1919 World Series Program Chicago White Sox @ Cincinnati Reds Black Sox Scandal
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1919 World Series Program Chicago White Sox @ Cincinnati Reds Black Sox Scandal:
VINTAGE ORIGINAL RARE! 1919 WORLD SERIES PROGRAM CHICAGO WHITE SOX at CINCINNATI REDS – BLACK SOX THROW SERIES – GAME 1 "THE FIX IS IN"!!
Thissale is for a quite nice, very rare, most historic, desirable and original vintage 1919 WORLD SERIES PROGRAM CHICAGO WHITE SOX at CINCINNATI REDS. A huge and terrific 52 page 9" x 12" program loaded with historic content, including a center, "killer" picture of the entire Black Sox team! This is the most significant World Series of all.
Several key White Sox players, driven in part by low pay from their owner Charles Comiskey decided to fix this Series. The conspiracy was the brainchild of White Sox first baseman Arnold "Chick" Gandil and Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, who was a professional gambler of Gandil's acquaintance. New York gangster Arnold Rothstein supplied the major connections needed. The money was supplied by Abe Attell, former featherweight boxing champion, who accepted the offer even though he didn't have the $80,000 that the White Sox wanted.
Gandil enlisted seven of his teammates, motivated by a mixture of greed and a dislike of penurious club owner Charles Comiskey, to implement the fix. Starting pitchers Eddie Cicotte (29-7) and Claude "Lefty" Williams, outfielders "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (.351) and Oscar "Happy" Felsch, and infielder Charles "Swede" Risberg were all involved. Buck Weaver was also asked to participate, but refused; he was later banned with the others for knowing of the fix but not reporting it. Utility infielder Fred McMullin was not initially approached, but got word of the fix and threatened to report the others unless he was in on the payoff. Sullivan and his two associates Sleepy Bill Burns and Billy Maharg, somewhat out of their depth, approached Rothstein to provide the money for the players, who were promised a total of $100,000.
The 1919 World Series was a best-of-nine series (along with 1903, 1920, and 1921). Partly to increase the popularity of the sport and also increase revenue, baseball decided to try the best-of-nine format.
The program is pencil scored for Game 1, Wednesday, October 1, 1919 at Redland Field in Cincinnati.
This first game began at 3 PM at Cincinnati's Redland Field, with 30,511 fans in the stands and ticket scalpers outside the park raking in at least $50 per ticket. Chicago failed to score in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, Cicotte (who was paid his $10,000 the night before the series began) took the mound and hit the leadoff hitter, Morrie Rath, in the back with his second pitch, a prearranged signal to Arnold Rothstein that the fix was on. Even so, the game remained close for a while, due in part to some excellent defense from the conspirators, seeking to deflect suspicion from themselves. In the fourth, however, Cicotte "went haywire" (according to observers), allowing a number of hits in succession climaxed by a two-out triple to the opposing pitcher, as the Reds scored five times to break a 1–1 tie. Cicotte was relieved at that point, but the damage was done and the Reds went on to add three more runs in later innings and triumph 9–1.
By that evening, there already were signs that things were going wrong. Only Cicotte, who had shrewdly demanded his $10,000 in advance, had been paid. Burns and Maharg met with Abe Attell, former world boxing champ and Rothstein's intermediary, but he withheld the next installment ($20,000) nonetheless to bet on the next game. The next morning Gandil met Attell and again demanded money, but again to no avail.
Despite the rumors that were already circulating over Cicotte's prior performances, Chicago manager Kid Gleason showed faith in his ace for Game 7. This time, the knuckleballer did not let him down. Chicago scored early and, for once, it was Cincinnati that made errors in the field. The Reds threatened only briefly in the sixth before losing 4–1, and suddenly the Series was close again.
This did not go unnoticed by Sullivan and Rothstein, who were suddenly worried. Prior to the start of the Series, the Sox had been strong favorites and few doubted that they could win two games in a row—presuming they were trying to win. Rothstein had been too smart to bet on individual games but had a considerable sum riding on Cincinnati to win the Series. The night before the eighth game, Williams—who was due to pitch—was visited by an associate of Sullivan's who left him in no doubt that if he failed to blow the game in the first inning, he and his wife would be in serious danger.
The 1919 World Series was the last World Series to take place without a Commissioner of Baseball in place. In 1920, the various franchise owners installed Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first "Commissioner of Baseball." In 1920 Landis meted out swift and permanent justice by banning all the White Sox conspirators from baseball for life
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