1919 World Series

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1919 World Series
1919 blacksox.jpg
1919 Chicago White Sox team photo
Team (Wins)ManagerSeason
Cincinnati Reds (5)Pat Moran96–44, .686, GA: 9
Chicago White Sox (3)Kid Gleason88–52, .629, GA: 3 12
Dates:October 1–9
Umpires:Cy Rigler (NL), Billy Evans (AL), Ernie Quigley (NL), Dick Nallin (AL)
Hall of Famers:Umpire: Billy Evans Reds: Edd Roush. White Sox: Eddie Collins, Red Faber (dnp), Ray Schalk.
 < 1918World Series1920 > 
 
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1919 World Series
1919 blacksox.jpg
1919 Chicago White Sox team photo
Team (Wins)ManagerSeason
Cincinnati Reds (5)Pat Moran96–44, .686, GA: 9
Chicago White Sox (3)Kid Gleason88–52, .629, GA: 3 12
Dates:October 1–9
Umpires:Cy Rigler (NL), Billy Evans (AL), Ernie Quigley (NL), Dick Nallin (AL)
Hall of Famers:Umpire: Billy Evans Reds: Edd Roush. White Sox: Eddie Collins, Red Faber (dnp), Ray Schalk.
 < 1918World Series1920 > 

The 1919 World Series matched the American League champion Chicago White Sox against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds. Although most World Series have been of the best-of-seven format, the 1919 World Series was a best-of-nine series (along with 1903, 1920, and 1921). Baseball decided to try the best-of-nine format partly to increase popularity of the sport and partly to generate more revenue.[1]

The events of the series are often associated with the Black Sox Scandal, when several members of the Chicago franchise conspired with gamblers to throw (i.e., intentionally lose) World Series games. The 1919 World Series was the last World Series to take place without a Commissioner of Baseball in place. In 1920, the various franchise owners installed Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first "Commissioner of Baseball."

In 1921, eight players from the White Sox—including superstar Shoeless Joe Jackson—were banned from organized baseball for fixing the series (or having knowledge about the fix).

Contents

The teams

The Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox of 1919 were one of baseball's glamour teams. Using most of the same players, they had won the 1917 World Series over the New York Giants in a convincing manner, by four games to two. They had fallen to sixth place in the American League in 1918, largely as a result to losing their best player Shoeless Joe Jackson, along with a few others, to World War I service. Team owner Charlie Comiskey fired manager Pants Rowland after the season, replacing him with 20-year Major League veteran Kid Gleason, who was getting his first managerial assignment. The White Sox were back on top of the American League in 1919, finishing with a record of 88-52, 3.5 games in front of the Cleveland Indians.

Joe Jackson

Jackson was the unchallenged star of the team. The left fielder hit .351 that season, fourth in the American League and also finished in the AL's top five in slugging percentage, runs batted in, total bases and base hits. He was not alone on the team, however, as Eddie Collins, one of the greatest second basemen of all time,[2] was still going strong in his early 30's, hitting .319 with a .400 on base percentage at the top of the line-up. Right fielder Nemo Leibold was another .300 hitter, hitting .302 while scoring 81 runs, in a line-up that hardly had a weak spot. First baseman Chick Gandil hit .290, third baseman Buck Weaver was at .296, and center fielder Oscar "Happy" Felsch hit .275 while tying with Jackson for the team lead in home runs with 7. Even catcher Ray Schalk, a typical dead-ball era "good field, no hit" catcher, hit .282 that year, and shortstop Swede Risberg was not an automatic out with his .256 average and 38 runs batted in. Manager Gleason even had two good hitters on the bench, outfielder Shano Collins and infielder Fred McMullin, who were both veterans of the 1917 campaign.

On the mound, the White Sox depended on a pair of aces, backed by a very promising rookie. Knuckleballer Eddie Cicotte had become one of the American League's best pitchers after turning 30 and discovering the "shine ball"; he had won 28 games for the 1917 champions, and after an off-year in 1918, had come back with an outstanding 29–7 record, leading the league in wins and finishing second in earned run average to Walter Johnson. He was backed by Claude "Lefty" Williams, who had posted a 23–11 record with a 2.64 ERA. 26-year old rookie Dickie Kerr only started 17 games but maintained a solid 13–7 record with a 2.88 ERA. The back end of the staff included Urban "Red" Faber, who had beaten the Giants three times in the 1917 World Series but had had an off-year in 1919, finishing 11–9, 3.83 in 20 starts. Unfortunately, Faber was injured and not able to pitch in the Series. This limited Gleason to only three starters in a possible nine games.

However, all was not well in the White Sox camp. Tensions between many of the players and owner Comiskey were very high, with the players complaining of his penny-pinching ways, which are reflected in two urban legends: the first is that Comiskey instructed Gleason to sit down Cicotte at the end of the year in order that he would not win 30 games, a milestone which would have earned him a sizeable bonus; the second was that the team was known derisively as the Black Sox because Comiskey would not pay to have their uniforms washed regularly.

The Cincinnati Reds

In contrast to the White Sox, the 1919 Cincinnati Reds were upstarts. They had finished no higher than third since 1900, achieving that much success only twice. Yet, in 1919, they won the league pennant handily. Under new manager Pat Moran, best known as the leader of another bunch of unlikely visitors to the World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies of 1915, Cincinnati finished nine games in front of the New York Giants, with a 96–44 record, leaving every other team in the league at least 20 games back. The Reds' .686 win percentage stands as the National League's second highest since 1910.

Edd Roush

The Reds' greatest star was center fielder Edd Roush, who led the league with a .321 batting average and, like the White Sox's Jackson, placed in the top five in most important hitting categories. Third baseman Heinie Groh was the other great hitter on the team, contributing a .310 average with a .392 on-base percentage and 79 runs scored. First baseman Jake Daubert, a two-time National League batting champion with Brooklyn earlier in the decade, also scored 79 runs, with a .276 average and great defense, while catcher Ivey Wingo hit .273. The rest of the team was unheralded, including second baseman Morrie Rath, a .264 hitter with no power but good on-base skills, and shortstop Larry Kopf, a .270 singles hitter. The rest of the outfield was a definite weak spot, as former Phillies star Sherry Magee hit only .215 in 56 games in left field, while in right field Earle "Greasy" Neale only hit .242 with little power. This would prompt Moran to start a rookie, Pat Duncan, in left field during the World Series.

The Reds' pitching was universally solid, however. The team's big three included Hod Eller (20–9, 2.39), Dutch Ruether (19–6, 1.82) and Slim Sallee (21–7, 2.06), all prominent among the league leaders in various categories. They were backed by three other pitchers who were almost as successful: Jimmy Ring was only 10–9, but with a 2.26 ERA; Ray Fisher was 14–5, 2.17 and pitched five shutouts, while Cuban Dolf Luque was 10–3, 2.63. It was a deep and talented staff, a definite advantage in a Series whose format had just been changed from best of seven to best of nine.

The Fix

Chick Gandil, ringleader of the fix

The conspiracy was the brainchild of White Sox first baseman Arnold "Chick" Gandil and Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, who was a professional gambler of Gandil's acquaintance. New York gangster Arnold Rothstein supplied the major connections needed. The money was supplied by Abe Attell, former featherweight boxing champion, who accepted the offer even though he didn't have the $80,000 that the White Sox wanted.[citation needed]

Gandil enlisted seven of his teammates, motivated by a mixture of greed and a dislike of penurious club owner Charles Comiskey, to implement the fix. Starting pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude "Lefty" Williams, outfielder Oscar "Happy" Felsch, and infielder Charles "Swede" Risberg were all involved. There remains some controversy as to whether outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson participated; while he was certainly aware of the fix, several of the players said years later that he wasn't involved.[3] Buck Weaver was also asked to participate, but refused; he was later banned with the others for knowing of the fix but not reporting it. Utility infielder Fred McMullin was not initially approached but got word of the fix and threatened to report the others unless he was in on the payoff. Sullivan and his two associates Sleepy Bill Burns and Billy Maharg, somewhat out of their depth, approached Rothstein to provide the money for the players, who were promised a total of $100,000.[4]

The conspirators got an unexpected assist when Faber was left off the roster due to a case of the flu. Indeed, years later Schalk said that had Faber been healthy, there never would have been a fix (since he almost certainly would have gotten starts that went to Cicotte and/or Williams).[3]

Stories of the "Black Sox" scandal have usually included Comiskey in its gallery of subsidiary villains, focusing in particular on his intentions regarding a clause in Cicotte's contract that would have paid Cicotte an additional $10,000 bonus for winning 30 games. According to Eliot Asinof's account of the events, Eight Men Out, Cicotte was "rested" for the season's final two weeks after reaching his 29th win, presumably to deny him the bonus. However, the record is perhaps more complex. Cicotte won his 29th game on September 19, had an ineffective start on September 24, and was pulled after a few innings in a tuneup on the season's final day, September 28 (the World Series beginning three days later). Reportedly, Cicotte agreed to the fix on the same day he won his 29th game, before he could have known of any efforts to deny him a chance to win his 30th.[5] The story was probably true, though, for the 1917 season—when Cicotte won 28 games and helped the White Sox to the world championship.

Although rumors were swirling among the gamblers and some of the press, most fans and observers were taking the series at face value. On October 2, the day of Game One, the Philadelphia Bulletin published a poem which would quickly prove to be ironic:

Still, it really doesn't matter,
After all, who wins the flag.
Good clean sport is what we're after,
And we aim to make our brag
To each near or distant nation
Whereon shines the sporting sun
That of all our games gymnastic
Base ball is the cleanest one!

Summary

NL Cincinnati Reds (5) vs. AL Chicago White Sox (3)

GameDateScoreLocationTimeAttendance
1October 1Chicago White Sox – 1, Cincinnati Reds – 9Redland Field1:4230,511[6]
2October 2Chicago White Sox – 2, Cincinnati Reds – 4Redland Field1:4229,698[7] 
3October 3Cincinnati Reds – 0, Chicago White Sox – 3Comiskey Park (I)1:3029,126[8] 
4October 4Cincinnati Reds – 2, Chicago White Sox – 0Comiskey Park (I)1:3734,363[9] 
5October 6Cincinnati Reds – 5, Chicago White Sox – 0Comiskey Park (I)1:4534,379[10] 
6October 7Chicago White Sox – 5, Cincinnati Reds – 4 (10 innings)Redland Field2:0632,006[11] 
7October 8Chicago White Sox – 4, Cincinnati Reds – 1Redland Field1:4713,923[12] 
8October 9Cincinnati Reds – 10, Chicago White Sox – 5Comiskey Park (I)2:2732,930[13]

Matchups

Game 1

Eddie Cicotte

Wednesday, October 1, 1919 at Redland Field in Cincinnati, Ohio

The first game began at 3 PM that day at Cincinnati's Redland Field with Cicotte on the mound for Chicago, who failed to score in the top of the first inning, and 30,511 fans in the stands (with people outside the park paying at least $50 per ticket). In the bottom of that inning, Cicotte (who was paid his $10,000 the night before the series began) hit the leadoff hitter, Morrie Rath, in the back with just his second pitch, a prearranged signal to Arnold Rothstein that the game was going to be thrown. Despite this, the game remained close for a while, due in part to some excellent defense from the conspirators, who did not wish to bring suspicion on themselves. In the fourth, however, Cicotte gave up a sequence of hits, including a two-out triple to the opposing pitcher, as the Reds scored five times to break a 1–1 tie. Cicotte was replaced by a relief pitcher, but the damage was done, and the Reds triumphed 9–1.

By the evening of that day, there were already signs that things were going wrong. Only Cicotte, who had shrewdly demanded his $10,000 in advance, had been paid. Burns and Maharg met with Abe Attell, a former world boxing champion who acted as intermediary for Rothstein, but he did not provide the next installment ($20,000), wanting to place it out on bets for the next game. The next morning Gandil met Attell and again demanded their money. Again, the players went unpaid.

Team123456789RHE
Chicago010000000161
Cincinnati10050021X9141
WP: Walter "Dutch" Ruether (1–0)   LP: Eddie Cicotte (0–1)

Game 2

Thursday, October 2, 1919 at Redland Field in Cincinnati, Ohio

Although they had not received their money, the players were still willing to go through with the fix. "Lefty" Williams, the starting pitcher in Game 2, was not going to be as obvious as Cicotte. After a shaky start, he pitched well until the fourth inning, when he walked three and gave up as many runs. After that, Williams went back to looking unhittable, giving up only one more run; but a lack of clutch hitting, with Gandil a particular guilty party, meant that the White Sox lost 4–2. Afterwards, Attell was still in no mood to pay up. Burns managed to get $10,000 and gave it to Gandil, who distributed it among the conspirators. The teams headed to Comiskey Park in Chicago for the third game.

Team123456789RHE
Chicago0000002002101
Cincinnati00030100X443
WP: Harry "Slim" Sallee (1–0)   LP: Lefty Williams (0–1)

Game 3

Friday, October 3, 1919 at Comiskey Park (I) in Chicago, Illinois

Rookie pitcher Dickie Kerr, who was to start Game 3 for the Sox, was not in on the fix. The original plan was for the conspirators, who disliked Kerr, to lose this game; but by now dissent among the players meant that the plan was in disarray. Burns still had faith and gathered the last of his resources to bet on Cincinnati. It was a decision that would leave him broke, as Chicago scored early—Gandil himself driving in two runs—and Kerr was masterful, holding the Reds to three hits in throwing a complete game shutout and a 3–0 victory.

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati000000000031
Chicago02010000X370
WP: Dickie Kerr (1–0)   LP: Ray Fisher (0–1)

Game 4

Saturday, October 4, 1919 at Comiskey Park (I) in Chicago, Illinois

Cicotte was again Chicago's starter for the fourth game, and he was determined not to look as bad as he had in the first. For the first four innings he and Reds pitcher Jimmy Ring matched zeroes. With one out in the fifth, Cicotte fielded a slow roller by Pat Duncan, but threw wildly to first for a two-base error. The next man up, Larry Kopf, singled to left; Cicotte cut off the throw from Jackson and then fumbled the ball, allowing Duncan to score. The home crowd was stunned by the veteran pitcher's obvious mistake. When Cicotte then gave up a double to Greasy Neale that scored Kopf, the score was 2–0 — enough of a lead for Ring, who threw a three-hit shutout of his own. The Reds led the Series 3–1.

After the game, "Sport" Sullivan came through with $20,000 for the players, which Gandil split equally between Risberg, Felsch, Jackson, and Williams — who was due to start Game 5 the next day.

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati000020000252
Chicago000000000032
WP: Jimmy Ring (1–0)   LP: Eddie Cicotte (0–2)

Game 5

Monday, October 6, 1919 at Comiskey Park (I) in Chicago, Illinois

The next game was delayed by rain for a day, and when it got under way, both Williams and Reds pitcher Hod Eller were excellent. By the sixth inning, neither had allowed a runner past first base, before Eller hit a blooper that fell between Felsch and Jackson. Felsch's throw was off line, and the opposing pitcher was safe at third. Leadoff hitter Morrie Rath hit a single over the drawn-in infield, and Eller scored. Heinie Groh walked before Edd Roush hit a double—the beneficiary of some more doubtful defense from Felsch—to score two more runs, and Roush himself scored shortly thereafter. Eller pitched well enough for the four runs to stand up, and the Reds were only one game from becoming world champions.

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati000004001540
Chicago000000000033
WP: Hod Eller (1–0)   LP: Lefty Williams (0–2)

Game 6

Tuesday, October 7, 1919 at Redland Field in Cincinnati, Ohio

Game 6 was played back in Cincinnati. Dickie Kerr, starting for the White Sox, was not as dominant as in Game 3. Aided by three errors, the Reds jumped out to a 4–0 lead before Chicago fought back, tying the game at 4–4 in the sixth, which remained the score into extra innings. In the top of the tenth, Gandil drove in Weaver to make it 5–4, and Kerr closed it out to record his—and Chicago's—second win.

Team12345678910RHE
Chicago00001300015103
Cincinnati00220000004110
WP: Dickie Kerr (2–0)   LP: Jimmy Ring (1–1)

Game 7

Wednesday, October 8, 1919 at Redland Field in Cincinnati, Ohio

Despite the rumors that were already circulating over Cicotte's prior performances, Chicago manager Kid Gleason showed faith in his ace for Game 7. This time, the knuckleballer did not let him down. Chicago scored early and, for once, it was Cincinnati that made errors in the field. The Reds threatened only briefly in the sixth before losing 4–1, and suddenly the Series was close again.

This did not go unnoticed by Sullivan and Rothstein, who were suddenly worried. Prior to the start of the Series, the Sox had been strong favorites and few doubted that they could win two games in a row—presuming they were trying to win. Rothstein had been too smart to bet on individual games but had a considerable sum riding on Cincinnati to win the Series. The night before the eighth game, Williams—who was due to pitch—was supposedly visited by an associate of Sullivan's who left him in no doubt that if he failed to blow the game in the first inning, he and his wife would be in serious danger.

Team123456789RHE
Chicago1010200004101
Cincinnati000001000174
WP: Eddie Cicotte (1–2)   LP: Harry "Slim" Sallee (1–1)

Game 8

Thursday, October 9, 1919 at Comiskey Park (I) in Chicago, Illinois

Whatever Williams had been told had made its impression. In the first, throwing nothing but mediocre fastballs, he gave up four straight one-out hits to yield three runs before Gleason replaced him with relief pitcher Big Bill James, who allowed one of Williams' baserunners to score. James continued to be ineffective and, although the Sox rallied in the eighth, the Reds ran out 10–5 victors—clinching the Series by five games to three. Jackson hit the only homer of the Series, a solo shot in the third inning after the Reds had built a 5–0 lead. Immediately after the end of the Series, rumors were rife throughout the country that the games had been thrown. Journalist Hugh Fullerton of the Chicago Herald and Examiner, disgusted by the display of ineptitude with which the White Sox had "thrown" the series, immediately wrote that the Series should never be played again.[14]

Team123456789RHE
Cincinnati41001301010162
Chicago0010000405101
WP: Hod Eller (2–0)   LP: Lefty Williams (0–3)
Home runs:
CIN: None
CWS: Joe Jackson (1)

Composite box

1919 World Series (5–3): Cincinnati Reds (N.L.) over Chicago White Sox (A.L.)

Team12345678910RHE
Cincinnati Reds51210392210356413
Chicago White Sox1321332401205912
Total attendance: 236,936   Average attendance: 29,617
Winning player’s share: $5,207   Losing player’s share: $3,254[15]

Notable performances

Jackson led all players with his .375 average. Some[16] believed that most of his offensive potency came in games that were not fixed and/or when the game appeared out of reach. He hit the Series' lone home run, in the final (eighth) game, a solo shot in the third inning, by which time the Reds were already ahead 5–0. His five hits with runners in scoring position were: Game 6, sixth inning (1), game not fixed, Kerr pitching; Game 7, first inning (1), third inning (1), the game in which the dishonest players rebelled and Cicotte won; Game 8, eighth inning (2), by which time the Reds were ahead 10–1.

Shoeless Joe had 12 hits overall, which at the time was a World Series record.[17]

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago White Sox

In popular culture

Notes

  1. ^ "1919 Chicago White Sox". historicbaseball. http://www.historicbaseball.com/teams/1919whitesox.html. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  2. ^ James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001).
  3. ^ a b Purdy, Dennis (2006). The Team-by-Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball. New York: Workman. ISBN 0-7611-3943-5. 
  4. ^ Linder, Douglas. "The Black Sox Trial: An Account". http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/blacksox/blacksoxaccount.html. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  5. ^ Cicotte's 29 Wins in 1919
  6. ^ "1919 World Series Game 1 - Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10010CIN1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  7. ^ "1919 World Series Game 2 - Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10020CIN1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  8. ^ "1919 World Series Game 3 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago White Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10030CHA1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  9. ^ "1919 World Series Game 4 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago White Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10040CHA1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  10. ^ "1919 World Series Game 5 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago White Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10060CHA1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  11. ^ "1919 World Series Game 6 - Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10070CIN1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  12. ^ "1919 World Series Game 7 - Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10080CIN1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  13. ^ "1919 World Series Game 8 - Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago White Sox". Retrosheet. http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1919/B10090CHA1919.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  14. ^ Payne, Shaun. "Hugh Fullerton and the Press’s Revealing Coverage of the Black Sox Scandal, 1919-1921". Historic Baseball. 
  15. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsshares.shtml. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  16. ^ Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S.; Deutsch, Jordan A.; Johnson, Roland T. (1976). World Series. Dial Press. ISBN 0-8037-9699-4. 
  17. ^ All-time and Single-Season World Series Batting Leaders

References

External links