The 1919 World Series

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History of the World Series - 1919
Unfortunately, Francis C. Richter was a little off the mark. The 1919 World Series was, in fact, not honorably played by every participant, as was disclosed late in the 1920 season when confessions were made.

Eight members of the 1919 White Sox -- pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude (Lefty) Williams, outfielders Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch, first baseman Chick Gandil, shortstop Swede Risberg, third baseman Buck Weaver and reserve infielder Fred McMullin -- were charged with conspiring to fix the outcome of the fall classic against the Cincinnati Reds. The eight became forever known as the "Black Sox."

A sharp shift in the betting odds shortly before the start of the World Series -- the highly favored White Sox suddenly became underdogs -- aroused curiosity, as did swirling rumors that something might be amiss in certain players' onfield effort. But, overall, fans and other observers accepted the "public presentation" of the 1919 Series. Perhaps, as apparently was the case with Richter, they saw only what they wanted to see.

What everyone saw in Game 1 was a scintillating performance by the Reds' Dutch Ruether. Whatever "assists" he might have received from various members of the opposition, Ruether pitched a complete-game six-hitter and went 3-for-3 at the plate (two triples) with three runs batted in. Outfielder Greasy Neale, who went on to lead the Reds in hitting in the Series with a .351 average and later became a noted football coach, and first baseman Jake Daubert also had three hits apiece. The Reds were rolling, 9-1. The White Sox were rolling over.

Cincinnati's Slim Sallee stopped Chicago the next day, 4-2, with Larry Kopf's two-run triple in fourth inning the telling blow. But White Sox rookie Dickey Kerr, untouched by the scandal but sensing something was amiss, was too tough for anyone -- supposed friend or foe -- to mess with in Game 3. The lefthander set down the Reds on three hits in a 3-0...
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