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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
"As Jackson departed from the Grand Jury room, a small boy clutched at his sleeve and tagged along after him. 'Say it ain't so, Joe, ' he pleaded. 'Say it ain't so.'"
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.
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Rumors ran wild during the Series and at times it looked like the whole deal might fall apart. Players weren't being paid, some of them weren't really even in the loop about which games were to be thrown. The players began to buck the gamblers, only receiving minimal payments to keep the deal from going belly-up. Still, the Sox lost the series and huge profits were made by gamblers.
It took nearly a year for the scandal to truly come to light and go to trial. While a couple players may have initiated the deal, they all ended up the losers. None of them were ever paid the money they were promised by the gamblers. No one ever went to jail, but the eight players were all banned from every playing baseball again. For some, this was fair, but for a couple, they never took a "dirty dime" and never made a dishonest play. But their knowledge of the plan left them all out in the cold.
This story is incredible and the author does a fantastic job of tying everything together. While reading this, it is amazing that the deal ever actually happened. No two hands ever seemed to know what the other was doing. The story is also still relevant today, and is such a fascinating tale that even those who aren't really fans of baseball will enjoy this book.
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Eliot Asinof tells the history of the 1919 World Series. Most prior accounts have been fragmentary.Read more