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Friday, October 11, 2019


One hundred years ago yesterday, “Say it ain’t so, Joe” was penned by Chicago Daily News reporter Charley Owens in reference to Chicago White Sox baseball player “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s confession that he was involved in a scheme to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.

Called the Black Sox Scandal, the uproar occurred when it became known that eight members of the White Sox organized the World Series “fix” with a gambling syndicate associated with Arnold Rothstein.

Back then, the Series played nine games.  With the Series standing at 4-3 in favor of Cincinnati, the last game was played on October 9, 1919 with the Sox losing to the Reds 10-5.
All eight players, including Shoeless Joe, were banned from the Major Leagues for life.  While many appealed the ban, including Joe, no quarter was granted by Baseball Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis, an ex-federal judge.

Shoeless Joe Jackson, left, was one of the more prominent ball players accused of accepting a $10,000 bribe in 1919 (about $150,000 in 2019 dollars).

More on the Black Sox Scandal. Click here.

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