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1919 Black Sox's Scandals

1919 Black Sox

It jolted baseball like nothing before.

Quite simply, inspired by gambler Arnold Rothstein

Arnold Rothstein

…the heavily favored American league Champion Chicago White Sox threw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. These Sox players didn't try to win and even did some things to lose.

The poorly paid Sox were enticed by the promise of sharing in some of the rewards gained in a sure thing bet. As it turned out, they didn't make much money and ruined their personal, team and sport's reputations.

The biggest casualty was one of the early games greatest hitters, Joe Jackson…

Joe Jackson

…"Shoeless Joe" to his fans.

He was among eight players banned for life by the newly installed baseball Commissioner, Kennesaw Mountain Landis…

Kennesaw Mountain Landis

Landis took the action after the courts cleared the players after a 1921 trial. The case was dramatized in the 1988 film "Eight Men Out".

Landis is not always regarded as a complete baseball hero.

Kennesaw Mountain Landis

Some said he was instrumental in keeping black players out of major league baseball. At one point he flatly denied it. However, it wasn't until after his death that Jackie Robinson was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1847.

Out of the ashes of the Black Sox scandal emerged an exciting new era, as Babe Ruth, earlier a star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, was traded to the New York Yankees, was converted to the outfield, and ushered in baseball's slugging, long ball era.

Ironically, there wasn't another major gambling scandal in baseball until the 1990's, when another of the game's stat kings – all-time hits leader Pete Rose, was caught in a betting scandal while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Rose was also thrown out of the game and barred from the baseball Hall of Fame.

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