The Betrayal: How the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball

The Betrayal How the Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball In the most famous scandal of sports history eight Chicago White Sox players including Shoeless Joe Jackson agreed to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of

  • Title: The Betrayal: How the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball
  • Author: Charles Fountain
  • ISBN: 9780199795130
  • Page: 194
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players including Shoeless Joe Jackson agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of 20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein Heavily favored, Chicago lost the Series five games to three Although rumors of a fix flIn the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players including Shoeless Joe Jackson agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of 20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein Heavily favored, Chicago lost the Series five games to three Although rumors of a fix flew while the series was being played, they were largely disregarded by players and the public at large It wasn t until a year later that a general investigation into baseball gambling reopened the case, an a nationwide scandal emerged In this book, Charles Fountain offers a full and engaging history of one of baseball s true moments of crisis and hand wringing, and shows how the scandal changed the way American baseball was both managed and perceived After an extensive investigation and a trial that became a national morality play, the jury returned not guilty verdicts for all of the White Sox players in August of 1921 The following day, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, baseball s new commissioner, regardless of the verdicts of juries, banned the eight players for life And thus the Black Sox entered into American mythology Guilty or innocent Guilty and innocent The country wasn t sure in 1921, and as Fountain shows, we still aren t sure today But we are continually pulled to the story, because so much of modern sport, and our attitude towards it, springs from the scandal Fountain traces the Black Sox story from its roots in the gambling culture that pervaded the game in the years surrounding World War I, through the confusing events of the 1919 World Series itself, to the noisy aftermath and trial, and illuminates the moment as baseball s tipping point Despite the clumsy unfolding of the scandal and trial and the callous treatment of the players involved, the Black Sox saga was a cleansing moment for the sport It launched the age of the baseball commissioner, as baseball owners hired Landis and surrendered to him the control of their game Fountain shows how sweeping changes in 1920s triggered by the scandal moved baseball away from its association with gamblers and fixers, and details how American s attitude toward the pastime shifted as they entered into The Golden Age of Sport Situating the Black Sox events in the context of later scandals, including those involving Reds manager and player Pete Rose, and the ongoing use of steroids in the game up through the present, Fountain illuminates America s near century long fascination with the story, and its continuing relevance today.

    One thought on “The Betrayal: How the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball”

    1. I am a Chicago White Sox fan. Books on the Black Sox give me heartburn! This volume does a really fine job of outlining the events and the context in which eight members of the team were kicked out of baseball. The names:Chick Gandil (the key culprit), Joe Jackson, Fred McMullin, Buck Weaver, Lefty Williams, Happy Felsch, Eddie Cicotte, and Swede Risberg. Two of these--Jackson and Weaver--may have been innocent of "throwing" games. But they were both aware and had gone to meetings of the conspir [...]

    2. 1919 has gone down in baseball infamy as the year that the World Series was fixed. Gamblers, led by New York’s celebrated crook Arnold Rothstein, allegedly paid eight White Sox players to throw a couple of the games. All eight players, including the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson, were banned for life from baseball. Nevertheless, a criminal court jury found all eight not guilty. One player sued for back pay. After the civil court jury found for the player, the judge reversed the verdict, claim [...]

    3. Mr. Fountain takes you back in time to the scandal of baseball that changed a team, a generation, and for some the idea that the game was on the up and up. He begins with going back into the 1880’s and bringing you up to 1919, and the gambling, and players known at those times to change a game. One of the most egregious was Hal Chase. He was brought up quite a bit and discussed about plays and throws. I must say I have read in other books about baseball that he was someone that was not thought [...]

    4. I am reviewing a copy that was sent to my by the publisher in exchange for a review. With that said, I'm really giving this book a 3.5 and in rounding up.I've always been interested in the Black Sox scandal (thanks dad for foisting Field of Dreams upon me during my formative years.) While I've always been a bit curious, I've never really studied it much and much of my opinion was based in popular culture. Let's just say that I was really excited to read this. Very excited and I spent much time d [...]

    5. Very highly recommended. This is a thorough analysis of the Black Sox Scandal involving the 1919 World Series. The fist part of the book is a primer on the gambling problems in baseball that lead to the scandal. The ongoing power struggle among baseball brass and especially between CharlesCominsky, owner of the White Sox, and Ban Johnson, American League President and de facto czar of baseball, is particularly outlined. The fact of missing facts after all these years is not ignored and there is [...]

    6. I'm 25% of the way through The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, and I already know I'm not going to finish. The 1919 World Series - also known as the Black Sox Scandal, because the Chicago White Sox sold out to gamblers and threw the series, allowing the underdog Cincinnati Reds to win - is one of baseball's most compelling subjects. Author Charles Fountain, unfortunately, barely begins his book before he finds it necessary to criticize Eliot Asinof, whose Eight [...]

    7. Good book. Comparing it to the most famous "Eight Men Out" - this isn't as engaging, but it is a more solid historical effort. Those facts are combined. Eight Men Out famously made up some stories -- most memorably, the hit man threatening Lefty Williams's wife just before Game Eight of the Series. Fountain notes that there are numerous gaps in the record where we really don't know what was going on. EMO filled in those gaps with conjecture, myth, or just picking up the best of the various & [...]

    8. I received a prepublication copy of this book (October 2, 2015) through NetGalley with the understanding that I would publish are review on my blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google + pages along with NetGalley, and .I requested this book as I have an interest in baseball (especially the New York Yankees) and have always been interested in the events surrounding the 1919 World Series and the "Black Sox."The author, Charles Fountain, does a very good job of researching the subject and addr [...]

    9. A rather mundane account committed to debunking previous coverage and mythology associated with the Black Sox scandal. Good insights into the Comiskey- Ban Johnson rivalry that would ultimately bring Judge Landis in as commissioner and spell doom for the players who were acquitted in court but banished from the game by the imperious Landis. The 1919 Series was not unique as far as fixing games and gambling, baseball had been contaminated by shady operators since its inception. To his credit, Lan [...]

    10. The grade that this book deserves is a C+ but I cant do that so it's a C.Yes I learned a lot of things about this baseball scandal that I hadn't read before. The book gave in-depth biographies of the many people involved in this story such as Joe Jackson (who was not the idiot he has been made to be to be in movies and other books); Arnold Rothstein (who was more involved than other books portrayed him to be); and Hal Chase (who basically invented the throwing of games - I had never heard of thi [...]

    11. The baseball players all know many of their peers are cheating. The owners and league officials also know this, but are afraid to kill the golden goose so just let it slide. The story of PEDs in todayjs baseball? Yes, but also the story of rampant gambling in the early days of baseball. Eerily similar tales. This book is about the 'fixed' World Series (Shoeless Joe, Eight Men Out, you know it). Paints a vibrant and detailed picture of the characters involved and of the bygone era. Fun period pi [...]

    12. The fixing of the 1919 World Series has generated a lot of writing and film. This book is a great addition. Fountain dug deep into the archives and ended up with a compelling (and apparently complete) retelling of the scandal. He didn't pull any punches, showing that the moguls who ran baseball at the time were quite a bit more interested in their pocketbooks than in any rigging of outcomes or influences of gamblers. There is a lot in the book that will be familiar to baseball readers, but there [...]

    13. Most baseball fans know the story of the Black Sox scandal of 1919, and this book tells that story from a critical perspective, honestly admitting that there are some facets to the story we cannot know. But this book is different, in that it puts the scandal in a bigger context of decades of gambling and game-fixing, the ongoing war over who controlled baseball. This book is interesting all the way through, but the first third, in which many earlier scandals are detailed, was for me the best par [...]

    14. I won this in a giveaway. According to the FTC rules I need to mention that =). As a fan of the Cubs I didn't know much about the White Sox, so I was excited to get this book and read it. History, baseball, scandal, what's not to love? It even had pictures! Overall I give it a 4 out of five stars. I actually really enjoyed it. There were some slow parts, but every book has that. I plowed through them and was happy I did. Amazing book, would recommend.

    15. Very enlighteningThe Chicago Black Sox scandal is the stuff of myth & legend. But most of what has been written about it & it's protagonists is myth, whether slight or significant. This book does an excellent job sweeping away the myth & more importantly, putting the story into the proper context of the period & of early baseball.

    16. Got just what I hoped for from this book - a freshly-researched update clearing up some of the myths surrounding this story, and historical context outlining events in the decades prior that led up to the 1919 World Series scandal.

    17. A richly detailed, intensely researched overview of the role of gambling in early 20th century baseball, the lead-up to the 1919 World Series, the personalities and characters involved at all levels of the Black Sox scandal and its aftermath.

    18. I have always found the "Black Sox" world series fascinating. A complex situation. The author did a good job looking at many variables and how it affected the world series.

    19. I was lucky enough to win this book through . Such a great, informative book. read it in a day & then my huband took it. So informative & easy to read.

    20. Good read. Enjoyed the story, shed some light to a bygone age of America's National Pastime. I would recommend to any baseball fan. Lots of intrigue and skullduggery. Baseball not as pure as our hearts would like Even today.

    21. I thought this was okay and added to my knowledge of this event, but there were several times where editing was needed and I found this to be distracting. I also thought that the author should have focused more on the financial aspects of this event.

    22. Even though a distant relative of mine was a notorious baseball game fixer in the 1880s, I did not know how pervasive the practice was in the time from the first World Series in 1903 until the 1919 Black Sox scandal. This highly readable book covers all that and so much more. Owners were looking the other way on gambling, much as they did during the steroid era.If you are counting the days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, here is a terrific work to get you in the baseball [...]

    23. A very entertaining, in depth look at not only the Black Sox scandal but the events in baseball leading up to it and how it's affected the game today. Author Charles Fountain looks to break down the myths of the scandal and the cast of characters involved that has built up over the 1919 World Series, particularly citing the numerous inaccuracies and plain fictional elements of the book (and later movie) Eight Men Out. I highly recommend this tome to anyone who is interested in baseball history, [...]

    24. (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)In the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players--including Shoeless Joe Jackson--agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of $20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein. Heavily favored, Chicago lost the Series five games to three. Although rumors of a fix flew while the series was being played [...]

    25. Charles Fountain does a great job of placing the well worn tale of the 1919 world series into a new light. Rather than making it seem like an isolated incident or one team with one bad owner he places it in the larger context of the times. The issue of gambling in baseball and the larger issue of how and why players were so willing to take bribes to throw games, or contribute to their outcome in some other way, is very compelling. Fountain takes some great issue with the innocence of Shoeless Jo [...]

    26. Excellent account of the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox" Scandal. As the book points out, we may never know exactly what happened in the scandal, but the various interpretations and possibilities are fascinating.

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