Allison gambler (Anderson, 2004), but the more popular consensus

Allison DaleMrs. McGuireEnglish 11A11 December 2018The Black Sox Scandal of 1919 Late into October of 1919, America’s favorite pastime became America’s greatest scandal. Baseballs were getting thrown by the players down on the field, and the game of baseball itself was getting thrown by gamblers in the bars. The nine game World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds remains to be seen as one of the biggest scandals in baseball, maybe even sports, history. (Bullpen, 2017) Eight White Sox players were offered $100,000 over the course of the five games they would lose to throw the series. (Reichler, 1979) The “Big Fix” was widely suspicioned (Nathan, 2004), but it wasn’t until the next year that the players got into real trouble. Rigging an individual baseball game was nothing new, but attempting to throw something of this capacity was very, very rare. (Andrews, 2014) Up until 1919, the World Series was played in seven game series as it is now. However, the National Commission believed that what the people wanted was to watch more baseball, so they increased it to a nine game series in 1919. (Reichler, 1979) This made the winning team have to win five games instead of four. From 1918 to 1919 the attendance at the games increased from 3,000,000 to 6,500,000. Baseball was gaining popularity because it was seen as a break from the war. Since baseball was gaining popularity, gamblers saw it as a chance to make a little extra money. (Anderson, 2004) There were eight players on the Chicago White Sox team that were involved in the Black Sox Scandal: Chick Gandil, first baseman; Swede Risberg, shortstop, Eddie Cicotte, pitcher; Claude Williams, pitcher; Shoeless Joe Jackson, outfielder; Happy Felsch, outfielder; Fred McMillin, utility infielder; and Buck Weaver, third baseman. Some believe Gandil was addressed by a gambler (Anderson, 2004), but the more popular consensus is that Cicotte came up with the idea himself. (Reichler, 1979) ¬†He approached Billy Maharg and Bill Burns midseason and proposed that he could get his teammates on board to throw the series for a small fortune of $100,000. (Andrews, 2014) Maharg and Burns were on board with the idea, but they didn’t have the money readily available. They approached Arnold Rothstein, a notorious gambler, for the money, but he originally turned down the offer. The idea interested one of his associates, though, Abe Attell. Attell went behind Rothstein’s back and said that Rothstein had changed his mind. Attell was allegedly working for Rothstein, but in fact he was working on his own because he had failed to get Rothstein’s approval for the plan. (Reichler, 1979) Rothstein was a very powerful man in the gambling world. By the ripe old age of twenty he was owning and operating his own casino. (History, 2017) He was a bootlegger, labor racketeer, racetrack owner, real estate magnet, bail bondsman, loan shark, and the “founder of the modern American drug trade.” His actions were never for the benefit of others, and he was dangerous. When he was later asked about his involvement in the scandal he said, “I wasn’t in on it, wouldn’t have gone into it under any circumstances, and didn’t bet a cent on the Series after I found out what was underway.” (Nathan, 2004) Though he denied his involvement in the series in public, he was very proud of it in private. (History, 2017) Though Abe Attell didn’t get Rothstein’s support, he planned to go through with the fix. The agreement was that they White Sox would be paid in five installments of $20,000 – one after each game they lost. (Andrews, 2014) ¬†Cicotte was the starting pitcher for Chicago, and he was to hit the first batter he faced in the first inning of game one. Morrie Rath came up to bat, and sure enough he walked to first base after being hit in the back. Cicotte was known for his ball control, so this was odd, but many saw it as nerves. (Reichler, 1979) Dutch Ruether pitched an outstanding game for Cincinnati, and the Reds went on to win 9-1 at home. (B.A., 1999) The New York Times noted that “Never before in the history of America’s biggest baseball spectacle has a pennant-winning club received such a disastrous drubbing in an opening game.” (Andrews, 2014)Attell stalled to pay the players at first. He was having the trouble finding the money because Rothstein would not support him. Some believe Attell was trying to win the money before he paid the players. Some believe he never intended to pay them at all. After the first game Attell was only able to scrounge up $10,000 for the first payment. By this point people were starting to suspicion that Attell was really attempting to do this on his own, because there was no way that Rothstein wouldn’t be able to come up with the money on his own. (Reichler, 1979) Rothstein was rumored to carry around $200,000 in pocket change alone. (History, 2017) The players were frustrated that they didn’t receive the first $20,000, but they continued on. (Reichler, 1979) The White Sox were heavily favored to win the series. After the completion of game one rumors started flying around town that the series was fixed. Edd Roush was approached the night after the first game by Monty Tennes, a well known gambler and someone working for Rothstein (Reichler, 1979), and alerted that the entire series was going to be thrown. Edd Roush was Cincinnati’s best player, held the National League Batting title, and was an overall great outfielder. The gambler was staying in the hotel room next to Cicotte and heard the loud arguments among the players. He also told him that there were gamblers trying to “double cross” the White Sox. This means that the series was getting attempting to get thrown by both teams. Rothstein had said he wanted nothing to do with it, but he was making bets on the Reds. Roush became furious. The next day in the team meeting before the game he stood up and called out whoever might be talking with gamblers. Pat Moran was the manager for the Reds, and he called in the starting pitcher for the next game. Hod Eller admitted that a gambler had approached him and offered him $5,000, but he refused to listen. Moran was glad to hear this, but he told Eller that if he saw anything suspicious, he would be out of baseball forever. (Reichler, 1979) Game two went much like the first. Slim Salle was to start pitching for the Reds (B.A., 1999), and Claude Williams was to start pitching for the White Sox. (Andrews, 2014) Williams walked three batters in a row, and the Reds came out on top again by a score of 4-2. (B.A., 1999) Again, the gamblers failed to make their payment. The players decided if they did not receive their money after the third game they would not comply with the rest of the agreement. (Reichler, 1979) Then to prove a point that they were serious, the White Sox won game three easily by a score of 3-0 on their home field, Comiskey Field, in Chicago. (B.A., 1999) The field in Chicago was named after the manager of the White Sox at the time, Charles Comiskey. He claimed he never knew of the plot and his players would throw the series saying, “I believe my boys fought the battles of the recent World Series on the level.” Evidence later proved that he was actually well aware of what was going on within his ball club, but he attempted to bury the story for his own sake. (Andrews, 2014) For game four and game five the White Sox followed the plan. They suffered two losses at home and were preparing to head back to Cincinnati. (B.A., 1999) The players were still not receiving their full payments, and they were prepared to fully back out of the deal. They decided it would be better to win the rest of the series than to continue on the way they were. (Andrews, 2014) They won the next two games easily. The series was now 4-3 in favor of the Cincinnati Reds. (B.A., 1999) These wins didn’t come without a price, though. The families of the players were being threatened seriously by upset gamblers. (Andrews, 2014) The White Sox realized winning the series was not worth the risk of losing their families, and they lost the next game on their home field. (B.A., 1999) The 1919 World Series was the first one that the Cincinnati Reds won. (Andrews, 2014) It wasn’t until August 31, 1920, a full year after the completion of the series, that the idea of the series being fixed resurfaced. (Andrews, 2014) The case was taken to court before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the Cook County Grand Jury. (Daniel, 1987) He was hired to add to the moral authority, stability, and integrity of the game. (Nathan, 2004) Eddie Cicotte was the first to testify. He became very emotional as he admitted to what lengths he had gone to for money. (Andrews, 2014) Shoeless Joe Jackson was the next to testify, and he revealed that throughout the entire scandal he only received $3,000. (Daniel, 1987) Williams and Felsch were the next to testify. (Andrews, 2014) Over the next few days more and more of the truth came out. There were not originally eight team members in on the plan. Only seven were in at first, but Fred McMillin had overheard the plan in the room next to his, and he immediately wanted in. (Reichler, 1979) Buck Weaver, on the other hand, pulled out in the middle. Once the entire plot started to unfold he wanted nothing to do with it at all. (Andrews, 2014) Arnold Rothstein was not charged with any crimes, and his involvement still can not be proven. (Andrews, 2014) However, he was mentioned by almost every witness during trial. (Nathajn, 2004)All eight players took the fall in the end, though. They were indicted on nine counts of conspiracy. Many believed all eight players would be facing jail time, but then the confessions relating to their jury trial mysteriously disappeared. On August 2, 1921 they were found not guilty because there were no papers to prove it. Judge Landis was not going to let them get off with nothing, though. He decided that “no man who would be willing to throw a ballgame and be a criminal fro money should be able to play baseball.” (Andrews, 2014) Two of the players attempted reinstatement and tried to get into a private league, but they were without luck. (Maxwell, 1921) All eight players were banned from ever playing professional baseball again, and the integrity of baseball was changed forever. (Reichler, 1979)There are still many questions left unanswered from the 1919 World Series. The Black Sox Scandal can’t be pinned on just one person. Few spectators could believe that players would be willing to throw the entire series for money. That choice cost them not just their money, but their chance to play baseball for the rest of their lives. A young fan once asked Jackson, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” He replied, as if in response to the entire scandal, “Yes, kid, I’m afraid it is.” (Daniel, 1987)

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