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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Eight Myths Out: The Black Sox Scandal

Outstanding work by SABR’s chair of the Black Sox Scandal Committee, Jacob Pomrenke, exposing myths about the 1919 World Series.

SABRJoe Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:04 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: black sox, sabr, white sox

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 20, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5824166)
One of those articles that should be read by more casual baseball fans. There's so much romanticizing of the Black Sox.
   2. puck Posted: March 20, 2019 at 10:32 PM (#5824181)
Or even non casual fans. I never read any books about the scandal and pretty much have just seen the Sayles movie.

I found it interesting that the fix was initiated by Gandil and Cicotte.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:02 PM (#5824187)
its interesting article but I have some criticism going in order of myths:

1. Its pretty obvious that Comiskey was not well liked for whatever reason. It's also pretty clear that ball players thought they were under paid; wasnt there a threat of walkout before the 1918 Ws started? So what else do you need to say, that's Comiskey's not a tightwad? I dunno it seems that MLB owners on the whole were tight wads. Whether the White Sox were better paid then their peers (not sure I believe that) doesnt really disprove that the players were unhappy with the economics of the game and Comiskey was an easy target.

2. Jeezus what let down here. "No bonus was promised AT LEAST not one that doubled his salary..."

Well which is it? Was there no bonus or no HUGe bonus. Is this the best that bright minds at SABR can do?

3. this is also kinda weirdly written. Im not sure its any sort of common wisdom that gamblers initiated the idea. So Im not sure that's a myth to start with. Im pretty sure that gamblers were very much involved. Does it really make much difference as to who started what? Moreover can it ever be determined who initiated what? It just doesnt seem like there's much of a story here in the first place.

4. On the historical bit, that's kind of interesting, I always thought Williams and the rest were being threatened. But on the legal side: the point about copyright infringement is incredibly obscure. I guess its possible you could sue someone for copying a fictional character, its pretty odd.

Anyhow getting back to the history; is this really a disproved myth? OK so WILLIAMS wasnt threatened with a hitman standing in the stands with a rifle ro whatever. Do we NOt think the white sox werent afraid of being retaliated against? i mean isnt that even more important to the story? Regardless of Williams case; some of them thought they were in danger. Hell Rothstein himself was later kiled in some sort of gambling related altercation. On the contrary, I dont feel the SABR guys have disproved anything of real relevance here.

5. I think most of us already knew this, so its not new ground.

6. Do the "myth" and "fact" portions of this passage really contradict one another? So they might have knew about the fix before the series began AND they didnt have hard evidence. gee it seems like they're really reaching for straws here.

7. Hmm I didnt know that. WAIT A SECOND! THat's not the story as i recall, what i recall is Joe Jackson's confession was stolen and never re appeared. What about that one???

8. Is this even a myth? WHo ever said no one talked about it??

Not terribly impressed by this.
   4. QLE Posted: March 20, 2019 at 11:42 PM (#5824189)
   5. BobT Posted: March 21, 2019 at 01:55 AM (#5824196)
The 1918 World Series walkout was over how much the players were going to get paid as much as they expected out of the World Series pool.

The work done here is extremely impressive and I know these researchers have spent years tracking down the various threads of a complex story.

   6. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5824209)
Its pretty obvious that Comiskey was not well liked for whatever reason. It's also pretty clear that ball players thought they were under paid; wasnt there a threat of walkout before the 1918 Ws started? So what else do you need to say, that's Comiskey's not a tightwad?


Asinof's book directly states that the White Sox were paid less than other teams, so yes, this does need correction. You are correct that they were under the reserve clause, but that affected everyone. The White Sox weren't some outlier, as popular opinion would have it.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5824211)
Anyhow getting back to the history; is this really a disproved myth? OK so WILLIAMS wasnt threatened with a hitman standing in the stands with a rifle ro whatever. Do we NOt think the white sox werent afraid of being retaliated against? i mean isnt that even more important to the story? Regardless of Williams case; some of them thought they were in danger. Hell Rothstein himself was later kiled in some sort of gambling related altercation. On the contrary, I dont feel the SABR guys have disproved anything of real relevance here.

Rothstein was known to take out insurance policies on people he lent money to, with himself as the beneficiary. I'm positive they were afraid of him, for good reason.
   8. Cris E Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5824226)
But on the legal side: the point about copyright infringement is incredibly obscure. I guess its possible you could sue someone for copying a fictional character, its pretty odd.

Map companies include paper towns and trap streets all the time to prove copyright when they suspect someone has been copying their work, so I imagine it's along the same lines. But I agree, I haven't heard of it in a straight historical project like this.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5824245)
Interesting article, but kind of padded in parts.

1. If the White Sox had one of the higher payrolls in baseball, that doesn't mean they weren't underpaid, considering the talent they had.

2. Cicotte allowed 5 runs in 7 innings on September 24th while going for #30, but what the complaint was probably about was his start on September 28th, when he was pulled after just 2 innings and 1 run.

3. I'd heard about Cicotte and Gandil approaching the gamblers before, but I can't remember where I heard it.

4. Given what crossed-up gamblers have been known to do to fixers who renege, I'd be surprised if Williams wasn't threatened with retaliation if he didn't come through for them in that final game. The absence of a smoking gun is interesting but hardly conclusive proof that Williams would've been left alone if he hadn't followed orders.

5. The author here is 100% correct about many other fixing scandals having been talked about prior to the 1919 World Series. But of course the publicity surrounding any attempted World Series fix would've dwarfed any of those other stories, especially without concrete proof of them.

6. Here again the author is absolutely right. Comiskey had no real interest in washing his dirty linen in public, and when Ban Johnson pressed him on the subject, Comiskey called it "the whelp of a beaten cur."

7. I agree that too much was made of those "stolen confessions."

8. That link to the 100 interviews of Black Sox players makes reading the entire article worthwhile. By coincidence, I was just reading that 1942 Sporting News interview with Jackson that was splashed all over its front page, the most prominent story in the entire issue.
   10. JL72 Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5824301)
Well which is it? Was there no bonus or no HUGe bonus. Is this the best that bright minds at SABR can do?


Reading the whole section, this objection is silly.

The whole of this myth is wrong. They could not find any evidence of a bonus due Ciccotte. Other folks had smaller bonuses ($500), so even if he was due something, it was not something in the $10,000 amount. And Cicotte could have earned, but did not due to his own play.

SABR is explaining why the myth fails on a number of levels.
   11. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5824302)
Time to dust off my plans for a Black Sox musical, obviously.
   12. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5824303)
I mean, Andy, you were actually at the 1919 WS, so nobody expects it to be new to you.
   13. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 21, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5824321)
Time to dust off my plans for a Black Sox musical, obviously.


Black Sox Opera Premieres In Minnesota

Or just come to Minnesota and see the Opera.
   14. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5824388)

The 1918 World Series walkout was over how much the players were going to get paid as much as they expected out of the World Series pool.


what is your pt? Does that disprove something I was saying?
   15. Sunday silence Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:21 PM (#5824472)
[
They could not find any evidence of a bonus due Ciccotte. Other folks had smaller bonuses ($500), so even if he was due something, it was not something in the $10,000 amount.


But you'd think $500 would be a lot of money back then.

Hey wait a minute? Didnt Cicotte throw the world series for a share that amounted to what? $1000 give or take?

So if Cicotte had a bonus coming to him; it was pretty marginal. So Cicotte throws the world series for a bribe that was 2x said "smaller bonus." Hmm
   16. QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:13 PM (#5824484)
   17. McCoy Posted: March 22, 2019 at 08:26 AM (#5824508)
It's gigantic but in that thread is a ton of evidence and material from a lot of sources. Gene Carney who used to head up the Black Sox research before he died makes an appearance.

   18. DavidFoss Posted: March 22, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5824514)
Time to dust off my plans for a Black Sox musical, obviously.

There is a new opera about the Black Sox in the Twin Cities right now. There's still two shows left...
   19. Zach Posted: March 25, 2019 at 01:17 AM (#5825026)
This biography of Arnold Rothstein actually has the best account of the Black Sox scandal that I've seen. Rothstein wasn't actually an instigator; he just bankrolled the scheme when it fell into his lap.
   20. McCoy Posted: March 25, 2019 at 06:55 AM (#5825031)
I read that book and in my opinion it has the most confusing account of the black Sox scandal that I have ever read. In fact after reading that book in kind of walked away from thinking Arnold wasn't much of anything but a good card player.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 25, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5825036)
But I agree, I haven't heard of it in a straight historical project like this.


Crime writer Jay Robert Nash is well known for doing this kind of thing in his books, so I could see another writer also doing so, for the same reasons.

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