Sept 24, 1920: Baseball warned
Submitted by BTGrimes on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 8:00am
Fixing the fix
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK - An editorial in The New York Times on this date in 1920 admonished Major League Baseball to clean up its act in the wake of the Black Sox scandal. The message reminded baseball of "the financial value of honesty."
A few days earlier prosecutors in Chicago lent credence to rumors that several Chicago White Sox players took money to intentionally not play up to their abilities during the 1919 World Series. The New York Times editorial almost exactly a year after the ill-fated World Series reminded baseball of its own inflexibility with gambling in the late 1800s:
"Prompt action at almost the very beginning of National League history removed a group of players who made a business of ‘throwing' games, and ever since then the average American has been as sure of the purity of the national sport as he was of the corruption of national politics, and as proud."
The Times went on to say that by cracking down on gambling years earlier, baseball "realized that big profits and huge salaries" were only assured if the public had no suspicion games were fixed.
Despite eight members of the 1919 White Sox eventually being acquitted of taking money to lose the World Series, mainly because key evidence was lost, all eight were banned from baseball by commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis August 3, 1921.
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