Black Sox Scandal and Its Effect on America

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Scandals in Baseball and Its Effect on America

Baseball has always been considered as American as apple pie. If that is true than cheating should be just as American. Ever since the creation of America’s favorite pastime, baseball, cheating has been a major part of the game. Each era of baseball has showed more complex ways of cheating the game. Although, cheating in baseball has been around since the introduction of the game, only few scandals have really made history. Some of the most famous scandals include the Black Sox Scandal, the gambling of Pete Rose, and the use of steroids by players to enhance their performance. Despite these corruptions the game has still managed to stay America’s most loved sport. Although cheating in baseball was around since the beginning one of the most remembered scandals in baseball history was the World Series of 1919. This scandal is most famously known as the Black Sox Scandal. The Black Sox Scandal is probably one of the biggest examples that baseball is corrupt. This scandal is an example of baseball players who broke the law and felt that what they did was perfectly justified. The Chicago White Sox was one of the most dominant teams of 1919. People have often wondered why these players would participate in such a scandal. One would think that these players were rich. However, this is not the case of this winning team. Their owner, Charles Comiskey, paid his players far less than any other winning team. It is said that “Comiskey was very selfish when it came to salaries and he was said to rule his team with an iron fist” ( He only paid his two best players $ 6,000 when other winning teams were paying their best players $10,000 or more. Because of the reserve clause Comiskey was able to lock these players into this salary cap. In 1918, with the country disrupted by World War I, interest in baseball dropped to an all-time low. The 1919 World Series was the first national championship after the war, baseball and the nation were eager to get back to a normal life. Postwar enthusiasm for baseball soared. National interest in the Series was so high that baseball officials decided to make it a best of nine series, instead of the traditional best of seven. Although gambling was present in baseball long before the eight White Sox were accused of fixing the Series, the number of gamblers at ballparks had dramatically increased by 1919. Ironically, Comiskey posted signs throughout the park declaring, "No Betting Allowed In This Park” (1919blacksox).Unfortunately for Comiskey, the signs were not enough. Player resentment was high and gamblers' offers, which were sometimes several times a ballplayer's salary, were too tempting to refuse. The financial problems and general unhappiness of the White Sox players was enough to convince eight members of the team to enter into a conspiracy that would change the game of baseball forever and be remembered as the greatest scandal in the history of professional sports. They would agree to throw the World Series. It is said that white sox player Chick Gandil contacted a professional gambler named “ Sport” Sullivan and told him that he would throw the series if he was willing to pay $80,000 in cash to him and whoever else he could convince to throw the games. Gandil knew that he could get pitcher, Ed Cicotte, to go along with this plan. Cicotte was promised an “incentive payment” ( of 10,000 by Comiskey if he won 30 games. When Cicotte won 29 games Comiskey benched him stating that he should rest to get ready for the pennant games ( Because of Comiskey doing this to him, Cicotte was angry with him and had money problems so he quickly joined in on the “fix”. Gandil soon got six other players to throw the series. These men included Joe Jackson, Lefty Williams, Oscar” Happy” Felsch, Fred McMullin, Charles “Swede” Risberg, George ”Buck” Weaver. The players were all lined up now it was up...
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