THE BLACK SOX SCANDAL

  Joann and I recently watched the movie, “Eight Men Out.” There is also a book by Eliot Asinof concerning this scandal.  We enjoy baseball so we we were intrigued by this show.  The Black Sox Scandal took place in October of 1919 during the World Series games.  Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned for life from baseball for intentionally losing games, which allowed the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series.  The conspiracy was the brainchild of White Sox first baseman, Arnold “Chick” Gandil, who had  longstanding ties to petty underworld figures.  Gandil enlisted several of his teammates, motivated by  dislike of club owner Charles Comiskey, whom they perceived as a tightwad.  Comiskey had developed a reputation for underpaying his players for years, under the Major League Baseball reserve clause. This clause was that the players either had to take the salary they were offered, or couldn’t play Major League Baseball, as they were property of the original team, and no other team was allowed to sign them. 

  Money talks and these eight players were convinced that here was a chance to make some big money, so they agreed to lose the World Series.   In the end, the gamblers bet nearly half a million dollars on the Reds, while agreeing to pay the players $ 100,000 to split.  And, so what if it was illegal?  No one would ever find out.  The fix was a success and the fans couldn’t even tell the Series had been thrown.  Word continued to spread, and rumors were around through the next season. Finally, late in 1920, the eight players dubbed the “Black Sox” were indicted.  However, all of the men were cleared of criminal charges.  But, the new commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, said, “Regardless of the verdict of the juries, No player that throws a ball game…will ever again play professional baseball.”  So all of these men were banned from professional baseball for life.  

  One of the most popular players was Shoeless Joe Jackson whose part in the conspiracy remains controversial. Jackson maintained that he was innocent. There is still a question today about him being admitted in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Jackson did not die bitter for it is reported that he said, “I am going to meet the greatest umpire of all – and He knows I am innocent.”

  This scandal is easily the biggest and darkest event in baseball history.  Baseball suffered a near-fatal blow upon revelation that the infamous Chicago ‘Black Sox’ had thrown the 1919 Series. What a black mark it leaves on all of life when we try to cut corners, cheat, lie and do illegal things.  We hurt ourselves and all others whom we influence with such shallow, shabby, sinful living.  God’s Word states, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”  Galatians 6:7  Again in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Live to please Him.

3 Responses to “THE BLACK SOX SCANDAL”

  1. Well Bro. Max , you have done it again ! They just keep getting better. God has truly blessed you with the gift of down to earth ideas to put into words that not only relate to the time we live in but also what happens when we live and do things that are wrong and against what God’s word teaches us on living a right kind of life.To be sure, our sins will find us out. I pray that God will continue to use you in reaching others with these words of wisdom !
    Love , your # 1 fan, Joann

  2. Hi Max, I loved your baseball reminescences.I am also a Tiger fan. In fact our son Matt, now a vice-president of US Bank was a batboy for Sparky Anderson for 4 years. It was a great experience.

  3. Max, as you indicate, our sins will find us out. We would do well to remember that God sees everything we do and say and think. This is an awesome thought – on one hand convicting, and on the other hand, so reassuring. Thanks for a great devotional. Have a great week!

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