black sox scandal of 1919

“In a way, baseball got its just desserts that World Series, which the White Sox players were willing to dump—jeopardizing their livelihoods, their legacies, and even their freedom for a mere $20,000, simply because the owners refused to share the pie,” Moore writes. “I think it would be fair to say the Black Sox scandal was not a unique event,” baseball historian Steve Steinberg told Brian Blickenstaff, who was writing for Vice Sports. In the 1919 scandal, eight members of the Chicago White Sox were found to have accepted money from gamblers to throw the World Series. “A grand jury convened, and speculation soon turned to the previous year’s World Series,” the website writes. After hitting a batter with one of his first pitches—supposedly a signal that the fix was on—Eddie Cicotte went on to make a series of uncharacteristic blunders from the mound. Who Has the Best Facial Hair in Baseball History? They were ultimately found not guilty–though their careers were over and they would now be known in popular media as the "Black Sox," writes Andrews. Leading the charge was sportswriter Hugh Fullerton, who investigated the 1919 series and later wrote a famous article for the New York Evening World titled “Is Big League Baseball Being Run for Gamblers, With Players in the Deal?” Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey was quick to shrug off any reports of impropriety, saying, “I believe my boys fought the battles of the recent World Series on the level.” Despite his claims to the contrary, evidence would later show that Comiskey had been tipped off about a possible fix early in the series and may have attempted to bury the story to protect his business interests.

As Jack Moore writes for Vice Sports, the method of compensating players for their participation in the World Series changed in 1918. He also linked those games to the 1919 scandal, alleging that the games were “thrown by Detroit in exchange for money, and that Chicago had thrown three games in 1919 as a kind of belated thank you.”. Few of the alleged gamblers testified at the trial, and none were themselves ever brought to trial for the White Sox bribery, though the notorious New York racketeer Arnold Rothstein was mentioned in hearings as the probable banker of the bribery scheme. Chick Gandil and others would later produce contradictory accounts of what happened, leading to still unanswered questions about who was really involved in the 1919 World Series fix and to what degree the games were thrown. …a major scandal—subsequently called the Black Sox scandal—when eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of accepting bribes from known gamblers to “throw” the 1919 World Series. (Gandil was already on suspension in a salary dispute.)

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