1919 Black Sox Scandal
The 1919 Black Sox Scandal
In 1919, eight of the Chicago White Sox allegedly threw the World Series. Charles Comiskey was the ruthless owner of the White Sox and was the main motive of the sox to throw the series. Chick Gandil was the first player to get involved and then he spread it to the other players on the team. The act by these players would be called the Black Sox Scandal. The Scandal nearly ruined America's pastime. The baseball commissioner, Judge Landis, banned all eight of the players for life. Based on how Joe Jackson played in the world series and how he was proven innocent in a court of law, he should be reinstated into baseball and be put in the hall of fame.
The owner of the Chicago White Sox was Charles Comiskey. Charles Comiskey was known for treating his players badly. For example, Charles Comiskey benched their pitching ace, Eddie Cicotte, because he was one win away from 30 win season and Comskey didn't want to give him his bonus. (Linder 1) In 1919, there was no free agency in baseball, so once you were on a team you were stuck there until you were traded or you quit.
The White Sox were getting fed up with how Charles Comiskey was treating them. The White Sox were the best team in baseball, yet they were the lowest paid team also. (Linder 1) Joe Jackson, the best player on the team, was making $6,000 a year. (1) So if this team had a weakness it would be their desire for more money. Sport Sullivan, a gambler, proposed a fix to Chick Gandil in which the White Sox would lose the World Series and the would pay them to do so. (1) Obviously this idea sounded very appealing to Chick Gandil. So Chick Gandil agreed to do it if he would be paid $80,000.
Next Chick Gandil went to his teammates one by one about the proposal. First he went to Eddie Cicotte, who at first rejected the idea but later agreed to it if he were paid $10,000 before the series started. (Asinof 1) Gandil then went after infielders such as "Swede" Risberg and Fred McMullin. (Linder 1) Gandil then went after another pitcher in "Lefty" Williams. (2) Chick Gandil then asked Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, and Oscar Felsch to meet with the other five the next night, they then agreed. (2) Oscar Felsch and Buck Weaver agreed to the proposal and became apart of the fix but Joe Jackson would not have any part of it even after he was offered $10,000. (Facts 1)
Chick Gandil reported to Sullivan about the progress of recruiting his teammates. Sport Sullivan knew that he couldn't complete the fix without having Joe Jackson on his side. (3) Sullivan kept bugging Chick Gandil to get Jackson involved and told him to offer $20,000. (1) Lefty Williams went to Joe Jackson's hotel room one night to give Joe $5,000 in an envelope. (2) Joe refused to accept it and after an argument left his own room. Lefty threw the envelope in the room and left. This was huge in the trial because Joe claimed to never have never have accepted the envelope and Lefty said that he just left it in the room after the argument and that Joe had never accepted it. Because Williams wouldn't have gained anything from lying for Joe we should believe their testimonies. (2)
Charles Comiskey also was allegedly aware of the fix while it was going on. When Joe Jackson came back to his hotel after arguing with Lefty Williams, he found the envelope. Joe Jackson felt guilty and tried to arrange a meeting with owner, Charles Comiskey. (Lowitt 2) Comiskey would not see him and it is believed that he knew about the fix but didn't want to hear from a player so he could not be accountable if they were caught. (Facts 2) Joe then wrote Comiskey a letter going into detail about the fix but Comiskey never responded and pretended he never received the letter and never knew anything about the fix. (Lowitt 2)
The scandal was starting to become widespread in the world of gambling. Another gambler, Bill Burns became involved and met with Chick Gandil and Eddie Cicotte and he agreed to pay them another $100,000 to throw the series. (Linder
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