Black Sox Trial Essay

Black Sox Trial Essay

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The Black Sox Trial – 1921


     The Black Sox scandal was a baseball betting scheme involving a group of baseball players and gamblers which led to the Chicago White Sox intentionally losing in the 1919 World Series. As a result this scandal led to the banning of eight players from the 1919 Chicago White Sox team, Joe Jackson (better known as Shoeless Joe Jackson), Eddie Cicotte, Chick Gandil, Oscar Felsch, Fred McMullin, Swede Risberg, Buck Weaver, and Claude Williams. This event also introduced a new commissioner and strict rules prohibiting gambling in baseball.
     This conspiracy was the innovation of the White Sox’s first baseman Chick Gandil and Joseph “Sport” Sullivan, who was a professional gambler among his friend circle. During the 1919 baseball season, the Chicago White Sox had proven themselves to the world that they were the best team in the baseball league and, having clinched the American League pennant, were installed as the bookmarker’s favorites to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in the Series. At the time, gambling on baseball games was widespread and there were numerous stories about rigged ball games during the regular season but they were generally ignored by the team managers and owners.
     Gandil, the first baseman, recruited seven of his teammates, to instigate “the fix,” all which was motivated by the mixed feelings of the dislike of the club owner Charles Comiskey along with greed. The seven players were the starting pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Cluade “Lefty” Williams, outfielders Shoeless Joe Jackson and Oscar “Happy” Felsch, and infielders Swede Risberg, Buck Weaver, and Fred McMullin. Sullivan and his two acquaintances Bill Burns and Billy Maharg contacted a wealthy New York gambler by the name of Arnold Rothstein to supply the money for the 8 players, who were told that they would get a total of $100,000. Even before the infamous Series started on October 1st there were whispers all over amongst the gambling population that things were a little weird, and the flood of money showed the odds of Cincinnati decline rapidly. These rumors also reached the press box where a number of reporters, including Hugh Fullerton from the Chicago Herald along with Examiner and ex-player and manager Christy Mathewson, got down to compare notes on any plays and or players...


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...ear. As it turned out the 1917 win in the World Series was the last championship the Chicago White Sox ever came across; changing the American pastime history forever!



This Black Sox Scandal trial was a very interesting trial I had wanted to know about for the longest time. In writing this paper I mainly referred to the site,     http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/blacksox/blacksox.html
This site consisted of many useful links and was very informative and broke down the events leading up to the trial and gave the entire sequence of events in a brief. Furthermore, to my surprise this site provided the court documents like the confessions of Joe Jackson, which seemed to be lost for a while and then mysteriously surfaced out of the blues later on, the trial testimonies, and many more. What really helped me out was the chronology of events along with the diagram of “the fix”. It was a lot easier to follow the diagram in my opinion. Another link on the website I found quite useful was “The Eight Men Out” link. It appropriately gives the ages, positions, salaries, and comments Gandil made for the eight players which were accused of the scandal.

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