The essay “The Black Sox Scandal” will discuss the Black Sox scandal, which is dubbed the greatest scandal in American sports history. It refers to the match fixing by some players of the Chicago White Sox during the 1919 World Series…
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Charles Comiskey, the owner of the team, had invested heavily into the team to build a formidable squad that he hoped would dominate the game in the future. It took him only two seasons to attain his goal, and his club won the 1917 World Series.2 The team went on to dominate the league past the 1917 season. This dominance was to be tested in 1919 when the Chicago White Sox was to play debutants Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. When America joined the First World War, the 1918 season was shortened as many players went overseas to fight. The remaining players went to work in steel mills to avoid the draft. At the end of the war in November, the same year, Comiskey got back to rebuilding his team. He recruited new players to boost his team. At the end of recruitment, he had assembled a very strong team. Though he had the money to recruit good players, Comiskey was a tightwad when it came to remunerating his players.3 The players often complained of the low pay, but Comiskey ignored them. He paid players of the same caliber different salaries leading to disputes among the players. Most of his players did not have money, and the discrimination made some feel exploited. Comiskey was a darling of the media and often spent a lot of money hosting the media at luncheons with expensive food and wine. On the other side, he was not willing to pay his players better salaries. Despite this, the players continued to perform well on the pitch. The squad of great players like Cicotte, Williams, Jackson and Weaver seemed poised to win the World Series. The Cincinnati Reds were underdogs then, as it was their first National League pennant. Opinion was in favor of the Chicago whites. Odds makers predicted that the win would go to the Chicago White Sox.4 It was almost popular belief that the matches would just be a formality. No one thought that the White Sox would lose, but they lost right from the first game. The loss was intentional, as it was orchestrated by the players who were recruited to fix the matches. This first loss sent a message to the match fixers that the deal was on. A loss on the second game raised some eyebrows. The mode of play by the star players became highly questionable. William Gleason who coached the team all season suspected something was wrong right from the first match and took up the issue with Comiskey. The issue was forwarded to the League president who ignored matter.5 With the match fixers sticking to their deal, the Cincinnati Reds did not have a hard time in the field. The Cincinnati Reds became the eventual winners of the 1919 World Series. The Fix The exact details about what transpired in the period prior to the World Series are difficult to comprehend. The explanation on how the scheme was executed was pieced together using the details that were given by some of the conspirators. The general idea was that the players who agreed to participate in the fixing were promised payment totaling to $100,000 over the period that the games were to take place. The group was led by Gandil who was approached by Sullivan about fixing the matches.6 It comprised of players who were lowly paid. Gandil was getting ready to retire and wanted to go out with a good ‘retirement package’.
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