All sorts of interesting things can happen late in the MLB draft.
The San Francisco Giants, for instance, selected former Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate on Wednesday in the 50th round, eight picks from the end. This despite the fact that Tate has already joined the Seattle Seahawks, and was just nabbed for a late night donut store raid.
Sometimes some pretty cool things happen, too, like the Royals selecting Joe Jackson, also in the 50th round.
No, he’s not the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, but pretty close. A high school catcher from Greenville, S.C., this Joe Jackson happens to be the great, great, great nephew of the baseball legend.
Even better, he’s completely familiar with his uncle’s history – including the Black Sox scandal that led to “Shoeless” Joe’s banishment from the game – and denies that his namesake played any role in throwing the 1919 World Series. From Samuel Zuba’s story on MLB.com:
Shoeless Joe proclaimed his innocence until the day he died. Though a jury acquitted him, his reputation for throwing the World Series stayed with him.
“He told members of the family that he did not cheat and that he did not throw the World Series,” Jackson said of his uncle. “Most people don’t really know that. He didn’t like to talk about it, from what I’m told, but he did tell the family that, and usually, you tell your family the truth.”
Though a long shot as a 50th-round selection, the young Jackson says his uncle’s history provides him plenty of motivation to succeed. “The whole situation makes me want to clear the family’s name for people who don’t really know the story and think he just threw the World Series. It just makes me want to clear our name with my play.”