Until his fateful involvement in the plot to fix a World Series, Fred McMullin was known as the Chicago White Sox’ “lucky man.”1 His addition to the starting lineup coincided with late-season surges to win the American League pennant in 1917 and 1919.
Today he is mostly thought of as the “forgotten man” – in a scandal often called baseball’s darkest hour. Fred McMullin was the Eighth Man Out, the most obscure of the White Sox players who agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. He was banned from Organized Baseball by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and was blackballed in semipro games near his home in Los Angeles.2
Fred McMullin’s story is a series of contrasts. A man once commended for chasing gamblers off a field in Boston was suspended permanently because he accepted a $5,000 bribe to help his team lose. He was indicted by a Chicago grand jury in a story that made headlines across the nation, yet he spent the final decade of his life as a respected lawman in California.
Frederick Drury McMullin was born on October 13, 1891, in Scammon, Kansas. He was the first of nine children born to Robert D. and Minnie Rea (Davis) McMullin. Robert McMullin was born in Johnson County, Indiana, and moved to Kansas after marrying Minnie in 1890. Robert worked a stint as a railroad laborer before turning to carpentry, a trade he continued for most of his life. Minnie – who would outlive her son Fred by 11 years – was the only child of Antrim and Louisa (Rea) Davis.3
After Robert and Minnie’s sixth child, Dale, was born in 1905, the family packed up and moved to Southern California. They lived on Elmyra Street in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, a few miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, and Fred soon enrolled at nearby Los Angeles High School. The school’s baseball team was a strong one: Fred Snodgrass, a recent alumnus, had signed with the New York Giants, while McMullin was a teammate of Johnny Rawlings, who would also play in the major leagues.4
In 1910, at the age of 20, McMullin joined the Long Beach Sand Crabs of the newly formed Trolley Car League, so named because the teams in Pasadena, Redondo Beach, and other towns were all linked by the transit system of that era. The teams were subsidized by the Pacific Coast League, but under-financed, and many players did not get paid. The league folded after a few weeks.5
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McMullin took a job as a blacksmith apprentice that summer and continued to play ball around Los Angeles. In September he had a tryout with Sacramento of the PCL, and made one appearance for them, in a game against the hometown Los Angeles Angels. The next year, he played in the Southern State League, for teams in Long Beach and San Bernardino.6
In 1912 McMullin headed north to play for the powerhouse Seattle Giants of the Northwestern League. The Northwestern League was considered “one of the best of the smaller leagues for the development of players,”7 and included such helping hands as former White Sox manager Fielder Jones and New York Giants great Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity to coach the young prospects. The Seattle Giants had little use for a green youngster like McMullin. As Seattle fell into last place two months into the season, Fred was sold to the Tacoma Tigers.8
The move paid off for both. The Giants surged to win 27 of their final 31 games and take the pennant, while McMullin finished the year strongly and began to feel at home with Tacoma. Mac, as he was often called, ended his first full professional season with a .250 average, including 21 doubles and 6 home runs, in 141 games.
Tacoma was a nurturing environment for the 22-year-old McMullin. He hit only .236 in 1913 and showed little patience at the plate. But he continued to stir praise with his play in the field, and won a starting job at third base, appearing in 172 games. His appetite for baseball didn’t wane during the offseason, as he again played for various winter-league teams back home in California before reporting to Tacoma in the spring of 1914.9
Expectations were higher for McMullin after he had a year of experience. Manager Joe McGinnity placed his young second baseman in the cleanup spot to open the season, giving McMullin a great boost of confidence. Mac made enough of an impression that McGinnity released captain Bill Yohe on June 15 and installed McMullin at third base.10 Mac began to set himself apart in the field, and he was frequently cited in newspaper reports for his heady play.
As the calendar rolled to July, Mac’s play began to earn notice in Detroit. The major-league Tigers had an option to purchase players from the minor-league Tigers. The Tacoma Daily News profiled McMullin on July 23, stating that “his batting is much better than heretofore and as this was the only thing that kept him from the ‘big noise’ the past two years, he is almost sure to get his chance.” The next day, he had two more hits, scored two more runs, and “played like a major leaguer. … No player who has worked on the local field this year could hold a candle to McMullin the way he has been going the past two weeks.”11
The Detroit Tigers asked for Mac to report “at once.”12 McMullin’s contract was sold for $2,000 on August 13, and he left to join the Tigers in Cleveland. But with Donie Bush firmly in place at shortstop, and George Moriarty and Ossie Vitt holding down the fort at third base, the Tigers didn’t have much room in the infield for a rookie.
Mac rode the bench for nearly two weeks without once appearing in the lineup for Hall of Fame manager Hughie Jennings. Watching greats like Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford must have been exciting for McMullin, who had never attended a major-league game. But he longed to get on the field. He did – just once. His major-league debut came on August 27, 1914, and it was the only appearance Mac made with the Tigers.
Late in a blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox, manager Jennings decided to empty his bench, sending up rookie Harry Heilmann to pinch-hit in the eighth inning. After the future Hall of Famer drove in a run with a fly ball to center field, McMullin (playing his first game) was called upon to hit for reliever Ed McCreery (playing his last). Against the left-hander Ray Collins, who won 20 games that season, the 22-year-old McMullin was overmatched, striking out weakly. Taking the field for the bottom of the eighth, Mac recorded a hat trick of sorts: a putout, an assist, and an error.13
McMullin’s one inning at Fenway Park was the last of his 1914 season. He spent the next month sitting beside Jennings in the dugout for the Tigers. There seemed to be no room for Mac in the Tigers’ infield, and Tacoma exercised its option to re-sign him in January.14
During the 1914-15 offseason, McMullin played for an Imperial Valley winter-league team in El Centro, California, near the Mexican border; his teammates included major leaguers Dave Bancroft, Slim Love, and Emil “Irish” Meusel.15 Although McMullin struggled at the plate, he still attracted the attention of Frank Dillon, manager of the Pacific Coast League’s Los Angeles Angels, and signed with the Angels on February 11.16
McMullin was expected to fight for the third-base job with veteran George Metzger, a career minor leaguer. Surprisingly, it was Mac’s hitting that was thought to give him an edge. His .293 average at Tacoma in 1914 was nearly 60 points higher than Metzger’s, although Harry A. Williams of the Los Angeles Times cautioned that Mac “may encounter considerable difficulty in establishing business relations with the Coast League hurlers.”17
Williams’s words were on the mark, as McMullin started slowly at the plate while facing faster company. But his play at second base was solid, and he rivaled future major leaguer Joe Gedeon – who would play an indirect role in the Black Sox Scandal a few years later – among the PCL’s top middle infielders. McMullin’s average began to creep toward .300 by midseason. When the Los Angeles Times picked its PCL all-star team, Mac was chosen at third base, along with Gedeon and – coincidentally – two of Fred’s future White Sox teammates, Swede Risberg of Vernon and Lefty Williams of Salt Lake City.18
McMullin sustained his first serious injury on July 23, when San Francisco’s Biff Schaller spiked him in the leg in the first inning. Mac was carried off the field and taken to a local hospital. He was sidelined for nearly three weeks.19 During the layoff, McMullin got married. He and his bride, 23-year-old Delia A. Barnabe, were wed on August 5 by a justice of the peace at the Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, California.20
Delia was the daughter of an Austrian immigrant who had moved west with her family around the same time as the McMullins a decade earlier; they had also settled in Lincoln Heights near downtown Los Angeles. Born in 1892 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Delia was the oldest of Louis and Margaret (Kotze) Barnabe’s three children. Their youngest son, Charles Barnabe, played 16 seasons in professional baseball, including 29 appearances for the White Sox in 1927-28.
In the meantime, the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees were engaged in a fierce battle for McMullin’s services.
George Davis, a Hall of Fame shortstop for the Giants and White Sox, was now a Yankees scout and he had been watching McMullin and infielder Zeb Terry for weeks. After the Angels returned home from a road trip to San Francisco on August 26, Davis went to Los Angeles vice president T.J. Darmody eager to sign the young pair to contracts. The White Sox had an agreement with the Angels to purchase any player on their roster, but the deadline for that option was August 15. When White Sox owner Charles Comiskey sent word that he wouldn’t take any Angels – despite reports that one or both might be included in a trade for Cleveland Indians star Joe Jackson – Terry and McMullin became fair game for the Yankees.21
However, according to Los Angeles Times writer Harry A. Williams, an urgent telegram from Comiskey arrived in Darmody’s office 10 minutes before Davis showed up – closing the deal with Chicago. Reported Williams: “Davis was visibly disappointed. … The sale of Terry and Mac to the White Sox was outright and for cash, delivery to be made next spring. … Fast and brainy, Terry and McMullen [sic] not only form the youngest keystone combination in the league, but one of the best in its history. … It was only by a small fraction of time that Terry and McMullen failed to land with New York instead of Chicago.” The two players were sold for $7,000 each and finished out the season with the Angels.22 McMullin hit at a solid .279 clip, with 25 doubles and 33 stolen bases (eighth in the league). He was also the PCL’s top sacrifice bunter, with 49.
Chicago’s infield, like the Tigers’ a year earlier, was crowded. Mac had an idea how tough it would be to break into the Sox lineup: “The only chance I would have against [Eddie] Collins at second base would be for Eddie to drop dead.”23 Zeb Terry, not McMullin, won the shortstop’s job in spring training, while Buck Weaver began the season at third base. Mac would have to wait to get a chance in the big leagues.
Even his first appearance with the White Sox was not an appearance at all – on April 16 against the Browns, McMullin was sent up to pinch-hit for pitcher Mellie Wolfgang in the seventh inning. St. Louis then substituted Dave Davenport for starter Carl Weilman, who had walked the bases loaded. So Chicago manager Pants Rowland replaced McMullin with lefty-hitting Jack Lapp to face the right-handed Davenport. Lapp walked to force in a run, but the White Sox still lost the game, 6-5.
Mac got his first major-league hit a week later at Cleveland, a single off left-hander Fritz Coumbe, after subbing for Terry at shortstop again. The White Sox, with a 6-8 start, had fallen to seventh place and Rowland was looking to shake things up. On April 27 he benched Terry and inserted McMullin into the starting lineup, moving Weaver back to shortstop.24
The moves paid immediate dividends, as the White Sox’ three-game losing streak ended with a 5-3 win. Rowland stuck with the revamped lineup the next day, and Mac singled to drive in his first major-league run, the Sox’ only run in a 2-1 loss to Cleveland, on April 28. Chicago ran off three straight wins after the shakeup, but then lost nine of 11 to fall into last place.
A bad break cost McMullin the best chance he would have to hold onto a regular spot. On June 2 he sustained an injury in pregame practice at Detroit. It was originally diagnosed as a badly sprained foot, thought to put him out for a couple of weeks. It turned out to be a bone fracture, and it sidelined McMullin for more than a month. He was hitting .295, 10th best in the American League, but Chicago was still only in sixth place.25
McMullin returned to the starting lineup on July 10, going hitless in seven at-bats in a doubleheader against the Red Sox. The time off had disrupted his hitting stroke. He began a 2-for-25 slump, and his average fell to .257 by the end of the season. Chicago moved into a tie for first in early August, but the White Sox’ run atop the American League lasted less than a week and Boston won its second consecutive pennant.
For his part, McMullin hit .257 in 68 games as a rookie, although he scored just eight runs. He went home to California pleased with his performance and optimistic about 1917. In November he helped the Angels celebrate a “day” for ex-Cubs star Frank Chance. The “Peerless Leader” had managed Los Angeles to the PCL championship, and McMullin and Zeb Terry returned to play against the Angels as part of an all-star team formed for the occasion.26
Later that month, on November 23, Fred’s wife, Delia, delivered a son, William, at home in Los Angeles. Mac was overjoyed – even going so far as to publicly request a trade back to the Coast League so he could be closer to his family.27 McMullin’s “holdout” didn’t last long; he signed another one-year deal with Chicago on February 27 and prepared for training camp at Mineral Wells, Texas.28 Thirty-year-old veteran Chick Gandil had been purchased from Cleveland for $3,500 to shore up first base. With Eddie Collins and Buck Weaver still around, shortstop was the only open position – and four players were fighting for it.
Risberg won the shortstop job to open the season and the White Sox started on fire, winning five of their first six games and nine of their first eleven. Pitcher Eddie Cicotte, on his way to a league-leading 28 wins and 1.53 ERA, no-hit the St. Louis Browns in his first start, on April 14.
By the end of the month, the White Sox were tied for first place and their lineup was set – and healthy. As a result, McMullin and four other reserves remained in Chicago as the team left for a road trip to Cleveland and St. Louis. Mac had made only two pinch-hit appearances, grounding out both times.
It wasn’t until May 20 that Mac got any extended time in place of Risberg – even then, it took an injury to Swede, and a pinch-hitter for Zeb Terry, whom McMullin replaced in the sixth inning, for Fred to get into the game. His first start in 1917 did not even count as an official game: it was an in-season exhibition on May 28 in Waterloo, Iowa, although he made the most of his action, getting two hits and scoring twice. Mac got another start – and two more hits – in a June 4 exhibition at Newark, New Jersey.29
On June 16 McMullin’s name appeared in the same sentence with gamblers for the first time. This time, he was hailed as a hero (at least in Chicago).
The White Sox had come to Fenway Park for four games with the second-place Red Sox. After Lefty Williams blanked Boston 8-0 on Friday, June 15, Eddie Cicotte and Babe Ruth hooked up in a pitcher’s duel the next afternoon, when threatening clouds appeared in the sky. With the White Sox ahead 2-0 in the fifth inning, rain began to fall. Some fans behind first base, disappointed at the score, began cries of “call the game!” – ostensibly to save the rain checks on their tickets. But newspapers in both Chicago and Boston reported the real reason: to keep their bets on the home team from being lost.30
The Red Sox management had staffed the game with only two policemen for security, far too few to prevent an uprising in the stands. With two outs in the fifth – one more out and the game would become official – “some tall man in a long rain coat took command. Waving to his comrades to follow, he boldly leaped out upon the field. In ten seconds, he must have had 500 followers.” On the surface, they appeared to be heading for the covered pavilion to escape the rain. But this also was the part of the park “where the so-called sporting men congregate daily,” and it was there that “the first cries of ‘call the game’ were heard, and it spread like wildfire.” Once on the field, the “rain-check athletes” milled around until officers from the nearby Boylston Street police station arrived and shooed them into the grandstands. It took 45 minutes to clear the field.31
Near the Chicago dugout, where the fans were being herded off the field, the White Sox players desperately tried to make their way under the stands and out of harm’s way. In the commotion, McMullin and Buck Weaver got into an altercation with a fan, who later identified himself as Augustine J. McNally, of Norwood, Massachusetts. The Chicago Tribune reported: “During the fussing, [McNally] is supposed to have bumped McMullin’s fist with his eye. Also he is supposed to have had his fingers on the railing just when Weaver let his bat fall.”32
Eventually, the dust settled and play resumed in the fifth. Weaver became one of the first few players to hit a home run over the left-field wall at Fenway Park (not yet painted green, or known as “The Monster”), and the White Sox beat the Red Sox, 7-2.
The trouble lingered for McMullin and Weaver, who were served with arrest warrants – McNally had filed assault charges in Roxbury District Court – the following Monday. But after losing a Bunker Hill Day doubleheader, the White Sox immediately left for Chicago, and the case was defaulted until the players could return to Boston later that summer. The trial was delayed again on July 31, and the charges were dropped by the time the White Sox finished their final road trip to Fenway Park in late September.33
Ban Johnson raised a ruckus after hearing of the riot in Boston. The founder of the American League “declared war on gamblers,” who he admitted had instigated the riot. “Gambling has never been tolerated by our league,” Johnson said. “This spring, [Red Sox owner Harry] Frazee advised me he had installed special police in the pavilion where the gamblers congregate. They were put there solely to break up the practice.”34 The gamblers, of course, continued to congregate – at Fenway Park, and across the major leagues.
In early September the White Sox went on a tear. A four-game sweep of the Tigers on Labor Day weekend – an infamous series that would be recalled 10 years later, as Swede Risberg and Chick Gandil accused Detroit of laying down – was the start of a nine-game winning streak for Chicago. With Weaver out because of a broken hand, Mac was in the thick of it all. On September 5 he led a game-winning rally in the 11th inning to beat St. Louis, 4-1. Four days later he initiated a clash with Cleveland’s Jack Graney that resulted in a riot, and the game was forfeited to the White Sox. Chicago opened up a six-game lead on Boston to coast to the pennant.
With the World Series in sight, manager Pants Rowland began to set his lineup for the National League champion New York Giants. Weaver’s return in mid-September created a clutter in the infield, and this time Risberg was the odd man out. The Chicago Tribune reported: “McMullin has been hitting and fielding so well that Manager Rowland hates to remove him now that Weaver has recovered.”35
McMullin’s unexpected performance while filling in during Weaver’s absence brought comparisons to another “super-sub” in Chicago’s past – former infielder George Rohe, who took over for injured Hall of Fame shortstop George Davis (the same Davis who had tried to sign McMullin for the Yankees two years back) during the White Sox’ first championship season, in 1906. Rohe was also one of the stars in the World Series victory over the Cubs.36
McMullin had a similar influence in Game One against the Giants. He was hailed as “Chicago’s hero” after driving in the first run of the fall classic. His third-inning double eluded New York center fielder Benny Kauff and scored Shano Collins to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. One inning later, Happy Felsch homered to provide the decisive margin in a 2-1 victory behind Eddie Cicotte. Mac finished 1-for-3 and made two spectacular plays in the field.
In Game Two, McMullin’s RBI single to center knocked out losing pitcher Fred Anderson in the fourth inning as the White Sox scored five times and breezed to a 7-2 win. He again handled three chances in the field flawlessly.
Mac’s bat went cold thereafter, as he finished the Series with one hit in his last 16 at-bats. But he remained “a tower of strength defensively” at third base, starting two key double plays in Game Five and not committing an error.37
The White Sox won their second championship with a 4-2 victory in Game Six – made famous by Eddie Collins’ “mad dash” across an unguarded home plate as New York’s Heinie Zimmerman gave chase. (The day after the Series ended, McMullin and baseball clown Germany Schaefer re-enacted the play to great acclaim in an exhibition game for soldiers at Camp Mills, New York.)38
The White Sox partied hard on the train back to Chicago, where the players received their World Series bonus checks of $3,669.32. McMullin spent most of his on a small bungalow in Lincoln Heights, less than two miles from where he had grown up and a few blocks from where Delia’s parents lived. He lived in that house on Baldwin Street for the rest of his life.39
McMullin began the 1918 season as a strong favorite to remain as a regular at third base. The press called the White Sox infield “the best in the country,” and it was said “there is no chance that Mac will have to adorn the bench this year.”40 Risberg’s spring performance turned heads, however, and by the end of spring training Pants Rowland was still deciding whether to remain with the lineup that won him the World Series. It was Risberg who opened the season at third base, but McMullin took over in the fourth game. The Sox promptly won four straight.41
Mac took advantage of the opportunity and, by May 8, he was hitting an even .400 – second only to Boston’s Babe Ruth (.407) in the American League, and ahead of Tris Speaker (.393) and teammate Joe Jackson (.379). But a 4-for-27 slump over the next seven games dropped McMullin’s average and, a week later, he was down to .299.
His productive season came to a halt on May 30, when he was spiked by Cleveland’s Ray Chapman in the first inning of the nightcap and carried off the field with a deep gash just above his knee. He missed nearly three weeks and was only rushed back then because Weaver was out with a strained groin and Risberg was bruised up, as well. At the time of his injury, McMullin was hitting .312.
By then the defending champion White Sox were floundering just barely above .500, in fourth place. They were without the services of Joe Jackson, who had taken a job in the shipyards. In late June Chick Gandil left a game in the seventh inning to make an appearance before his draft board on his plea for deferment.42 World War I cast a great shadow over baseball in 1918, and every team was affected.
On July 1 the US government’s “work or fight” order went into effect – and draft-eligible players had to join the military or find “essential” wartime jobs. McMullin played on for another five weeks – and reached a milestone in the process, hitting his only major-league home run, an inside-the-parker, on August 1 against Washington’s Ed Matteson at Comiskey Park.43
Two days later McMullin had his sixth three-hit game of the season, this one against Philadelphia, in front of a tiny crowd of less than 1,000. On August 7 he and Risberg decided to enlist – Swede headed to an Army base in the Bay Area, while Mac joined the Navy and was placed at a submarine base in San Pedro, outside Los Angeles. There, he joined a servicemen’s league that included future Hall of Famers Harry Heilmann and Sam Crawford, as well as major leaguers Irish and Bob Meusel, Howard Ehmke, and Red Killefer, among others.44
Mac’s best season in the big leagues ended with a .277 average, one home run, 16 RBIs, and 32 runs scored in 70 games. When the war ended in November, he and the White Sox looked forward to another run at a championship. Worries about postwar attendance caused owners to shorten the 1919 season to 140 games and cut players’ salaries. McMullin signed for $2,750 after staging a holdout through late March. The Los Angeles Times reported that he again was seeking a trade back to the Pacific Coast League, but White Sox owner Charles Comiskey seemed to ignore his demands again.45
While the holdout likely didn’t play a role, Mac found himself opening the season on the bench as Risberg beat him out for a starting spot in the infield. After a solid year in 1918 and a contributing role in the 1917 championship stretch, McMullin’s lack of playing time drew the attention of The Sporting News: “Can you beat it the way managers are letting this fellow hang around the Sox bench when one of them could grab him off – a player good enough to help win the league and flag and clinch a world’s pennant, and at the height of his game in the big leagues!”46
But the White Sox, on the backs of pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams, soared to a 24-7 start to take a five-game lead on Cleveland. McMullin received scant playing time in the first three months. His longest stretch was in replacement of an injured Eddie Collins at second base for a few games in late May. But as the Sox slumped in June, falling out of the league lead for the first time on June 23, new manager Kid Gleason – a longtime White Sox coach who had taken over for Pants Rowland – decided to shake up his lineup.
For the second time in three seasons, McMullin was brought in to provide a spark. Just as in 1917, Buck Weaver moved back to shortstop and Mac took over at third base. “This arrangement, the same that was used in humbling the New York Giants … proved a lucky one in the first game after it was made. The Sox defeated the Browns, and McMullin made two hits. Whether it makes a turning point in the club’s fortunes remains to be seen,” The Sporting News reported.47
It did. Just as in 1917, the White Sox immediately got hot. After leaving St. Louis, Chicago took three of four from Cleveland and came home to win four of five against Detroit to storm back atop the standings. McMullin’s best effort was a 4-for-5, two-triple performance on July 13, his single-game high for hits. He finished the season with career-best totals in batting (.294), doubles (8), and RBIs (19) in 60 appearances.
By the end of August, Chicago’s lead was up to six games, and the pennant was “a foregone conclusion.” The Atlanta Constitution reported that the White Sox were a 7-to-10 betting favorite over the National League champion Cincinnati Reds. The odds dropped to 5 to 6 by late September, and late betting before the Series began made the Reds a 7-to-10 favorite in some places. The reason for the shift in odds would soon become clear.48
Joe Jackson clinched the pennant for good on September 24 with a ninth-inning walkoff single in a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Browns. For the final week of the season, McMullin was assigned to travel to Cincinnati to scout the Reds in their last series, against the Chicago Cubs.49
Whether Mac followed manager Kid Gleason’s orders and returned with accurate scouting reports remains up for debate nearly a century later.50 What is known is that sometime that fall, McMullin found himself involved in what historians Harold and Dorothy Seymour called “baseball’s darkest hour”: the fixing of the 1919 World Series.51
Most sources, possibly following the lead of Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out, seem to agree that McMullin’s involvement in the plot happened by chance.52 He overheard a conversation with good friend Swede Risberg, in a locker room or a bathroom or a hotel room, and asked to share in the profits. Some have claimed that McMullin, along with first baseman Chick Gandil, was one of the instigators of the fix.53 (In fact, Eddie Cicotte was among them – the White Sox pitcher later testified that “the idea of the fix had originated in a conversation with Gandil and McMullin.”)54 The truth might be somewhere in between. Mac certainly was present for most of the meetings before the Series discussing the fix. He also roomed with pitcher Lefty Williams, a co-conspirator, at the Hotel Sinton in Cincinnati, and he was rarely seen without Swede Risberg, his fellow Californian, by his side throughout the Series.55
What compelled McMullin to risk his career for a promised payoff of $20,000? Perhaps he was frustrated over his lack of playing time – he had certainly played well enough to warrant a starting job in the major leagues, and the White Sox had never seemed to give him a fair chance at that. Or maybe he was bitter at Comiskey’s dismissal of his desire to be closer to Los Angeles, near his family. His preseason holdouts usually had been accompanied by demands for a trade. And while Comiskey’s reputation as a penny-pinching magnate has lived on despite the fact that his payroll was near the top of the American League,56 McMullin’s salary of $2,750 was among the lowest on the team. A nearly 1,000 percent raise for a week’s worth of work would go a long way.
Perhaps the answer is more basic: It looked like an easy score. Indeed, gambling had been a part of baseball since the sport became popular and rumors of fixed games, even in the World Series, had been rampant since the first one in 1903.57 Money often changed hands from player to gambler and from player to player. Back in 1917, it was well known that the White Sox players had collected a pool of $45 apiece to pay off the Detroit Tigers – ostensibly as a “reward” for beating the rival Boston Red Sox in a crucial series down the stretch, but more likely it was to “thank” them for laying down in those infamous Labor Day doubleheaders which Chicago had swept.58
McMullin certainly knew the story of Hal Chase, formerly a teammate of some of his White Sox pals and widely suspected to be the most corrupt player in baseball. Chase had been accused numerous times of taking bribes and had openly tried to entice other players to do the same. After one such incident in Cincinnati, Chase was suspended by Reds manager Christy Mathewson, who reported it to National League President John Heydler. Instead, Chase was acquitted. Mathewson, infuriated, ran him off the team. It made no difference to Chase; he was soon picked up by John McGraw’s New York Giants, and continued fixing games without repercussions. Chase – who like Gandil, Risberg, and McMullin had California connections – also became involved in the World Series fix, reportedly as a middleman for gamblers Bill Burns and Abe Attell.59
Whatever his motivation actually was, McMullin didn’t receive many opportunities – at least on the field – to “earn” the $5,000 he reportedly received for agreeing to help throw the World Series. He singled in a pinch-hit appearance off Reds starter Dutch Ruether in the eighth inning of Game One, and grounded out against Cincinnati’s Slim Sallee to end Game Two. Both were White Sox losses. Chicago went on to lose the best-of-nine Series in eight games.
Despite his lack of playing time, Mac’s name quickly surfaced behind the scenes as rumors swirled that the World Series was not on the level. It was a charge that McMullin vehemently denied, threatening to “punch anybody in the nose who dared suggest he was in on any wrongdoing.”60 But St. Louis gambler Harry Redmon allegedly tipped off manager Kid Gleason to McMullin’s involvement, and when White Sox owner Charles Comiskey sent a private detective, John Hunter, to California to investigate talk of a fix, McMullin was one of the players he tried to interview.61
For a few weeks Comiskey withheld World Series bonuses – the losers’ share came out to $3,254.36 that year – for the eight players rumored to be involved. But McMullin and two other players complained to American League President Ban Johnson, and the checks were soon on their way.62
The Los Angeles Times reported that McMullin returned home “all upholstered like a davenport, … [with] a sufficient sum to make him fair picking for the profiteers this winter.” It was an ominous note.63
McMullin played winter ball for a team called Killefer’s All-Stars, headlined by Chicago Cubs catcher Bill Killefer and including stars such as Gavvy Cravath, Sam Crawford, and Jimmy Austin. Buck Weaver also headlined a team, Weaver’s All-Stars, whose main attraction was newly crowned home run king Babe Ruth.64
Talk of the fixed World Series died down as the 1920 season began. Comiskey, eager to put all the rumors to rest, offered Mac a substantial raise, from $2,750 to $3,600, for his fifth season in Chicago. Unlike in years past, McMullin quickly sent back his signed contract and reported for spring training in Waco, Texas, where he took over at third base while Weaver moved to shortstop. Risberg staged a holdout until early April.65
On the field, Mac’s season was forgettable: He posted career lows in every statistical category, batting just .197 in 46 games. Off the field there were persistent doubts about his activities – he was said to be the “point man” for gamblers in games that the White Sox were supposed to have thrown, a rumor that was even brought up by American League President Ban Johnson.66
If any games were lost purposely by the White Sox that year, there is no firsthand documentation of which ones they were, and McMullin’s involvement never has been clarified. In Eight Men Out, Eliot Asinof specifically lists an April 27 loss to Cleveland as being one of them. On May 9 the “careless Sox” dropped another suspicious game to the Indians. There were reports that Mac offered Buck Weaver $500 to help throw a midseason game, which Weaver “angrily” declined.67
The pattern continued throughout the summer. Chicago stayed within range of the American League lead – but was in first place for only eight days after May 7. Ban Johnson had claimed he heard that “the Sox would not dare win the pennant” because of their ties to gamblers.68
By September the talk of corruption in baseball was too loud to ignore. A grand jury was convened in Chicago, and McMullin was implicated along with Buck Weaver, Chick Gandil, Swede Risberg, Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams, and Happy Felsch for fixing the 1919 World Series.
During the season’s final week, the rumors made Mac a target for opposing fans – and ballplayers. Tris Speaker, the Cleveland manager, scuffled with McMullin before a game at League Park, snapping, “When you birds get back to Chicago and you feel like talking, you can do a lot of it before the grand jury, and your role won’t be that of a witness, either!”69
McMullin was a major focus in one of the last stories before Cicotte made his confession to the grand jury. On September 25 the Chicago Tribune wrote about a “mystery package … in the shape of currency” that Mac had reportedly delivered to Buck Weaver’s home during the Series. The Tribune claimed it was the first evidence that the players had been paid to throw games the previous fall, and that new witnesses would be called to verify it. Mac immediately denied the charges that he had paid Weaver, and few sources since have claimed that Weaver ever received money. The story is mostly forgotten now.70
After Cicotte’s confession on September 28, owner Charles Comiskey immediately suspended McMullin and the other six players. (Chick Gandil had held out in a contract dispute for the entire season.) They were indicted a few weeks later for the vague charge of “conspiracy to commit an illegal act.” McMullin traveled to Illinois at his own expense and, accompanied by Buck Weaver and attorney Thomas Nash, paid a $10,000 bond on November 5. McMullin went back home to California and took a job as a carpenter as he awaited trial.71
While in Los Angeles, McMullin worked for the Universal film studio and accepted an invitation to play in a winter league for that company’s team (which included his brother-in-law, Charlie Barnabe). Investigator Harry Neily, in a letter to AL President Ban Johnson, wrote that McMullin “enjoys a very good reputation out here and the natives were reluctant to believe that he was guilty of misconduct.”72
Still, there was some grumbling about his presence until the local Manager’s Association – which controlled dozens of independent and semipro teams in Southern California – passed a “vote of confidence” in January, allowing Mac to play. One week later, Philadelphia Phillies owner William F. Baker levied a $100 fine against outfielder Emil “Irish” Meusel for playing in a game with the disgraced “Black Sox” infielder, and other teams in Organized Baseball threatened to do the same. It was understood, The Sporting News reported, that McMullin was persona non grata on the same field with “honest” ballplayers. So Mac resigned from the team on January 12, reportedly “because of the embarrassment which it was causing some of the other players.” He kept his job at the film studio, however.73
Even out of uniform, McMullin wasn’t welcome around baseball. In May he paid his way into Washington Park to visit with former White Sox teammates Byrd Lynn, Ted Jourdan, and Joe Jenkins, who were playing for the Salt Lake club in the Pacific Coast League. But there developed “a situation so tense as to be almost painful,” as manager Gavvy Cravath “turned his back” on McMullin and gave him “a stony stare” when he approached the bench. The Los Angeles Times opined that “Mac would save himself, the management and his friends … a lot of embarrassment if he would absent himself, or at least keep in the background.” McMullin called the treatment a “persecution.”74
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the conspiracy trial was no closer to opening and indictments were returned for a second time in the spring of 1921. McMullin was “in hard luck” financially and could not afford to travel back to Illinois. He sent word that the state would have to pay his way for him to be able to stand trial, but his requests – and, indeed, the charges against him – were ignored by all parties. He declined to pay his new bail of $7,500, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. But the state of California refused to extradite him. (It also had refused to extradite Hal Chase, on the grounds that a proper warrant for his arrest had not been issued.) By the time McMullin raised enough money to travel to Chicago on his own, the trial had already begun without him.75
The trial was beset by prosecutorial clumsiness and most observers considered it to be a farce. Before the jury began deliberation on August 2, Judge Hugo Friend stated that he would overturn guilty verdicts against Happy Felsch and Buck Weaver because so little evidence had been presented against them.76
So McMullin watched from afar as a jury failed to convict his seven former teammates, returning their verdict at 11:22 P.M. But whatever hope he had of returning to the White Sox was short-lived, as Judge Landis famously banned them all the next day. McMullin’s professional career was over.
Like many players of that era, McMullin kept quiet about the scandal in the decades afterward. How did he feel about losing his livelihood and being banished from the game at 29 years old? Only he knew. Unlike Buck Weaver, he never applied for reinstatement to the major leagues. Unlike Joe Jackson, he never proclaimed his innocence publicly. He did not give interviews, and if anyone asked him about it, what he revealed in those conversations is probably lost to history.77
The common perception is that McMullin disappeared after the trial. The phrases “dropped out of sight,” “quietly vanished,” and “mysterious” were all used to describe his life after baseball by writers who brought up the Black Sox. Eliot Asinof, in Eight Men Out, did not even mention his whereabouts.78
But he never really went anywhere. His sister, Faye, moved in with Fred and Delia for a year before moving back home to Inglewood, where she later married the city’s first elected mayor, Hugh Lawrence. Meanwhile, Fred continued to work as a carpenter around Los Angeles through 1922, when a second child, Ionia, was born. (Another daughter, also named Delia, was born in 1923.) Fred took various office jobs until the end of the decade. In 1928 he signed on as a traffic manager with the Thomas Haverty Co., where his brother Dale worked as a salesman. But they both lost their jobs a few years later when the Great Depression hit home.79
Both son William and daughter Ionia exhibited their father’s skill on the diamond, playing ball for their high-school teams in the mid-1930s. Fred attended their games regularly, and was also seen at various semipro games in Lincoln Heights and at Brookside Park in nearby Pasadena.80 Ionia later earned a degree from UCLA, as did her younger sister, Delia.
In 1940 Fred began a new career, in law enforcement, that would last the rest of his life. He took a job as a Los Angeles County deputy marshal, where his duties included acting as a bailiff for the Municipal Court, enforcing repossessions and serving arrest warrants and eviction notices – incidents that sometimes required the same quick and brave reactions he used when he played third base in the major leagues.81 McMullin showed a sense of compassion on the job, once delaying an eviction order against a blind woman after watching her struggle to pack up her four kids’ belongings in her upstairs flat.82 After five years, he earned a promotion to senior court officer (he was among the highest in his class in a written examination, although he finished last in the interview portion), and in 1947 moved up another rank, to captain, where he supervised a division of marshals. Even then, his salary was just $417 per month – less than what some of his White Sox teammates had been making in 1919.83
When the marshal department and municipal courts were reorganized by the Civil Service Commission in 1950-51, McMullin and another captain, Harry G. Hurley, who had joined the marshals around the same time as McMullin, were reassigned and lost their rank. They sued the commission in March 1952 and Superior Court Judge Frank Swain ordered the county marshal to restore their ranks and salary, also awarding them back pay of $286.50 apiece.84
McMullin would not live to benefit from the judgment for very long. In his final years, he suffered from arteriosclerosis, a heart ailment. On November 19, 1952, just over a month after his 61st birthday, he had a stroke that caused hemorrhaging in the brain; he died a day later, at 4:40 P.M. on November 20. He was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery.85
A version of this biography appears in “Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox” (SABR, 2015). Click here for more information or to order the book.
Special thanks to the following for their generous assistance: Mark Armour, Carlos Bauer, Marc Blau, Gene Carney, Sesar Carreno, Judy Cash, Timothy Gay, Shav Glick, Tracy Greer, Bob Hoie, Rick Huhn, Bill James, Brian Kamens, Mike Kopf, Bill Lamb, Len Levin, Jim McConnell, Ray Nemec, Rod Nelson, Rob Neyer, Mike Nola, Bill Nowlin, Gabriel Schechter, Ron Selter, Bob Timmermann, David Turk, Dr. Ben Wedro, Paul Wendt, and the staff at the public libraries in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego, California; Tacoma, Washington; and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York.
1 “The White Sox Lucky Man,” Chicago Tribune, July 15, 1919, 16.
2 Paul Green, “After the Scandal: The Later Lives of the Banished Sox,” Sports Collectors Digest, April 22, 1988, 198.
3 Information from United States Census via Ancestry.com and RootsWeb.com, accessed online January 24, 2007. Two of the nine McMullin children died in infancy.
4 Christopher Bell, Scapegoats: Baseballers Whose Careers Are Marked By One Fateful Play (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2002), 21; Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1930; March 25, 1936; May 5, 1940.
5 Jim McConnell, “Football Wasn’t Pasadena’s Only Game in Town,” Pasadena Star-News, March 25, 2002; Jay Berman, “A Streetcar Named Obscurity,” The National Pastime, Society for American Baseball Research, 2000, 58-60.
6 Los Angeles Examiner, September 26, 1910; The Sporting News, October 6, 1910, 8; “Fred McMullin.” SABR Minor Leagues Database, accessed online at Baseball-Reference.com.
7 “Northwestern League.” Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide, 1915 (New York: A.G. Spalding & Bros.), 225, accessed online on July 16, 2008, at memory.loc.gov/ammem/spaldinghtml/spaldinghome.html.
8 Russ Dille, “When Giants Walked Seattle,” The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, accessed online July 15, 2008, at historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=7124. Curated by David S. Eskenazi.
9 Tacoma Daily News, March 23, 1914.
10 Tacoma Daily News, June 16, 1914.
11 Tacoma Daily News, July 24, 1914; Tacoma Daily News, July 25, 1914.
12 Tacoma Daily News, August 12, 1914; Tacoma Daily News, August 14, 1914.
13 Boston Globe, August 28, 1914; The Sporting News, August 27, 1914; The Sporting News, August 20, 1914.
14 Racine Journal-News, January 7, 1915; The Sporting News, September 10, 1914; The Sporting News, September 10, 1914.
15 William F. McNeil, The California Winter League: America’s First Integrated Professional Baseball League (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2002), 47-49.
16 Los Angeles Times, August 18, 1915.
17 Los Angeles Times, February 12, 1915.
18 Los Angeles Times, August 25, 1915.
19 Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1915; Los Angeles Examiner, August 4, 1915.
20 Marriage license for Fred McMullin and Delia Barnabe, Registration No. 19154000776, Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Santa Ana, California.
21 Washington Post, August 6, 1915; Los Angeles Examiner, August 17, 1915; Los Angeles Examiner, August 20, 1915; Los Angeles Examiner, August 21, 1915; The Sporting News, August 26, 1915; Reno Evening Gazette, September 8, 1915.
22 Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1915; Chicago Tribune, August 27, 1915; Chicago Tribune, January 27, 1939.
23 Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1915.
24 Chicago Tribune, April 28, 1916.
25 Chicago Tribune, June 3, 1916; Washington Post, June 4, 1916; Atlanta Constitution, June 18, 1916.
26 Los Angeles Times, November 6, 1916.
27 Los Angeles Times, January 25, 1917.
28 Ancestry.com, California Birth Index, 1905-1995; Chicago Tribune, February 28, 1917; Los Angeles Times, February 28, 1917.
29 Chicago Tribune, May 21, 1917; Chicago Tribune, May 29, 1917; Chicago Tribune, June 4, 1917.
30 Boston Globe, June 17, 1917; Chicago Tribune, June 17, 1917.
32 Chicago Tribune, June 19, 1917.
33 Chicago Tribune, August 1, 1917; Chicago Tribune, June 18, 1917; Richard Lindberg, Who’s On Third: The Chicago White Sox Story (South Bend, Indiana: Icarus Press, 1983), 39-40.
34 Chicago Tribune, June 18, 1917.
35 Chicago Tribune, September 19, 1917.
36 Sheboygan Press, August 20, 1917; Warren (Pennsylvania) Evening Times, October 2, 1917.
37 Chicago Tribune, October 14, 1917.
38 New York Times, October 17, 1917; Washington Post, October 16, 1917.
39 Chicago Tribune, October 18, 1917; “World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares,” Baseball-Almanac.com; accessed online June 22, 2008, at baseball-almanac.com/ws/wsshares.shtml; Los Angeles city directories, 1918-42.
40 Washington Post, March 26, 1918; Chicago Tribune, March 28, 1918.
41 Chicago Tribune, April 26, 1916.
42 Chicago Tribune, June 25, 1918.
43 Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1918; Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1918; Washington Post, August 2, 1918.
44 Chicago Tribune, August 8, 1918, 14; Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1918.
45 Los Angeles Times, February 15, 1919; Chicago Tribune, February 19, 1919; Chicago Tribune, April 2, 1919.
46 The Sporting News, June 19, 1919.
47 The Sporting News, July 3, 1919.
48 Atlanta Constitution, August 31, 1919; Chicago Tribune, October 2, 1919.
49 Washington Post, September 25, 1919; Gene Carney, Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball’s Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2006), 168, 215-17.
50 Mike Kopf, “Advance Scouting … Black Sox-Style.” From Rob Neyer, Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Blunders (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006). In the article and in several personal emails with the author on July 17, 2008, Kopf suggests that McMullin’s scouting reports might have contributed to the so-called “Clean Sox,” including Eddie Collins, Nemo Leibold and Shano Collins, each having a subpar Series against Cincinnati pitching. “Could McMullin have told them to watch for curveballs when they should have been bracing for heat?” he asks. “Now more than ever I think that Fred McMullin was indeed an underrated crook.”
51 Harold and Dorothy Seymour, Baseball: The Golden Age (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).
52 Eliot Asinof, Eight Men Out (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1963), 17.
53 David Pietrusza, Rothstein: The Life, Times and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series (New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers, 2003), 150. Pietrusza reports that Cubs owner Charles Weeghman recalled a meeting with gambler Mont Tennes at the Saratoga horse-racing track in New York in August 1919, and “as Weeghman remembered it,” Gandil and McMullin were “the players involved” in the fix. In Eight Men Out, Eliot Asinof relates Eddie Cicotte’s grand jury testimony: “Then Gandil and McMullin took us all, one by one, away from the others and we talked turkey.”
54 Gene Carney, “New Light on an Old Scandal,” The Baseball Research Journal, Society for American Baseball Research, 2007, 74-81. Parts of Cicotte’s grand jury testimony from 1920 were read back to him when he was deposed four years later in Milwaukee. Happy Felsch, Swede Risberg, and Joe Jackson had each sued the White Sox for back pay due to them. Juries awarded them a pittance of what they seeked.
55 Asinof, Eight Men Out, 17, 91. “Black Sox Scandal (American League records),” National Baseball Hall of Fame Library archives via the SABR Baseball Research Center, San Diego Central Library.
56 For an overview of the White Sox’ salaries in 1919, which weren’t as low as commonly believed, see Bob Hoie, “1919 Baseball Salaries and the Mythically Underpaid Chicago White Sox,” Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, Spring 2012, McFarland & Co.
57 Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 44.
58 No players were punished by Commissioner Landis as a result of this “bribe,” which Swede Risberg and Chick Gandil brought to light in 1927. Landis called for hearings to discuss the matter at his Chicago office, but dismissed the accusations for lack of evidence. The only consequence of this series was that the practice of “rewarding” opposing players, which was common in those days, was formally banned.
59 Asinof, Eight Men Out, 14; Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 250; Martin Donell Kohout, Hal Chase: The Defiant Life and Turbulent Times of Baseball’s Biggest Crook (New York: McFarland and Co., 2001), 244-46.
60 Warren Brown, The Chicago White Sox (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1952) 99.
61 Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 50, 55; Asinof, Eight Men Out, 131.
62 Chicago Tribune, September 24, 1920; Irving Stein, The Ginger Kid: The Buck Weaver Story (Dubuque, Iowa: Elysian Fields Press, 1992), 224; “Black Sox Scandal (American League records),” San Diego Central Library.
63 Los Angeles Times, October 14, 1919.
64 McNeil, The California Winter League, 63-65.
65 Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 15; Asinof, Eight Men Out, 141.
66 Chicago Tribune, September 24, 1920; Asinof, Eight Men Out, 145. Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 212.
67 Stein, The Ginger Kid, 216; Bill Veeck with Ed Linn, The Hustler’s Handbook (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965), 284; Pietrusza, Rothstein, 409; Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1920.
68 Stein, The Ginger Kid, 224.
69 Van Nuys News, November 25, 1920.
70 Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1920; New York Times, September 26, 1920; Boston Globe, September 27, 1920; Asinof, Eight Men Out, 167.
71 Boston Globe, September 29, 1920; Atlanta Constitution, October 30, 1920; Atlanta Constitution, November 6, 1920; Chicago Tribune, November 6, 1920; Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 215-17; Asinof, Eight Men Out, 138-42.
72 “Black Sox Scandal (American League records),” San Diego Central Library.
73 The Sporting News, January 20, 1921; Los Angeles Times, January 12, 1921; Los Angeles Times, January 13, 1921; The Sporting News, January 20, 1921, 8; The Sporting News, January 27, 1921; “Black Sox Scandal (American League records),” San Diego Central Library.
74 Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1921.
75 McMullin reportedly arrived in Chicago one day after the trial began. Because he was still under indictment, prosecutors could have chosen to bring a new trial against him even after his seven teammates were declared not guilty on August 2. But State’s Attorney Robert Crowe announced after the trial that “as far as I am concerned, the case is a closed book” and the charges were eventually dropped. See: Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1921; Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. August 3, 1921; Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 215-17; Kohout, Hal Chase, 246; “State Searching For Lost Papers,” Washington Post, August 4, 1921; Bill Lamb, Black Sox in the Courtroom: The Grand Jury, Criminal Trial, and Civil Litigation (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2013), 106-109.
76 Carney, Burying the Black Sox, 142-44, 147.
77 Green, “After the Scandal,” 197-98.
78 In order, those phrases were used in the following articles: Bob Considine, “On the Line,” Waterloo (Iowa) Sunday Courier, January 12, 1947; John Lardner, “Remember the Black Sox,” The Saturday Evening Post, April 30, 1938; “Concessions, Denials, Obscurity,” Sports Illustrated, September 17, 1956.
79 Los Angeles city directories, 1921-31; Los Angeles Times, February 5, 1931; California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968, accessed online at Ancestry.com, July 20, 2008.
80 Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1936; Los Angeles City Directory, 1938; Shav Glick, “He’s A Rose by Any Other Name,” Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2004; Shav Glick, email correspondence with author, July 14, 2005.
81 Los Angeles city directories, 1941-42; Los Angeles Times, April 1, 1949; Harry G. Hurley and Fred D. McMullin v. Roy W. Carter, et al, Case No. 597431, Los Angeles County Superior Court, filed March 27, 1952.
82 1940 US Census; Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1948.
83 Hurley v. Carter, 1952.
84 Hurley v. Carter, 1952; Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1952.
85 Los Angeles Mirror, November 21, 1952; Los Angeles Examiner, November 22, 1952; Los Angeles Times, November 22, 1952; Los Angeles Herald and Express, November 22, 1952; The Sporting News, December 3, 1952; “Certificate of Death: Fred D. McMullin.” Filed November 21, 1952. State of California, Department of Public Health, Reg. Dist. 1901, File No. 19321.