The Dirty Sock In Baseball Essay

820 words - 4 pages

“The game of baseball is a clean, straight game,” said William Howard Taft. Or is it? The World Series in 1919 started out like any previous year. Two talented teams were to come together and play to determine the better of the two. With that said, let the best team win. However, that may or may not have been the thought of eight team members on the Chicago White Sox team. The numbers show that the Cincinnati Reds won five to three, but was it their playing skills that got them there or was the game fixed by the Chicago White Sox team? The 1919 World Championship between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds is considered to be one of the most controversial events in baseball history.
Baseball, America’s pastime, got its start in England in the mid 1800’s. A couple of years later, America got its first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. As baseball’s popularity increased, the business associated with it boomed. Each year the World Series became the most anticipated event in America and 1919 was expected to be the biggest yet. Record attendance at games and more revenue following World War I gave the 1919 World Series an edge in profitability. However, at the same time "the lines between gamblers and ballplayers had become blurred." While some gamblers were former baseball players, other current players were big gamblers. Thus the scandal of 1919 and years to come was conceived.
The Black Sox scandal has its roots in gambling. Betting on baseball games was nothing out of the ordinary, and seeing that the World Series was the biggest game of the year, gambling was getting extreme. People were placing their bets on which team would win, with a hefty sum of money to be divvied up in the end. Some thought the Reds would win, while others thought it would be the White Sox. However, a certain group decided that they wouldn’t have to guess; they knew which team would win by doing everything in their power to make it that way. William Burns and Milly Maharg were planning on fixing the game to make a large profit. Being a former player himself, Burns convinced a group of White Sox players to rig the game while Maharg gathered an exclusive group of gamblers to place bets on the Reds. Almost a half a million dollars were placed on the Reds...

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