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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-9-2020

Pittsburgh Press, January 9, 1920:

Swede Risberg, star shortstop of the Chicago Whitesox, announced his retirement from the game yesterday. He has gone into the restaurant business [in San Francisco]. Risberg was one of the mainstays of the Sox in the last world’s series.

Risberg wasn’t quite done - he did play in 126 games for the 1920 White Sox - but it was a good idea for him to have a backup plan ready in case his baseball career was about to end abruptly for some reason.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 09, 2020 at 09:58 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-17-2019

Hugh Fullerton, published in the New York Evening World, December 17, 1919:

Charles A. Comiskey, owner of the Chicago White Sox and one of the greatest characters baseball ever has produced, a man of undoubted honesty and of the highest type of sportsmanship, has stated in Chicago that, after two months of work by detectives and others, he has been unable to find evidence that there was dishonesty among the players of his team during the recent World’s Series.
The fans are entitled to know whether baseball is on the square or not.
If organized baseball desires a full, complete and unbiased verdict in the case, let them set aside a sum to pay the expenses of such a hearing, request Judge Landis to hear all witnesses and to return a verdict in the case to the fans of the United States—who will abide by his decision.

The players cannot refuse to appear without practically confessing. The gamblers concerned will appear at his request.
Then let Judge Landis ask the following persons to appear before him and tell him their stories:
KARL ZORK, a shirt waist manufacturer and sporting man of St. Louis.
BEN and LOU LEVY of Des Moines, Ia.
A gambler named, or called, Eddie of Boston.
A gambler named Tim, said to be well known in Des Moines.
ABE ATTELL, former lightweight champion boxer.
BILL BURNS, a former left-handed pitcher, who was with the Chicago White Sox and with the Cincinnati Reds.
JOE PESCH, a gambler of St. Louis.
A theatrical man named REDMOND of East St. Louis.

The second half of the column is here. Fullerton goes on to mention Arnold Rothstein as someone who will have knowledge of what happened, and Eddie Collins and Ray Schalk as two players that had absolutely nothing to do with the fix. It sure looks like Fullerton pretty much had the story nailed down at this point, he just didn’t want to start making specific allegations.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 17, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Monday, December 02, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 2, 1919:

Considerable has been written about the recent world’s series, and about the work of the Whitesox in many of the games. There have been broad hints that all was not right, and many versions of just what took place have been circulated.

An Eastern sporting man who claimed to be on the “inside” recently said that the Chicago players were entirely innocent of wrongdoing. Said this man:

‘A certain sure-thing guy in the Windy City put up a job on a bunch of eastern gamblers which netted a handsome profit for him. This fellow sent out word that he had fixed certain players who had guaranteed to throw the series to the Reds…The Chicago fixer was just taking a big chance. He knew enough about baseball to figure that the Reds had a splendid chance to win and he simply trusted to luck to pull him through.’

There is nothing to see here. Please disperse.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Friday, November 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-15-2019

El Paso Herald, November 15, 1919:

Rumors That World Series Was Fixed Will Not Down

[New York Evening Mail writer] James P. Sinnott, known in sporting circles as “Skipper,” says: “The rumors of crookedness in connection with the recent world’s series are cropping up again. The story hinted at in Chicago when the last game between the White Sox and Reds had been played, in which the inference was drawn that gamblers had tampered with Chicago players, is once more going the rounds.”

There is an old adage that “where there is smoke there must be fire.” Yet those who understand the general trend of suspicion that seems to follow in the wake of all big sporting events these days, and who believe in the integrity of the national pastime, will be slow to believe that the world’s series of 1919 was not decided upon its merits.
So far as the world’s series of 1919 is concerned nothing showed upon the surface to indicate that the Cincinnati Reds were not a better team than the Chicago White Sox. And I think they were and are the better team, no matter how many gamblers tried to, or did, stiffen certain Chicago players.

Nah, I wouldn’t worry about it. I think it was on the level.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 15, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-5-2019

Pittsburgh Press, November 5, 1919:


Owner Charles A. Comiskey, of the Chicago Whitesox, and the members of the National commission, are quietly investigating scandalous stories involving the American league champions in the recent world’s series. A Chicago sporting writer the other day published a bitter attack on several members of the Whitesox who were mentioned by name.
No accusations reflecting on the honesty of the Chicago players appeared in this, but the sporting paper threatened to make further disclosures that would compel the governors of the sport to take drastic action.

Meh. It’s probably nothing.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Monday, October 28, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-28-2019

Grantland Rice in the New York Tribune, October 28, 1919:

Probably the hardest sport to fix is baseball. A gambler might buy off a pitcher and a shortstop. But the pitcher might be yanked out in a jiffy and the shortstop might draw only one or two chances during the game, with none of these at vital moments.

In baseball there are too many men to be reached to make it sure. And a baseball crowd isn’t easy to fool.
The Reds won the world series because they played much the better baseball. But it helped the Sox very little to take the Reds as soft opponents.

Elsewhere in completely unrelated news that has absolutely nothing to do with fixed baseball games or the reason the Reds won, the Seattle Star reports that White Sox first baseman Chick Gandil would like to leave Chicago this offseason and become a player-manager in Seattle. He may have had a hunch he was about to become a persona au gratin in Chicago.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 28, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Friday, October 25, 2019

A century after Black Sox, baseball cheating goes high-tech

WASHINGTON (AP) — A century after the Black Sox scandal that tarnished the World Series and ushered in major changes in baseball, the notion that millionaire ballplayers would take money to throw a game — much less the World Series — is all but unthinkable.

But that doesn’t mean cheating in baseball is a thing of the past, and there are still concerns about gambling affecting the integrity of the sport.

Today’s scandals revolve around technology — from teams using Apple Watches or high-definition cameras to steal signs to rogue “data scouts” giving bookmakers real-time information from ballparks. It’s hard to gauge how widespread these practices are, but players and managers are paranoid about tech-driven cheating, with teams hurling accusations at one another as recently as this year’s American League Championship Series.

MLB is doing its best to adapt its rulebook to the tech, hoping to keep the sport honest as it failed to do 100 years ago.

A consideration of a rather sensitive subject within the sport.

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 01:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, cheating

Monday, October 21, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2019

Memphis News Scimitar, October 21, 1919:

The Reds are the baseball champions of the world and Kid Gleason manager of the White Sox, is the champion poor loser of the universe.

When the Reds decisively defeated the Sox, did Gleason come out and give them the credit which was their due? Did he admit that they were a great ball club and that the fine work of Pat Moran was bound to tell in the big clash? He did not.

Gleason said that the breaks all went against his team and that he still believed the Sox the stronger machine.

Elsewhere on the same page...

How do you account for the showing made by the Sox in the world’s series? President Comiskey was asked.

“I cannot account for it,” he replied. “They were a terrible disappointment to me.”
“We need several new pitchers,” said President Comiskey. “Effective right-handers, young men who are coming up in the game, is what we need. Wilkinson looks like a fine prospect and will probably be a good pitcher for us. Dick Kerr is a wonderful little twirler and ought to be much better.”

Maybe it’s because I know how all this turns out, but it’s remarkable how much Comiskey and Gleason are talking about how upset they are with their players. It’s almost like they knew exactly what had happened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 21, 2019 at 09:56 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Friday, October 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-11-2019

New York Sun, October 11, 1919:

President Comiskey of the White Sox [yesterday] declared he would give $20,000 for a single clue to lead to evidence that any of his players had deliberately attempted to throw any of the world series games to the Cincinnati Reds, for, the owner declared, he was sure of the fidelity of his players. Some of the players had taken to heart rumors given considerable circulation that a few of their number may have acted for a monetary consideration during the series.

“There is always scandal of some kind following a big sporting event like the world’s series,” said President Comiskey in denouncing the rumors. “These yarns are manufactured out of whole cloth and grow out of bitterness due to losing wagers.

“I believe my boys fought the battle of the recent world’s series on the level, as they have always done, and I would be the first to want information to the contrary. I would give $20,000 to any one unearthing any information to that effect.”

Charlie doth protest too much, methinks.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 10:22 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Column: MLB needs to put Shoeless Joe back in the game

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — In a different time, it was an attractive little two-bedroom home, constructed in the early 1940s out of red brick and owned by one of the greatest players ever to grace the diamond, a towering yet tragic figure who lived the last half of his life and went to his grave as a pariah, shunned and scorned by the national pastime.

Now it’s a museum, right across the street from Greenville’s retro minor league ballpark, dedicated to preserving the memory of the man who once lived within its walls.

Shoeless Joe Jackson.

“It is one of the greatest stories,” says Michael Wallach, who leads the museum’s board of directors. “So many of the baseball players in the Hall of Fame, their story is their career. Joe has three parts to his story: before, during and after. All three are romantic stories.”

Well, this is the centennial, so we really shouldn’t be surprised that this idea would pop up again….


QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:22 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, black sox, shoeless joe jackson

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-8-2019

Pendleton East Oregonian, October 8, 1919:

The White Sox fighting spirit triumphed again today, Chicago taking the seventh game of the series from the Reds on their own grounds, 4 to 1. The Sox victory brought the game count four to three in favor of the Reds.

Eddie Cicotte, twice beaten by the Reds, came back and proved himself despite his two earlier defeats. The little veteran worked coolly and effectively throughout, although frequently in danger. He had just enough in reserve, however, to turn back the National League champions, who fought bitterly to the end.

Game Eight is tomorrow in Chicago. Lefty Williams will take the hill for the Sox seeking his first victory of the Series. Cincinnati plans to counter with Hod Eller.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 08, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Monday, October 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-7-2019

Pittsburgh Press, October 7, 1919. White Sox manager Kid Gleason discusses his team’s play in Game Five of the World Series, which Cincinnati won to take a 4-1 lead in the best-of-nine series:

There’s no explanation. The Whitesox haven’t been hitting and weren’t hitting in the last game, and that accounts for it.
To make [a play in the sixth inning] worse, Risberg messed the relay. He tried to intercept the ball after Eller had stopped at second and left it get away from him and Eller went on to third…I think that ball ought to have been caught. The wind carried it away from Jackson when he started after it. Felsch could have caught it.
[Later in the inning,] Roush hit a long fly to deep center. I wish I could say just how many times Felsch has run back and taken fly balls exactly like that one this summer. I figured it a sure catch. But this was the one that Felsch let get away. He was close enough to get his hands on it but it got away from him and went for a triple and two more runs scored. That thing settled the ball game.

It’s painful to watch this play out. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it kind of sounds like Gleason thinks something’s up.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 07, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Friday, October 04, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-4-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, October 4, 1919:


How Runs Were Put Over Today
Fifth inning—With Roush out, Duncan rolled an easy grounder to Cicotte, which the pitcher proceeded to toss to the stands. Kopf singled to left, and Duncan scored when Cicotte allowed Jackson’s throw to get away from him. Kopf reached second on the play. Kopf counted on Neale’s double over Jackson’s head. Wingo and Ring were easy outs for Collins and Gandil. Two runs.

Man, Eddie Cicotte has been really unlucky in this series. And come to think of it, Jackson’s normally a better outfielder than that. Weird.

With the 2-0 win in Game Four, the Reds now lead the best of nine series 3-1.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 04, 2019 at 11:39 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-3-2019

Pendleton East Oregonian, October 3, 1919:

Hats off to “Little Dickie” Kerr, midget pitcher of the Sox. He did what the two highly touted aces of the Sox staff failed to accomplish, turning in a shutout victory for Chicago in the third game of the series, 3 to 0.

Dickie is the smallest pitcher in the big leagues, but he is the biggest thing the Reds have encountered in many a day. He is hardly larger than the bat he swings but this mite of a southpaw not only stopped the stampede of the Reds but blanked them, holding the Moran wrecking crew to three lonely singles, distributed in as many innings.

Not one red reached first base after the fifth inning and Kerr had them swinging wide at fast breaking curves and popping up weakly when they swung at his slow ones. Kerr displayed the courage of a veteran against the mighty maulters who broke the heard of Cicotte and Williams. Despite the fact that it was his maiden appearance in a big league classic, he pitched one of the best games in world’s series history.

It’s remarkable how much easier it is to win a baseball game when you’re not trying to lose.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2019

Bismarck Tribune, October 2, 1919:

Scoring only four clean hits off Williams’ delivery, but making every hit count for a run, and in spite of ten bingles made by the White Sox off Sallee’s delivery, and notwithstanding two errors checked up against the National league champs, the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon annexed the second game in the world’s series by a score of 4 to 2.
Williams pitched stellar ball from start to finish, and had his support been perfect the fatal third inning trio would not have been recorded.

Dang. Bad luck so far for the White Sox. It’s nobody’s fault; these things just happen sometimes.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-1-2019

Marshalltown [Iowa] Evening Times-Republican, October 1, 1919:

First Inning.
Cincinnati—Rath up. Rath was hit by a pitched ball. He was hit on the back and walked to first.
Fourth Inning.
Cincinnati—Rousch [sic]flied to Felsch. Duncan up. Ball one. Duncan singled to Center. Cicotte took Kopf’s drive, throwing out Duncan at second. Wingo up. Wingo doubled to right, scoring Kopf and butting Neale on third. Reuther up. Ball one. Neale and Wingo scored on Reuther’s triple to the center field bleachers. Rath up. Ball one, ball two. Rath doubled, Reuther scoring. Daubert up. Ball one, strike one. Ball two. Ball three. Daubert singled to right, scoring Rath. Groh up. Wilkinson replaced Cicotte.

It has begun.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 01, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Friday, September 13, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-13-2019

Pittsburgh Press, September 13, 1919:

Gene McCann, scout of the Cincinnati Reds and one of Baseball’s wise men, believes that the whole weight of the coming world’s series rests upon the shoulders of Eddie Cicotte, the Whitesox shine ball pitcher.

“Cicotte will go in for the first game against the Reds,” says McCann. “If he wins, the Sox, a great ball club, and full of nerve, must be given an even chance against the Reds. But if the Reds thrash Cicotte in that opening contest, the stuff is off—the Reds can be set down as future champions of the world.”

That was so much more true than McCann could know.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 13, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history




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