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Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series Paperback – May 1, 2000
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“The most thorough investigation of the Black Sox scandal on record ... A vividly, excitingly written book:” ―Chicago Tribune
“Dramatic detail ... an admirable journalistic feat.” ―The New York Times
“As thrilling as a cops and robbers tome.” ―The Boston Globe
From the Back Cover
But to the horror of the entire nation -- it was. The headlines proclaimed the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America!" In this timeless classic, Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire story of the infamous scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series to Cincinnati. Scene by scene, he vividly describes the tense meetings, the hitches in the conniving, the actual plays in which the Series was thrown, the Grand Jury indictment, and the famous 1921 trial. Further, he perceptively examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the conditions that made the improbable fix all too possible. Here, too, is a graphic picture of the American underworld that managed the fix, the deeply shocked newspapermen who uncovered the story, and the war-exhausted nation that turned with relief and pride to the Series, only to be rocked by the scandal. Far more than a superbly told baseball story, this compelling American drama will appeal to all those interested in the history of American popular culture.
Top Customer Reviews
The eight disgraced ballplayers who threw the 1919 World Series have been dubbed the Black Sox for posterity, yet with two exceptions, they are the most sympathetic characters in the whole sordid story. Chick Gandil, the tough first baseman who hatched the scheme, and his friend Swede Risberg, nasty tempered shortstop, who needed no prodding to join in, don't come off well. The rest of the crew, however, seem to have joined in a half-hearted, hapless manner. Particularly tragic are Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of baseball's greatest all-time hitters, whose talent was only exceeded by his naivete, and Buck Weaver, the outstanding thirdbaseman whose only real fault was his loyalty to his friends in not reporting the scheme, as he took no part in throwing the games, and accepted no money. These clueless, grossly underpaid ballplayers, most of who profited little or nothing from the fix, were the only ones punished for the scandal that rocked the nation.
The tale of the gamblers involved is as fascinating as it is telling. Three distinct levels of gamblers were present in the fix. Sleepy Bill Burns was an ex-ballplayer and small time gambler who did the legwork, consulting with the players. He went bust and was double-crossed by both the gamblers above him and Chick Gandil.Read more ›
The book certainly makes you feel sympathetic toward "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver. Like Pete Rose, these two players probably deserve some of the forgiveness that we're so proud of. Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame and Weaver's name should be cleared.
The writing is superb. It gives us a good feel for the intensity surrounding a World Series, the world of gamblers and the world of sportswriters.Read more ›
While some new information has come to light in the last thirty-five years, it has only supplemented what Asinof learned--to my knowledge none of it has been refuted. Considering the number of basements and old offices likely cleared out in the intervening time, and at least one definitely pertinent discovery that I'm aware of (the Grabiner notes), this is quite an accomplishment. Recommended both as baseball history and as a portrait of a lusty, turbulent time.
Since this book first appeared in 1963, free agency boosted player salaries, the missing grand jury confessions surfaced (in offices of Comiskey's late attorney), and this book's movie plus FIELD OF DREAMS brought the scandal to recent light. One thing hasn't changed; the underdog White Sox still have been in just one one World Series (which they lost)in all the years since 1919.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. I've read 3 or 4 times. It recounts the throwing of the 1919 world series by the Chicago White Sox (to be forever known as the Black Sox).Published 1 month ago by WhataKrok
I thought the topic here was fascinating but the book was just OK. The sheer audacity of it all and the melange of double crossers and honest and dishonest players makes for quiet... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wrigley16
I read this book as part of a reading challenge. The category for which I read it was 'a book published the year you were born'. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kara Neal
Others have reviewed it thoroughly, so I will just say that this is a must read for anyone who truly appreciates the game of Baseball. Read morePublished 5 months ago by PB
A riveting book that I couldn't put down. Much more detail than the movie. So many facets involved in this story. A must read for baseball fans.Published 5 months ago by Mark Sejnowski
Great book. While the movie is also a great one, I highly recommend reading the book to bring it all together.Published 6 months ago by Robert J Salerno