Fix is in for Chicago Black Sox

1919 World Series, best of nine

The year was 1919 and on this day in sports history the Chicago White Sox, Black Sox as they were termed lost game 5 to the Cincinnati Reds in a World Series that was best of nine games. This World Series turned out to be a scandal filled with organized crime, pro ball players, gamblers, J. (the Great) Gatsby, Johnny Torrio (Al Capone’s mentor), Arnold Rothstein, friend of J. Gatsby and the most well know Jewish gangster of all time.

Chicago ballplayers were more than upset with their stingy and cheap owner Charles Comiskey. In fact, he was so cheap the reason the White Sox were referred to as Black Sox was not because they threw the World Series, but because Comiskey made them pay for uniform cleaning, they decided not to pay the extra cash to have their white sox cleaned, hence the nickname Black Sox.

It was infielder Chick Gandil and maybe Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte who got the ball rolling to put the series in the bag, thereby allowing the underdogs (Cincinnati Reds) to win the series. Boston gambler Sport Sullivan along with Sleepy Burns offered Chicago $100,000 to put the fix in and loose. It was Arnold Rothstein, later getting whacked out for not paying a gambling debt who really made it interesting by getting in on the action. All in all, Chicago had 8 players in on the fix including Shoeless Joe Jackson. There is much more to this story and I encourage you to check it out in more detail, but to sum up; all 8 players were barred from baseball and yes Cincinnati won the series in 8 games.