Sunday, October 09, 2016

on this day... the Black Sox Scandal

on this day in 1919, the Cincinnati Reds "beat" the Chicago White Sox 10-5 in game 8 and the Series 5 games to 3. it was later found out that eight of the Chicago players and deliberately lost the series in exchange for money from gamblers. the White Sox was one of the top teams, yet not was well payed by owner Charles Comiskey, who 1) had told manager Kid Gleason to shut down Eddie Cicotte the last few days of the season to prevent him from winning his 30th game, thus giving him an extra $10,000 in bonus money. and 2) he had the players pay for their own laundering. the players then decided not to launder their uniform. the uniforms became dirtier, grimier and blacker - how the got the "Black Sox" nickname. the Reds were better paid, but not as good. they had finished no higher than third since 1900. the first signal that the fix was in was the first Cincinnati batter - Morrie Rath - was hit by Cicotte. that was the prearranged signal to Arnold Rothstein that the fix was in. some of the players got their money up front. as the series went on. the players in on the fix that never got their money began to dissent. the players began to start playing better. by game seven Cicotte had his best pitching game and the White Sox made the series a good one (even after the playerd split $20,000 after game 4). this did not go unnoticed by Rothstein and Joseph "Sport" Sullivan. Sullivan sent an associate to the home of Lefty Williams (game eight starter) the night before his start and was threatened with his life (and his wife's) if he did not blow the game in the first inning. whatever told, it made an impression as Williams gave up four straight one out base hits, scoring three and was pulled afterwards. Cincinnati won 10-5. reporter Hugh Fullerton was on had for the series along with Christy Matthewson (former Giants great pitcher) and Matthewson pointed out what was a genuine play and what wasn't. Fullerton was so disgusted by how the Sox "threw" that the World Series should never be played again. a lengthy investigation in 1920 the team was amazingly acquitted despite the confessions (although transcrips were rumored to be missing). the eight players ended up getting banned from baseball (by commisioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis) as well as implicated, as well as five gamblers. 10 players and manager Gleason were not part of the fix and got world series bonus checks a year later. the Sox were in the midst of the pennant race late in the 1920 season when Comiskey suspended the players remaining on the team. the Sox were 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians with three to go (Indians had four left). (96-54 for Cleveland and 95-56 for Chicago). Chicago had to win all three of the remaining games and hope Cleveland lost when Comiskey issued the suspension. Chicago won one of three against the St.Lous Browns while Clevelend won two of the four against Detroit. Indians won the series and the Sox eventually bombed in 1921. so that is that.

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