Fitzpatrick: Little-known Philadelphian and meaningless Phillies game helped break open 1919 Black Sox Scandal

From Frank Fitzpatrick at the Philadelphia Inquirer on October 21, 2019, with mention of SABR member Bill Lamb:

The 1919 baseball season in Philadelphia, like so many others, passed uneventfully. The Phillies and A’s both finished last, a combined 99 ½ games behind the league champions. Together, they drew fewer than half-a-million fans.

A year later, however, when the foul scent of scandal caused journalists and an Illinois grand jury to re-examine the conclusion to that season, Philadelphia found itself at the forefront of an episode that changed baseball forever and inspired a fascination that endures a century later.

It’s been 100 years since eight Chicago White Sox players took money to lose the 1919 World Series. The “Say It Ain’t So” saga of those Black Sox remains one of sports’ most compelling cautionary tales.

But if not for Philadelphia, that sordid affair, like so many other gambling cases during the game’s first 50 years, might have remained an unsubstantiated rumor or been whitewashed by baseball’s powers.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 21, 2019. Last Updated: October 21, 2019.