Marcus: How the Black Sox Scandal unfolded 100 years ago

From Steven Marcus at Newsday on July 13, 2019, with mention of SABR members Jacob Pomrenke, Bill Lamb, and David Fletcher:

“Say it ain’t so, Joe’’ probably was never said, but for nearly 100 years, that line has been synonymous with Shoeless Joe Jackson and the most notorious event in Major League Baseball history: the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

Jackson and seven teammates on the Chicago White Sox were charged (but not convicted) of conspiring with gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. But in a stunning display of his authority, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball’s first commissioner, ignored the jury’s verdict and banned the players for life.

‘’His goal was that he would have the authority to act in the game’s best interests,’’ said Lincoln Landis, the 96-year-old nephew of the commissioner, who held the position for 24 years until his death in 1944.

“He stated that that was his goal,’’ Landis said from Locust Grove, Virginia. “He was determined to make sure that the game was straightforward, that it would not cause fans to lose their trust in the game.’’

A century removed from the Landis decision, some family members and supporters have remained determined to clear the names of players — Jackson and Buck Weaver in particular — but no commissioner since Landis has come close to reversing that landmark ruling.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 15, 2019. Last Updated: July 15, 2019.