Posted Aug 01, 2008 08:48 pm CDT
It was rumored that the 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds hadn’t been played squarely.
A year later, grand jury testimony in Chicago confirmed that several White Sox players, driven by resentment toward tightfisted team owner Charlie Comiskey, had conspired with gamblers to hand the best-of-nine series to the underdog Reds.
Eight players were indicted with five gamblers on charges of conspiracy to defraud the public. After a two-week trial marked by the revelation of several missing confessions, all eight were acquitted.
In an effort to shore up baseball’s credibility, owners persuaded Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a federal judge in Chicago, to become the game’s first commissioner. In his first act, Landis banished the eight from baseball, leaving them forever known as the “Black Sox.”