1919 Chicago White Sox Team Analysis

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The players on the Charles Comiskey's 1919 Chicago White Sox team were a fractious lot. The club was divided into two "gangs" of players, each with practically nothing to say to the other. Together they formed the best team in baseball, perhaps one of the best teams that ever played the game, yet they--like all ball players of the time--were paid a fraction of what they were worth. The White Sox owner paid two of his greatest stars, outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and third baseman Buck Weaver, only $6000 a year. Comiskey's decision to save expenses by reducing the number of times uniforms were laundered gave rise to the original meaning of "The Black Sox." Comiskey has been labeled the tyrant and tightwad whose penurious practices made…show more content…
However, he decided not to take part and played to the best of his ability during the series, batting .324 with 11 hits in 34 at-bats, which was higher than some of his batting averages in previous years. Weaver's career batting average was .272. A meeting of White Sox ballplayers — including those committed to going ahead and those just ready to listen — took place on September 21, in Gandil's room at the Ansonia Hotel in New York. It was a meeting that would eventually shatter the careers of eight ballplayers, although whether all eight were actually in attendance is a matter of dispute. Weaver was the only player to attend the meetings who did not receive money. Nevertheless, he was later banned with the others for knowing about the fix but not reporting it. Although he hardly played in the series, utility infielder Fred McMullin got word of the fix and threatened to report the others unless he was in on the payoff. As a small coincidence, McMullin was a former teammate of "Sleepy" Bill Burns, who had a minor role in the fix. Both played for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. Star outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson was mentioned as a participant, though his involvement is disputed. The scheme got an unexpected boost when the straitlaced Faber could not pitch due to a bout with the flu. Years later, Schalk said that if Faber had been available, the fix…show more content…
Maharg's third connection with major league baseball came in 1919 as he conspired to fix the 1919 World Series—the infamous Black Sox Scandal. Several White Sox players, including Eddie Cicotte, Chick Gandil, and Swede Risberg, conspired with Sleepy Bill Burns, a former big-league pitcher, to throw the World Series in exchange for $100,000. Billy Maharg worked with Burns to find financing. Maharg and Burns approached New York gambler Arnold Rothstein to raise the money for the players. Other gamblers soon entered the picture, whereupon the players, Maharg and Burns suffered multiple double-crosses. In September 1920, a disgruntled Maharg gave the full details of the plot to a Philadelphia writer. Eight White Sox players were indicted for throwing the Series. When Maharg was called as a witness in the criminal trial, someone noted, “He flashed enough diamonds on his fingers to buy a flock of autos.” Maharg was asked, “Are you a ballplayer named “Peaches Graham?” The answer was, “No! I have never been anything but Billy Maharg. I know Graham, but I am not he.” (It has long been
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