Essay about 1919 Black Sox Scandal

The Impact of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal The 1919 Black Sox Scandal is one of the most skeptical topics in Major League Baseball history. The 1919 World Series was battled out between the Chicago White-Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. In fact, this particular match-up was picked to be the most competitive world series yet, but it most certainly was not. After the Cincinnati Reds clinched the World Series title, the story behind the scenes began to unfold. This shocking and quite shameful story would clearly change the way Americans and future baseball players view the game entirely.

It was truly a game-changer. The Black Sox Scandal was when eight players of the 1919 Chicago White Sox were convicted for accepting a bribe to intentionally throw the 1919 World Series. These eight players were: Eddie Cicotte, Claude Williams, Arnold Gandil, Charles Risberg, George Weaver, Joe Jackson “Shoeless Joe”, Oscar Felsch, and Fred McMullin (“Black Sox Scandal”). The White Sox were dubbed the name “Black Sox” because of their refusal to wash their uniforms as part of the protest against White Sox owner Charles Comiskey who paid the players ‘uncompetitive wages” (Ciment, 91).

It was believed that Arnold Gandil was first to accept offers from gambler Joseph Sullivan and Bill Burns. Sullivan offered Gandil $80,000 while Burns offered a breath taking $100,000, but neither Sullivan nor Burns knew about each other’s offer and Gandil intended to accept both. Soon the other players got down wind of the behind the scenes scandal and wanted a bribe for themselves. In fact, many gamblers that knew of the fix bet on the Reds winning significant sums.

After a while, many people knew of the fix and it became hard to keep it a secret, and Burns and Sullivan soon broke their financial promises with Sullivan only offering $10,000 for each of the eight while Burns did not raise the money and dropped out. There were so many people that knew of the fix that the truth was bound to come out, which it did soon after the world series had taken place. The eight players were forced to stand before the district judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, where they stated their hand-written confessions. Starting with Shoeless Joe (Ciment, 91).

All eight players were faced with harsh legal sentences, but as they were set for their sentencing the players confessions mysteriously disappeared allowing them to be found innocent. The players probably thought they were out of all trouble until they were banned from baseball forever and any shot of hall of fame went out the window. Ironically, the Commissioner of Baseball was Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis. There are some conspiracies that Shoeless Joe continued to play the game but no one is for sure. Shoeless Joe was and still is a great american baseball icon despite his actions during the 1919 scandal.

Jackson, July 1887December 1951, batted a lifetime average of . 357 (“Shoeless Joe Jackson). Jackson’s baseball career kicked off when he was asked to play for the local millworkers baseball team. He played for this team for a couple of years until he caught the eye of professional baseball coach/manager Connie Mack. He quit the team several times during the early years of his pro ball career due to a low self-esteem and lack of confidence. In 1915, Jackson was sold to the Chicago White-Sox organization for $8,000 (“Shoeless Joe Jackson”).

Here Jackson played two years in the minor leagues before getting called up to the MLB, and while in the minors Jackson earned the name “Shoeless Joe” after playing two games in his stockings because his new cleats were rubbing blisters on his ankles and feet. Jackson also named his favorite bat “Black Betsy,” which was thirty-six inches long and weighed a solid forty-eight ounces. After being an outstanding outfielder and a true threat at the plate. Shoeless Joe was a shoe in for the Hall of Fame. All things were going good until October rolled around in the fall of 1919. Here,

Shoeless Joe’s career and reputation would be changed forever and his shot at the Hall of Fame was thrown out the window. After accepting the bribe of $20,000 to throw the World Series, Shoeless Joe was found guilty, and although he suffered no legal consequences due to insufficient evidence and the loss of his written confession, Kennesaw Mountain Landis and the other jury members banned Joe Jackson from Major League Baseball forever. Any chance at the Hall of Fame was now just a figment of his imagination. Kennesaw Mountain Landis played a huge role in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

He was the judge that permanently banned all eight of the players convicted in the 1919 scandal from Major League Baseball (“Kennesaw Mountain Landis”). Kennesaw Mountain Landis, November 1866November 1944, was named for a mountain (“Kennesaw Mountain Landis”). Kennesaw was a district judge, but he became filthy rich after winning a settlement case against Standard Oil Company suing for a grand total of 29 million dollars. Theodore Roosevelt appointed Judge Landis to conduct the Black Sox case because he was a trustworthy and unbiased judge (“Kennesaw Mountain Landis”).

After the settlement of the Black Sox case, Judge Landis became Major League Baseball’s very first Commissioner of Baseball. He remained the commissioner until he died. Shortly after, Kennesaw Mountain Landis was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Post Black Sox Scandal, baseball became a game known as a money game and that the games were merely played out for money instead of playing the game the way it was meant to be played. “Played for fun and for the chance to be able to play the greatest game on the planet”, Babe Ruth (Black Sox Scandal).

Many efforts were given to help reshape baseball after it was given such a ugly face by the Black Sox. A Commissioner of Baseball was now a must. The commissioner’s job was to watch over baseball and to keep an eye on any suspicious activity throughout the leagues. Then came along baseball greats like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe Dimmagio, etc, that played a huge role in giving baseball a new face. The 1919 Black Sox Scandal remains one of the most sacred stories in Major League Baseball. Why, no one is for sure. It is almost as if there is a magnifying glass on the Black Sox, but cheating is cheating and it does not discriminate.

When America thinks about baseball they think of the Black Sox Scandal, but in reality the Black Sox are not the only players that cheated. Other, less magnified, cheatings are Barry Bonds case, or players using corked bats while pitchers are cutting the baseball seams. Either way, the Black Sox brought about many harsh opinions and challenges for the game, but through it all the game has changed but for the better. Infact, present day baseball might even be at its peak in the eyes of some viewers and players. The 1919 Black Sox Scandal was truly a game changer.