to California and worked for several years there. He died in San Francisco, California, in June 1936.[15] Edgar Guest, known as the "People's Poet", began his writing career with the Detroit Free Press in the early 1900s. After learning of Jackson's death, Guest published a poem titled "Joe S. Jackson" which provided in part:

"Joe wrote of baseball in the years gone by
And all the sports which men and boys enjoyed.
His was the nimble brain, the watchful eye,
Mine was the poor assistance he employed
* * *
Word comes that Joe is dead. The game goes on!
Before the march of time all champions fall.
Now those he lavished praise and help upon
Only the dusty record books recall.[16]

Selected articles by Jackson[edit]


  1. ^ a b Census entry for Joseph S. Jackson, born July 1871. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Census Place: Providence Ward 10, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: T623_1509; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 91.
  2. ^ a b "New Sporting Editor of the Free Press: Joe S. Jackson Remembered by Providence Friends". Detroit Free Press. November 5, 1901. 
  3. ^ a b "JOE S. JACKSON GOING EAST TO BEGIN WORK IN NEW FIELD: Will Take Charge of Washington Post Sport Page, And Is Succeeded Here by E. A. Batchelor, With Strong Staff of Assistants". Detroit Free Press. May 18, 1910. 
  4. ^ Joe S. Jackson (December 27, 1901). "Sporting Facts and Fancies". Detroit Free Press. 
  5. ^ a b Richard Bak (1998). A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium. Wayne State University Press. p. 94. ISBN 0-8143-2512-2. 
  6. ^ Joe S. Jackson (Detroit Free Press) (October 3, 1918). "Can Top Notch Star Come Back? Ty Cobb May Furnish The Answer". The Sporting News. p. 7. 
  7. ^ Vince Staten (2004). Why Is The Foul Pole Fair?. Simon and Schuster. p. 145. ISBN 0-7432-6945-4. 
  9. ^ Harold "Speed" Johnson, ed. (1933). Who's Who in Major League Baseball. p. 491. 
  10. ^ Henry P. Edwards, Sec'y of the BBWAA (1939). History of the Base Ball Writers Association of America. Spalding Official Base Ball Guide. p. 43. 
  11. ^ "Baseball Writers Organize". The New York Times. October 15, 1908. 
  12. ^ "RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE BASEBALL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION". Detroit Free Press. December 16, 1909. 
  13. ^ "Constitution, Addendum B, BBWAA Presidents". Baseball Writers Association of America. 
  14. ^ "Baseball Writers Thank Hermann". The New York Times. October 3, 1919. 
  15. ^ "Obituary". The Sporting News. June 11, 1936. p. 2. 
  16. ^ Edgar A. Guest (June 30, 1936). "Just Folks". Lima News.