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Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series

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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!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's l 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!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati. Mr. Asinof 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. Moving behind the scenes, 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 is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties.


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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!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's l 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!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati. Mr. Asinof 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. Moving behind the scenes, 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 is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties.

30 review for Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    When I was a lad, I used to love baseball. Part of my obsession with the sport was collecting baseball cards. When I was in the hospital to have my tonsils removed, my Dad brought me a stack of cards to cheer me up. It was the best gift ever. I think I sort of blanked out from the anesthesia and my mother left the cards at the hospital. I’m still not over this today. Even after spending thousands on therapy bills, just thinking about this is like setting a match to the drum of gasoline that is m When I was a lad, I used to love baseball. Part of my obsession with the sport was collecting baseball cards. When I was in the hospital to have my tonsils removed, my Dad brought me a stack of cards to cheer me up. It was the best gift ever. I think I sort of blanked out from the anesthesia and my mother left the cards at the hospital. I’m still not over this today. Even after spending thousands on therapy bills, just thinking about this is like setting a match to the drum of gasoline that is my dormant inner rage… Where was I? Oh, yeah, baseball. Loved baseball, didn’t miss a game on either radio or TV. Idolized the players. The heroic, perfect players. Then as I grew older, I realized athletes aren’t the bee’s knees. They drink, take drugs, cheat on their wives, gamble... And nothing done on a ballfield can really be considered heroic. They can be assholes, just like you and I. Well, more like me. The early 1900’s were good times for the sport. Baseball and its players were held in high regard by the adoring masses – the game’s popularity had reached a frenzied peak. The Chicago White Sox were the best team in baseball; sadly, and here’s the rub, they weren’t paid as such. Charles Comiskey, although a brilliant innovator in the early days of the game, was a hard-assed miser when it came to paying his players anywhere near their market value relative to what others were paying. In some cases, players on other teams with half the talent were being paid twice the salary. Comiskey and his stooges would take advantage of his illiterate players when it became time to negotiate salaries and sign contracts. The ballplayers are portrayed as country hicks who went to the big city to play baseball rather than remain home, like Lil’ Abner, being chased around by scantily clad, horny hillbilly women. And because anti-trust laws didn’t apply to baseball, the players were treated as chattel – “You can’t play anymore? Thanks for everything and clean out your locker on your way out.” “You don’t like what you’re being paid, well, you not only can’t play baseball for us, we’ll make sure you’ll never earn a living at this game playing for anyone else!” So before the 1919 World Series began, when the White Sox were about to clinch the pennant, disgruntled White Sox players approached gamblers with the idea of throwing the World Series for money. The machinations and subterfuge as written here is well wrought, interesting and fairly easy to follow. With most unsavory activities planned out by “bumpkins” and greased by the avarice of the underworld, it, of course, doesn’t go undetected. Baseball owners knew that any hint of scandal could overturn the wheel barrel of $$ that they were raking in and the twisted “justice” is diabolical in how it’s brutally and sadly rendered. This book is a stand-up triple and is recommended for fans of sports books, lovers of baseball and readers who believe that crime in all its assorted guises ultimately does not pay.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    "Who is he, an actor?" "No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then added coolly: "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919." F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby This is a TOP TEN book in my baseball library. Availability. IN PRINT – New, used, Kindle available. Type. HISTORY/PLAYERS Use. READ _explanation_ The Introduction by Jay Gould – baseball fanatic extraordinaire, world famous evolutionary biologist, popular science writer of books such as Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and The "Who is he, an actor?" "No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then added coolly: "He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919." F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby This is a TOP TEN book in my baseball library. Availability. IN PRINT – New, used, Kindle available. Type. HISTORY/PLAYERS Use. READ _explanation_ The Introduction by Jay Gould – baseball fanatic extraordinaire, world famous evolutionary biologist, popular science writer of books such as Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and The Panda's Thumb – gives a sweeping view, in all of four pages, of the story this book tells. He paints a tapestry containing The Godfather, Part II, W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe, Arnold Rothstein, the gambler who performed the "brilliant and audacious Job" of fixing the 1919 World Series; of the American way of life, of human drama at its best; Bill James essay on game fixing during the teens and twenties; the way players such as Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, and Smokey Joe Wood were entangled by rumor and innuendo, if never by concrete evidence of fact; but after all these famous players were accused in one way or another, "no plot was so sensational, no resolution so fierce as the Black Sox Scandal. The "eight men out" of the Black Sox embody what can only be called baseball's most important and gripping incident." The fall after the 1919 World Series there were many rumors going around that the outcome had been fixed by gamblers. As far as the general public knew, these were no more than speculation. As fall wore into winter, the rumors gradually died out, the average fan had other concerns. (White Sox fans were not so quick to move on.) Just after New Years, on January 5, 1920, the baseball world was consumed by the news that the Boston Red Sox had sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. This submerged the last of the lingering suspicions, even for many White Sox fans. But throughout the year 1920, as baseball resumed and the players who had agreed to throw the Series continued their careers, rumors wouldn't quite go away. Finally, in September 1920, a grand jury was convened to investigate. The grand jury handed down its decision on October 22, 1920, and eight players and five gamblers were implicated. The indictments included nine counts of conspiracy to defraud. The baseball owners, eager to do something about the state of gambling in the game, had decided to appoint its first Commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Landis assumed the new office prior to the 1921 season, and one of his first acts was to use the unprecedented powers granted him by the owners to place the eight accused players on an "ineligible list", a decision that effectively left them suspended indefinitely from all of professional baseball. The trial of the players took place in Chicago. It began on June 27, 1921, and went to the jury on August 2. In just three hours the verdict was returned. All players were found not guilty on all counts. But the players' playing time in the Major Leagues did not resume. The morning after the trial the Chicago papers, rolling off the press, reported on the front page a statement issued by Landis: "Regardless of the verdict of juries, no player who throws a ball game, no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ballgame, no player that sits in conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing a game are discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball." [from the book and Wiki] The book under review has pages and pages of information about the players involved. However, since it's scattered, I've not attempted to scoop overviews of the players from that source. Instead, most of what follows is edited from player portraits contained in The Ballplayers. Some information was also taken from The World Series and The Baseball Encyclopedia. Photos (with one exception) are from the Field of Dreams movie, which featured five the Black Sox players among those stepping out of the cornfield. All references to "WS" are for the 1919 World Series. The seven Shoeless Joe "Field of Dreams" Jackson. Outfield. Born: 1889, Pickens County S.C. Age during WS: 30 Died: 1951, Greenville S.C. Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe Jackson WS record: batted .375 with 3 doubles, a homer, and a team leading 6 RBI. 17 OF chances, no errors. Supremely gifted in his baseball ability, supremely limited in his ability to deal with life [until his later years, when his disappointments receded into the corners of his memory]. Could hit, run,and throw with the best but lacked education, judgement, and character. When his limitations overcame his gifts, it was a tragedy of both baseball and American life. [Had the fix never happened, he would surely have ended up in the Hall of Fame.] The illiterate son of the cotton-town South, ignorant of city ways, easy to ridicule for everything but his baseball talent. His first ML team, the Athletics, turned him sullen and ineffective with their cruel, mocking humor. He was shipped to Cleveland. In Cleveland he was accepted by his teammates, and responded with the great years of his career. From his first full year, 1911, through the 1914 season, he hit .408, .395, .373 and .338, with power. Unerring in the field, he had a powerful and accurate arm, and ran the bases well. Money troubles forced Cleveland to trade him to the White Sox in 1915. [His hitting was no longer as good as initially, but still he was a star on the great team assembled by Charlie Comiskey. He had good years left, too - .351 for the 1919 pennant winners, and .392 the next year – the year after the fix.] Friends pointed to his .375 WS average as evidence that he'd played on the square [and very likely he had], but he had undoubtedly accepted the promise of $5000 to help throw the games. [This was the amount Jackson received. Like the others, he had been promised more, but none of them were ever been given the promised amounts]. Banned from baseball, he returned to his small South Caroline town, started a dry-cleaning business, and eventually prospered. Occasionally he swung "Black Betsy", his famous bat, in sandlot and outlaw games. In time, he retrieved some of his dignity if not the glory. Locally, he was warmly regarded at his death. Eddie "Field of Dreams" Cicotte. Pitcher. Born: 1884, Springwells Michigan Age during WS: 35 Died: 1969, Detroit Steve Easton as Eddie Cicotte WS record. Pitched 21.2 innings to a 2.91 ERA, lost two of the three games he started. Had he not agreed to throw the 1919 WS, would have been remembered as one the era's greatest pitchers. His career spanned 1908-1920. Won 208 games, had 20 wins in three of his last four seasons. Led the AL in wins with 28 in 1917 and 29 in 1919. Cicotte was paid $10,000 for his part in the fix. "Though he took the bribe, he was not one of the disgruntled players at the core" of the group. "He was unhappy with his salary as his career wound down, and wanted to buy a farm for security. 'I did it for the wife and kiddies,' he explained, but he had to work many years at Ford in Detroit before he could afford to retire." Chick "Field of Dreams" Gandil. First Base. Born: 1887, St. Paul MN Age during WS: 32 Died: 1970, Calistoga CA Art LaFleur as Chick Gandil WS record: 7 for 30, 1 error in 82 chances In the mid 1910's Gandil made the acquaintance of Sport Sullivan, a sports gambler and bookie. Sullivan had rich and powerful friends, and his friendships with ballplayers like Gandil were crucial to a World Series fixing scheme he planned to pull off. Gandil had rejoined the White Sox in 1917, but he was a malcontent, and was later to be considered the ringleader of the 1919 fix. His contacts with Sullivan, Abe Attell, and Billy Maharg paved the way for the scandal. Gandil refused to play for Comiskey in 1920, due to a salary dispute with the penurious owner. He never played again. Claude "Lefty" Williams. Pitcher Born: 1893, Aurora Missouri Age during WS: 26 Died: 1959, Laguna Beach CA WS record 0-3 16.3 IP gave up 12 runs on 12 hits and 8 walks Had fine season with the White Sox in '16 and '17, played seldom in '18 as he worked in a shipyard. "The moody, inarticulate Williams roomed with Joe Jackson. Williams was at his peak (22-14) in 1920 when he was banned. He'd pitched poorly in the 1919 WS (0-3), a glaringly incongruous performance after he'd had a 23-11 record during the regular season. Swede "Field of Dreams" Risberg. Shortstop. Born: 1894, San Francisco Age during WS: 24 Died: 1975, Red Bluff CA [of course one thinks immediately of Swede Lvov] Charles Hoyes as Swede Risberg (???) Swede Risberg WS record: 2 hits in 25 at bats, 4 errors in 57 chances Risberg helped destroy a team that might have rivalled the great Yankees of the 1920s. Barred for life, he also fixed games in his rookie year (1917) and in 1920. Rough and rangy, he once knocked out a minor league umpire with one punch after a called third strike. [no, not Swede Lvov] Risberg despised his double play partner, Eddie Collins, for his talent, character, education, air of superiority, and above all, salary. He preferred the tough Chuck Gandil, who enlisted the young shortstop as his first lieutenant in the fix. During the trial Joe Jackson requested protection after Risberg threatened to kill him if he dared talk. 'The Swede is a hard guy', said Jackson. During his exile, Risberg played semi-pro ball, worked on a dairy farm, and ran a tavern which proudly displayed his name. He was the last survivor of the eight Black Sox. Oscar "Happy" Felsch. Outfield. Born: 1891, Milwaukee Age during WS: 28 Died: 1964, Milwaukee WS record: batted .192, committed two OF errors [here's Asinof's description of the first play in the top of the 6th inning, game 5, scoreless tie: Eller led off with a fly ball to left center. Jackson and Felsch took off after it. For a moment it seemed as if either one could get to it. A moment later, it was apparent that neither would. The ball fell between them, and Eller raced around first. Felsch picked the ball up and threw badly to Risberg at second. The Swede played the ball listlessly, allowing it to roll away from him. Eller, standing at second, dashd for third. Risberg's throw to Weaver was late. Eller was suddenly a terrible threat to break the tie. By the time the inning ended, Cincinnati led 4-0. It ended 5-zip.] A superb outfielder with exceptional range and a rifle arm, still shares the records for double play by an outfielder in a season (15) and assists in a game (4). Warm, smiling, and amiable, he loved silly riddles, whiskey, ribald jokes, and baseball. The fun-loving Felsch gravitated to the more raucous members of the Sox. These included the ringleaders of the conspiracy. Years later he told the author [of this book] "There was so much crookedness around, you sort of fell into it. I was dumb, all right. We started out talking about all the big money we would take, like a bunch of kids pretending to be big shots. [hmm … sounds like Studs L] I never really believed it would happen … and the next thing we knew, we were all tied up in it." Once he agreed to the plan, this simple man found himself in a situation he couldn't control. The gamblers had a hold on him. Through threats, they forced him to throw more games in the 1920 season. When the scandal came out and he was barred, he was just emerging as a top power hitter. Fred McMullen. Utility. Born: 1891, Scammon Kansas Age during WS: 27 Died: 1952, Los Angeles WS record: 1-2, did not field Minor player in the scandal. "The least significant of the Black Sox had very little opportunity to throw games, pinch-hitting twice in the tainted Series, singling once. A capable backup third baseman, McMullin was aware of the fix, and was banned." … and then there was the eighth man out George "Buck" "Field of Dreams" Weaver. Third Base. Born: 1890, Pottstown PA Age during WS: 29 Died: 1956, Chicago Michael Milhoan as Buck Weaver WS record: batted .324 with 4 doubles, 27 chances at 3B without an error Slick-fielding Weaver was at his best in the 1919 World Series, cracking 11 base hits. But seven of his teammates were, to varying degrees, at something less. Weaver was not part of the "conspirators"; but he knew about it, had even sat in on some of the meetings, and said nothing. "He was lumped with the other Black Sox and banned from baseball for life, his "never snitch" ethics at odds with Judge Landis' jurisprudence. Chicago fans repeatedly petitioned for Weaver's reinstatement, but he was never pardoned for his failure to warn baseball that his teammates had sold their honor." Asinof devotes the first four pages of his last section about Weaver's attempts to be vindicated for not selling out his friends. When he started this long trek he was certain that he would not be banned. He had taken no money. He had played his best. Landis, to whom he personally talked, refused – though not to his face. When their private meeting ended, Landis said he would write him. He never did, simply made a press announcement that lumped him with the others. Two other commissioners, years later (Happy Chandler, Ford Frick) also refused. When James T. Farrell met Weaver years later, he found, "… a thin , pale, gray man in his sixties. He dressed on the sporty side, and there were small red blotches on his face. He smiled easily and readily." He ran a drugstore for many years, "avoided social events where prominent sporting people gathered because he did not wish to be the subject of either their sympathy or their contempt. He would pass his time with a group of friends playing pinochle in the back room of a saloon. He never drank or caroused. His wife was devoted to him, and he to her. They had no children of their own, but raised two children of relatives." The last place he played baseball was in an Iowa cornfield, years after he died - along with some of his disgraced teammates, who he had refused to snitch on. This book is where it all comes together. The early history of baseball, the beginning of the office of the commissioner, the owners unleashing of Babe Ruth on the record books and the way the game was to be played, references to the time in literature and movie. Any fan of the game, or fan of American history at the dawn of the twentieth century, would find the book to be a wonderfully interesting read. For another baseball review: _to TOP TEN_ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: Under the Volcano classic Next review: Some Desperate Glory WW I diary More recent review: A Mencken Chrestomathy Previous library review: Summer of '49 Next library review: Baseball's Benchmark Boxscores

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fred Shaw

    Excellent account of the famed "Black Sox". Too bad that a few bad apples spoiled the game for some excellent athletes forever.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Franky

    As a baseball fan, I couldn’t help but read Eliot Asinof’s novel without thinking about the current state of baseball. Baseball, in recent years, has taken quite a hit (sorry for the pun) with its battle over steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). As the sport probes further into this scandal to clean things up, baseball itself is reeling, the public often disenchanted with the grand old game. A proverbial witch hunt to find out who was “doping” has left us to question not only the mor As a baseball fan, I couldn’t help but read Eliot Asinof’s novel without thinking about the current state of baseball. Baseball, in recent years, has taken quite a hit (sorry for the pun) with its battle over steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). As the sport probes further into this scandal to clean things up, baseball itself is reeling, the public often disenchanted with the grand old game. A proverbial witch hunt to find out who was “doping” has left us to question not only the morality of the sport, but has paved the way for other questions: Who from this “steroid era” should be in the Hall of Fame? Which heralded records and statistics should stand? What can be done to improve the integrity of the sport? Much like the current PED Scandal, the infamous Black Sox Scandal of 1919 shocked and disillusioned fans of the sport nearly a century ago. And much like this current scandal, it was a difficult chore trying to piece together exactly how it started, who was guilty, and what further solutions there were to the problem. This novel has much relevance to corruption that runs amok in any sport. Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out is an intriguing look at the White Sox 1919 World Series scandal, which involved the “fixing” of the World Series, including all events leading up to it as well as its crushing effect on the players and the sport. What the author does particularly well is set the stage for telling of what happened by outlining all principle individuals involved, including the eight players on the White Sox as well as the owners and big-name gamblers, and does so with a timeline that takes us to events leading up to the White Sox-Reds World Series and then detailing the public exposure and the trial. You get some perspective as to why such talented players on the White Sox would even want to along with this. Asinof clearly adds his own color to the events and those involved, but his book is well-researched and written, with an eye for detail and accuracy. Particularly poignant is Asinof’s depiction of public reaction to this scandal: “…the American people were at first shocked, then sickened. There was hardly a major newspaper that did not cry out its condemnation and despair…It was a crushing blow at American pride.” In many respects, Eight Men Out has as much to do with a dark moment in America’s baseball history as it does greed, gambling and the corruption of power in sports and business. It is really a brilliant read for anyone interested in baseball or historical events.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Kennedy

    This is the kind of nonfiction read I love, a book about an iconic incident you think you know something about. "Say it ain't so, Joe!" That's pretty much what I knew of the "Black Sox" baseball scandal. Everything I thought I knew about the throwing of the 1919 World Series turns out to be wrong. Just about every fact Mr. Asinof unearthed surprised me: Why did they do it? Were they just bad apples? When did people start to suspect the fix was on? Who initiated the fix? Who really made money? Who This is the kind of nonfiction read I love, a book about an iconic incident you think you know something about. "Say it ain't so, Joe!" That's pretty much what I knew of the "Black Sox" baseball scandal. Everything I thought I knew about the throwing of the 1919 World Series turns out to be wrong. Just about every fact Mr. Asinof unearthed surprised me: Why did they do it? Were they just bad apples? When did people start to suspect the fix was on? Who initiated the fix? Who really made money? Who was indicted and who was convicted? Was justice served? Did anyone live happily ever after? Not only does Mr. Asinof illuminate this one sad incident in the great sport of baseball, he places it evocatively in an era when the game was transitioning from a sandlot pastime played by talented but naive amateurs and run by ruthless businessmen to a professional sport played by trained pros and governed by rules enacted to eradicate the exploitation of the early years. Asinof examines the series literally pitch by pitch, hit by hit, to show how the games were cleverly thrown. He does the same with the trial, witness by witness, motion by motion. It can all get a little confusing, but stay with him. It's like watching a ballgame on TV -- you can get up, make a sandwich, walk the dog and call your mother and when you sit back down, it's still the same inning. You'll figure it out. Watch the movie Eight Men Out, too. It'll help.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    Love baseball and loved this book. If you like baseball then this is the book for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Bramlett

    The Major League Baseball World Series has been a celebrated event for decades. Hundreds of thousands crowd around their TV to watch America’s pastime or if they are if they are lucky enough get to watch the game first hand. But the fans of the Chicago White Sox during the 1919 fix were not so lucky. The struggles and steps taken by the players and gamblers during the fix was packed into this intriguing book by Eliot Asinof. The story is about a New York gambler, Arnold Rothenstein that wanted t The Major League Baseball World Series has been a celebrated event for decades. Hundreds of thousands crowd around their TV to watch America’s pastime or if they are if they are lucky enough get to watch the game first hand. But the fans of the Chicago White Sox during the 1919 fix were not so lucky. The struggles and steps taken by the players and gamblers during the fix was packed into this intriguing book by Eliot Asinof. The story is about a New York gambler, Arnold Rothenstein that wanted to make some extra cash by betting on the world series. He then isolated eight underpaid Chicago White Sox players who kindly agreed to throwing the world series for double then what they made all year. They were playing the Cincinnati Reds, who were the huge underdog. Many people were suspicious of the White Sox because of the large bets being placed on Cincinnati. I think that Eliot Asinof did a very good job of describing how the series went game-by-game and pitch-by-pitch. I believe that the players in this situation were very desperate for money because of their very small salary. Bench player for lesser teams were making as much or more than the great Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte. I do think that what they did was disloyal to their coaches,fans, and other players. Players that were in on the fix would make very subtle mistakes like not charging a ground ball fast enough or taking a bad angle on a fly ball. During game one Eddie Cicotte pitched and did not listen to his catcher who was not in on the fix and he only threw fastballs and was not throwing strikes. Now, I do not think that any players would even think of throwing the world series. I think that it was wrong what the players and gamblers did but I enjoyed this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Closer to 4.5 but still incredible. Having loved "Shoeless Joe"/Field Of Dreams and barely getting through the movie version of Eight Men Out when I was much to young to appreciate it, I was very surprised about how little I knew of the machinations of the Black Sox scandal. This book is essential baseball reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Eight Men Out (the movie) was one of my favorite baseball movies, so I thought I'd listen to the audio book. There is A LOT more to the story in the book than there was in the movie. It is interesting how gambling really controlled baseball back in the beginning of the sports. For example, people would toss rocks at the outfielders trying to catch a fly ball if they had a bet on the game. And the weird thing is, there was no rule against it! After reading the book, you can understand more why Bar Eight Men Out (the movie) was one of my favorite baseball movies, so I thought I'd listen to the audio book. There is A LOT more to the story in the book than there was in the movie. It is interesting how gambling really controlled baseball back in the beginning of the sports. For example, people would toss rocks at the outfielders trying to catch a fly ball if they had a bet on the game. And the weird thing is, there was no rule against it! After reading the book, you can understand more why Bart Giamatti took such a hard line against Pete Rose. You just cannot have any association with gamblers and organized baseball. The throwing of a world series back in 1919 would be like a team throwing the Super Bowl now. It was the national past time and it was the biggest sporting event in the country, bar none. After reading the book, it's still hard to figure out if Joe Jackson was clean or dirty or just naive. Even Buck Weaver, who was played by John Cusack in the movie and was my favorite character, knew about the scandal, even if he did refuse to play a part in it. The owner (Charles Comiskey) was definitely a cheap skate and was really why the players did what they did. The White Sox were one of the greatest teams in history and it's a shame what happened.

  10. 4 out of 5

    BELIEVESINMIRACLES

    Short, sweet and simple. Loved the book, intrigued by the whole Black Sox scandal of 1919. LET JOE INTO THE HALL OF FAME, COMM MANFRED !!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Very detailed, but incredibly interesting for this historian and baseball enthusiast.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luke Koran

    What do you think of when the phrase “Black Sox” is mentioned? Many recognize the term and know at least a little about the players or sporting event it infamously refers to, which arguably is one of the greatest scandals in the history of sports. When pressed further, the casual baseball observer will mention the perceived innocence of the great “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, while more in-tuned sports enthusiasts will enlighten you as to how the eight players were so desperate to go through with this What do you think of when the phrase “Black Sox” is mentioned? Many recognize the term and know at least a little about the players or sporting event it infamously refers to, which arguably is one of the greatest scandals in the history of sports. When pressed further, the casual baseball observer will mention the perceived innocence of the great “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, while more in-tuned sports enthusiasts will enlighten you as to how the eight players were so desperate to go through with this immoral plan all because of their penny-pinching owner, Charles Comiskey. (Hey, even just knowing about the "Black Sox" from the iconic film "Field of Dreams" is good enough background knowledge in my book!). Both of these oft-told tales and assumptions are addressed here in writer Eliot Asinof’s book “Eight Men Out”, and surprisingly, everything you thought you knew about the Black Sox will be turned inside out and tossed on its head! Asinof painstakingly recreated the most complete tale yet of the 1919 World Series, going well beyond the initial newspaper accounts and common narratives and attempts to fill in much of the personal movements of each party involved, which once was thought impossible due to the the code of silence held by both the gamblers and players involved. Finally, the world is given the opportunity to reset their first impressions on the notorious, shameful sin that was the throwing of the 1919 Series and rejudge each variable and person involved. Asinof is successful in providing incredible details in all relevant areas of the Black Sox Scandal, while simultaneously emotionally transporting the reader back to a time in America right after the hardships of World War I and immediately before the cultural and financial excesses of the Roaring Twenties. After reading through the pages of why each player did what they did and how the dirty world of the big-time gamblers (and owners and executives, for that matter) operated in this specific event, the reader can only help but feel at least a little pity, if not empathy, for the eight men banned from professional baseball for life. From the legendary Shoeless Joe to the truly innocent Buck Weaver, the reader begins to realize that the affable Happy Felsch sadly had said it right: “The joke seems to be on us.” This biography truly tells-all, and is a must-read for all baseball enthusiasts, especially those who are generally unaware of how the greatest fix in the history of sports came about. Be prepared to reset your long-held opinions on this matter, until the final pages!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie Nisinson

    Reading this book is a good way to understand how truly appalling some Americans' behavior was in the name of Capitalism before the Depression. Sometimes the prose gets a little purple and I wish Asinof were more detailed about citing his information, but whatever because it's history meets baseball and I'm 100% here for it. The best part for me was the middle section in which Asinof reconstructs the highlights of the actual games of the 1919 Series, but that's probably because it's February and Reading this book is a good way to understand how truly appalling some Americans' behavior was in the name of Capitalism before the Depression. Sometimes the prose gets a little purple and I wish Asinof were more detailed about citing his information, but whatever because it's history meets baseball and I'm 100% here for it. The best part for me was the middle section in which Asinof reconstructs the highlights of the actual games of the 1919 Series, but that's probably because it's February and I miss baseball.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This was a very good, very informative book. I feel really sorry for the ballplayers. They threw the World Series and were the best players of the time. Now history just remembers them as cheaters. They were betrayed by the gamblers and at the end just wanted to clear their names. Very sad ending. Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo Miro-Maldonado

    Really enjoyed this book! It was a very easy read, the writing was superb and it all just flowed so smoothly. Every baseball fan should read this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    I don't know what it says about me that I can watch a Shakespearean tragedy and be more or less unaffected, but that reading Eight Men Out just tore my heart out. Should these ballplayers have been punished for throwing World Series games? Absolutely. But when you learn the extenuating circumstances regarding their meager pay and treatment by Charles Comiskey, it’s hard to not feel like the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, compounded by the fact that the gamblers involved in the fix got off sco I don't know what it says about me that I can watch a Shakespearean tragedy and be more or less unaffected, but that reading Eight Men Out just tore my heart out. Should these ballplayers have been punished for throwing World Series games? Absolutely. But when you learn the extenuating circumstances regarding their meager pay and treatment by Charles Comiskey, it’s hard to not feel like the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, compounded by the fact that the gamblers involved in the fix got off scot-free, in part due to assistance by Comiskey himself. Buck Weaver, Shoeless Joe, and Eddie Cicotte are particularly tragic figures, and their lifetime bans hurt the most. On another note, this book was written in 1963 which is like 25 years earlier than I thought. I've seen the 1988 movie based on the book and figured that the book was published around that time. Not so. Author Eliot Asinof was actually born the same year that the 1919 fix occurred. Regardless of when this thing was published, it reads easy. Eight Men Out has a lot of moving parts and plenty of material to cover (lots of people, two different fixing operations, an entire World Series, an investigation, and multiple trials/court actions) but the chapters still managed to fly by. I particularly appreciated that Asinof managed to keep the chapters of the book about the World Series contained and to the point. I’ve read plenty of baseball books where readers received pitch-by-pitch coverage of baseball games and I’m usually ready to tear my hair out by the second inning. Asinof covers the World Series comprehensively but focuses on the aspects that are of relevance to the story he’s telling and as a result, doesn’t overstay his welcome. Bravo! And while the writing is mainly workmanlike, every so often Asinof would bust out a particularly good turn of phrase. I particularly liked the following, regarding manager Kid Gleason's suspicions of his team during the Series: "It was apparent that there were no facts. Reality was a vague stink that anyone could smell, but no one knew where it came from." My only real quibble with the book is some confusion around how the two different fixing operations went down. I had a hard time understanding what the two groups of gamblers knew about, how aware the players were of these two distinct groups. For the most part, though, Asinof does a good job of keeping everything straight. I also appreciated his ability to keep the reader aware of the book’s timeline. I had no idea that the investigation, grand jury, and trial stretch into the next season and playoffs. Nor did I realize how close the White Sox came to winning the pennant the following season, which could have potentially resulted in the White Sox playing in a World Series DURING the court proceedings on the previous year’s World Series fix. The PR nightmare that would have been is kind of a wonder to think about. So all in all, a good book. Totally worth reading if you’re a baseball fan, though I would recommend watching Field of Dreams as a chaser. I suppose after a heaping helping of unyielding justice, I need a bit of mercy (even if it’s fiction) to help take the edge off.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Ayris

    As a huge cricket fan I guess that at some time in my life it would be inevitable that I would fall in love with Baseball. I read WP Kinsella's Shoeless Joe and the lesser known, but far superior in my opinion, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy some time back but I could never really get into the game. This season though, the penny has dropped and not a night goes by when I'm not glued at some stage to the baseball on ESPN America. If this is middle-age, then, well, I love it. So, to the book. Eight M As a huge cricket fan I guess that at some time in my life it would be inevitable that I would fall in love with Baseball. I read WP Kinsella's Shoeless Joe and the lesser known, but far superior in my opinion, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy some time back but I could never really get into the game. This season though, the penny has dropped and not a night goes by when I'm not glued at some stage to the baseball on ESPN America. If this is middle-age, then, well, I love it. So, to the book. Eight Men Out tells the true story of eight players from the great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 who were thrown out of baseball forever - some of the players like Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver being at the peak of their talent - for allegedly conspiring to throw the World Series by taking bribes from gamblers. The America of the time, on the verge of prohibition, and baseball at the time , in the grip of millionaire mogul owners, is wonderfully described and gives a resonant backdrop to the lives and actions of the largely uneducated, naive ball players. Asinof takes the reader through the conspiracy, describes beautifully the actual games in the World Series and reveals in a heart-breaking fashion how the players faced their eventual outcome. It is a cautionary tale of how it is so easy to make a rash decision without the full knowledge of consequences, how a machine - whether it be the underhand web spinning of lawyers or the high minded morals of the super rich can grind a man down and literally trample upon his field of dreams. Sport even today is littered with stories of players and teams who have let their talent be used for the betterment of their bank role by finding themselves in league with professional gamblers and syndicates. My own beloved cricket has seen some of the most high profile casualties - from Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield here at Essex Cricket Club to the three Pakistan bowlers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir and of course the late South African Captain Hanse Cronje. When I finished reading Eight Men Out I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness and an urge to read once again the wonderful books of WP Kinsella so I can once again raise the games I love to pursuits of wonder and those that excel to the role of heroes. If you have an interest in the history of sport then I highly recommend this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Arnold

    This is a book that was written and made for a person who truly understands the concepts of baseball and money as one. Professional baseball is a business and the quicker people understand that, the quicker they can use that to their advantage. The men of this time knew that the game was new and wanted to make the most money off of it. So when they payed the players to lose the games, it was for the maximum profit from bets placed on the games. This book gives great detailed descriptions of the This is a book that was written and made for a person who truly understands the concepts of baseball and money as one. Professional baseball is a business and the quicker people understand that, the quicker they can use that to their advantage. The men of this time knew that the game was new and wanted to make the most money off of it. So when they payed the players to lose the games, it was for the maximum profit from bets placed on the games. This book gives great detailed descriptions of the events that happened during the 1919 World Series and the scandal involved. It was a very solid book that I read with ease. Being interested in baseball and the finances involved, I understood the basics of the book and that helped my fly through the book. I also used the pictures of the characters in the middle of the book to help me correlate the words in the book to the characters who were saying them. If you don't know baseball very well and don't understand the finances behind it, this may be a tough book to read. It also has a lot of references to the times of the United States in the late 1910's and if you don't know anything about that either, again this book will be challenging. The best part of this book was the diologue between characters. It was not exact diologue between the characters, obviously, because there is no way to know exactly what people are saying to eachother at that time. But the diologue seems so accurate and makes so much sense that it would be as if it was exactly what they were saying to eachother. Every character in the book was either a player on the Chicago White Sox, or a gambler/associate that played a large role in the throwing of the World Series. The combination of the diologue and the author's input comes together to form a great book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cole Hamilton

    I think that the purpose of the author to write this book was to inform sports readers or anyone about the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and how eight of the players tried to fix the World Series for 100,000 dollars. Its a biography about the team so you know he wrote it to inform everyone who has heard about it on what actually happened. The theme of the story is that the pressures of baseball in 1919 was very high that it turned very talented men to betray the game of baseball. So don't fall under t I think that the purpose of the author to write this book was to inform sports readers or anyone about the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and how eight of the players tried to fix the World Series for 100,000 dollars. Its a biography about the team so you know he wrote it to inform everyone who has heard about it on what actually happened. The theme of the story is that the pressures of baseball in 1919 was very high that it turned very talented men to betray the game of baseball. So don't fall under the pressure because it can get you in a lot of trouble, like these players couldn't play anymore after they were caught. I think the author was also trying to say that anyone can fall under peer pressure because these players were a sure win in the World Series but they cared more about the money because they dint feel they were getting payed enough. This book was written in a combination of a description and a narration. The story was wrote about the 1919 baseball team and what happened when they tried to throw the World Series. It was told in chronological order of what happened back then and described everything that happened to the team during 1919. I really liked this book, part of the reason is I am a really big sports fan. I also liked it because the autor told exactly what the team tried to do and he explained evrything very well so I understood what the team was trying to do. What i disliked was there was one part that I did not understand very well because there was a lot of guys and he didn't explain them very well but that was the only part I disliked about the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Anyone who is a student of baseball history would do well to read Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out, a highly-detailed account of the infamous Chicago 'Black Sox' and the throwing of the 1919 World Series. This is a very-layered book that describes in great detail the events that led up to the fix. The eight ballplayers and their backstories are described, along with those of the gamblers involved. Other peripheral characters and topics come under scrutiny, such as the tension between the players and Anyone who is a student of baseball history would do well to read Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out, a highly-detailed account of the infamous Chicago 'Black Sox' and the throwing of the 1919 World Series. This is a very-layered book that describes in great detail the events that led up to the fix. The eight ballplayers and their backstories are described, along with those of the gamblers involved. Other peripheral characters and topics come under scrutiny, such as the tension between the players and their tight-wad owner Charles Comiskey, the big-money gamblers, the baseball executives, the legal wrangling, and the aftermath of the entire incident. This makes for an interesting period piece. America had just emerged from World War I and was exhausted, with baseball providing a much-needed escape. The whispers and then the full-blown investigation into the scandal threatened to sour the public on their great pastime. With athletes being paid exorbitant salaries these days, it's hard to imagine that these ballplayers were barely paid a livable wage back then. In light of that, the players themselves (at least most of them) come off as the most sympathetic characters of the whole affair. Everyone else involved, not so much. Much has been written and romanticized about the players over the years, especially the great Shoeless Joe Jackson ("Say it ain't so Joe"), who was caught up in the scandal. At places a bit tedious in the description of the gambling and legal issues, this is nonetheless an insightful book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    An interesting book – I never saw the movie and only sort of knew the full story of the Black Sox. I had a couple of interesting and competing reactions. The first was how different the world is today – the second was how much the world today is the same. First, I was struck by how today when there are accusations of drugging in sports, the principles are millionaire players who immediately point the finger at other people. In 1918, the principles were basically poor kids who did wrong and who t An interesting book – I never saw the movie and only sort of knew the full story of the Black Sox. I had a couple of interesting and competing reactions. The first was how different the world is today – the second was how much the world today is the same. First, I was struck by how today when there are accusations of drugging in sports, the principles are millionaire players who immediately point the finger at other people. In 1918, the principles were basically poor kids who did wrong and who then suffered morally from the knowledge that they had done wrong – they confessed because they hurt inside. Does anyone have this type of morality today? Second, it seems the Black Sox was a shock to the people of the United States who couldn’t believe baseball was corrupt; I lived through another such shock with Watergate – we may have known that politics was corrupt but having it writ so large as it was in the Watergate trials was earthshaking to some of us who had naïve faith in human goodness at all levels. And, the same thing that happened in the Black Sox case, in Watergate continues to happen today: the really bad guys – the gamblers, the politician, the people with money – for the most part get away with everything. It is the poor, the naïve, the mostly honest joes and jills who end up condemned and paying. The book has a bit more detail than I could sustain reading for long periods but certainly gives a complete picture of this story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kara Neal

    Is there anyone honest out there? I read this book as part of a reading challenge. The category for which I read it was 'a book published the year you were born'. As a long-time lover of history and more recent baseball fan, I was intrigued by this title. Frankly, there were so many people involved in this scandal that it was at times difficult to keep the names and roles straight, especially since some used aliases and others, in some fashion or another, changed sides or Their self-defense tacti Is there anyone honest out there? I read this book as part of a reading challenge. The category for which I read it was 'a book published the year you were born'. As a long-time lover of history and more recent baseball fan, I was intrigued by this title. Frankly, there were so many people involved in this scandal that it was at times difficult to keep the names and roles straight, especially since some used aliases and others, in some fashion or another, changed sides or Their self-defense tactics. The colorful, well-developed characters as well as actual headlines and interspersed quotes from various authors fed my hunger to keep reading. Although the book was good, a large part of me is disappointed that the great American pastime is nowhere near as pure as many Americans or fans would like to believe --- not now, not ever--- nor is the American justice system. That won't stop me from enjoying history, baseball, or books. It just solidifies where ( in whom) to place my faith.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    The author of Eight Men Out died last week and I heard of him and the book on a public radio show, Its only a game. I seem to have good luck with books I hear about in this manner. The book is wonderful - there is a wonderful flavor of 1919, of sitting in the ballpark, of gamblers and the obsession that I've come to recognize in the blues guitarist and the baseball fan. The book has the right mix of history, personality and reporting on a black mark in baseball history. I am not a baseball fan b The author of Eight Men Out died last week and I heard of him and the book on a public radio show, Its only a game. I seem to have good luck with books I hear about in this manner. The book is wonderful - there is a wonderful flavor of 1919, of sitting in the ballpark, of gamblers and the obsession that I've come to recognize in the blues guitarist and the baseball fan. The book has the right mix of history, personality and reporting on a black mark in baseball history. I am not a baseball fan by any stretch of any imagination, but I enjoyed the book and appreciate even more those who are baseball fans. Its a much more mathematical game than other sports - even at this time statistics were gathered and shared and memorized. An excellent book all the way through - and possibly one of the saddest stories I've read. Tragic, infuriating and fascinating. Possibly dramatic, but an American tragedy. I am no more interested in watching the game, but I am more intrigued by the fans and the players.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Todd Stockslager

    Originally published in 1963, rereleased in 1987 to coincide with the "Major Motion Picture" trumpeted on the cover. The story of the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, when eight members of the Chicago Sox team of another stripe conspired to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, a heavy on-paper underdog. The eight Sox were charged, tried, and acquitted, but immediately banned from organized baseball for life by new baseball commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, hired specifically for thi Originally published in 1963, rereleased in 1987 to coincide with the "Major Motion Picture" trumpeted on the cover. The story of the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, when eight members of the Chicago Sox team of another stripe conspired to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, a heavy on-paper underdog. The eight Sox were charged, tried, and acquitted, but immediately banned from organized baseball for life by new baseball commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, hired specifically for this purpose. This story is an American tragedy; the reader is drawn to the likable yet gullible baseball players being played for fools by the gambling interests and baseball owners, both with the wherewithal and organization to act to protect their interests and sacrifice the baseball players in a sordid morality tale. The movie is a faithful recreation of the book, taking very few liberties with the historical account.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gerald

    A inside, thorough look at the most serious scandel in baseball, with the 1919 Chicago White Sox accepting bribes from professional gamblers to throw the World Series. It also shows the odious nature of the reserve clause. The reserve clause bound a player to one team for life. They could not play anywhere else, unless the owner allowed it. The reserve clause treated players like indentured servants, with greedy owners paying them nowhere near what they were worth. In an atmosphere of disrespect A inside, thorough look at the most serious scandel in baseball, with the 1919 Chicago White Sox accepting bribes from professional gamblers to throw the World Series. It also shows the odious nature of the reserve clause. The reserve clause bound a player to one team for life. They could not play anywhere else, unless the owner allowed it. The reserve clause treated players like indentured servants, with greedy owners paying them nowhere near what they were worth. In an atmosphere of disrespect, and very low wages, it is easy to see how heads could be turned by thousands of dollars. The fallout from the scandel, even though the players were acquitted of criminal charges(thanks to a mysterious dissapperance of the evidence)cut no ice with commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the players were banned from baseball for life. An absorbing, fascinating look at the early years of baseball, the gamblers who ran riot with cash, buying every player they could bribe. Highly recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Max Newman

    Eight Men Out was not the best sports book I've read, but it's a fair book to read. The book details the 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team, as eight of the players on the team are involved in a scandal. The eight players have struck a deal with gamblers, so the gamblers can win money, as the gamblers have surprisingly bet for the Cincinatti Reds to win. In the end, the Reds do win the World Series, but because the eight Sox players involved in the "Black Sox scandal" intentionally played bad, Eight Men Out was not the best sports book I've read, but it's a fair book to read. The book details the 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team, as eight of the players on the team are involved in a scandal. The eight players have struck a deal with gamblers, so the gamblers can win money, as the gamblers have surprisingly bet for the Cincinatti Reds to win. In the end, the Reds do win the World Series, but because the eight Sox players involved in the "Black Sox scandal" intentionally played bad, thus making the Cincinatti Reds the champs in 1919. the book details the black sox scandal and the aftermath. Fair book overall to read. For sports buffs like me, it's a fine book to read. Eight Men Out wasn't the best sports book Ive read. I would not necessarily recommend it to others. I've read better baseball books than this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    I have always been intrigued by the legendary story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and how the 1919 World Series was thrown by 8 players. The work by the author to piece the details together is worth noting. Not only does the book reveal how stingy owner Charles Comiskey was, paying his players far less than other teams' players were paid as well as breaking promises to them, it paints the picture of the many layers of gambling corruption. While what the players did was obviously wrong, I couldn't help I have always been intrigued by the legendary story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and how the 1919 World Series was thrown by 8 players. The work by the author to piece the details together is worth noting. Not only does the book reveal how stingy owner Charles Comiskey was, paying his players far less than other teams' players were paid as well as breaking promises to them, it paints the picture of the many layers of gambling corruption. While what the players did was obviously wrong, I couldn't help liking them. Asinof does a great job of showing us the personal side of them as well as the player side. It is a bit hard to keep up with who is who regarding all those involved on the gambling side but it all comes together at the end. The book is laid out well by sections and even ends with an aftermath which covers the later years of the main characters and how they lived out their lives.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Olesen

    The material was interesting, the book slightly blah. In short, Comiskey deserved it, for being such a cheap capitalist bastard he was paying his # 1 team one quarter of what the lesser teams got, the equivalent of paying the Yankees on minor league scale compared to the rest of Pro ball. I felt sorry for Shoeless Joe, a simple country bumpkin who just happened to be the best hitter in the country and was constantly taken advantage of because he was illiterate and easy to confuse and mislead. I The material was interesting, the book slightly blah. In short, Comiskey deserved it, for being such a cheap capitalist bastard he was paying his # 1 team one quarter of what the lesser teams got, the equivalent of paying the Yankees on minor league scale compared to the rest of Pro ball. I felt sorry for Shoeless Joe, a simple country bumpkin who just happened to be the best hitter in the country and was constantly taken advantage of because he was illiterate and easy to confuse and mislead. I am amazed at the amount of graft, and the pervasiveness of it, and wonder just how much that money is buying today. How can there NOT be money changing hands behind the scenes? And Pete Rose is just a scapegoat, just like Martha Stewart was.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    A perfect book. Much more then a baseball book---a history of an amazing labor dispute that ended with the throwing of the 1919 World Series. Amazingly, the crooked players come off as the most sympathetic characters in the story. The baseball owners and the big time gamblers were the only "winners" here, much as the CEO's benefit regardless of the performance of the company. Arnold Rothstein, the NYC gambler who bankrolled the fix (immortalized in the Great Gatsby: No he's a gambler. Then Gatsb A perfect book. Much more then a baseball book---a history of an amazing labor dispute that ended with the throwing of the 1919 World Series. Amazingly, the crooked players come off as the most sympathetic characters in the story. The baseball owners and the big time gamblers were the only "winners" here, much as the CEO's benefit regardless of the performance of the company. Arnold Rothstein, the NYC gambler who bankrolled the fix (immortalized in the Great Gatsby: No he's a gambler. Then Gatsby hesitated and added cooly, He's the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919.), considered the players "rubes", which to him meant "a talented guy who consented to work for peanuts." There is no better expression of how a boss views his underlings.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Wow. I knew little about the Black Sox aside from watching "Field of Dreams" and the repeated phrase of "Say it ain't so, Joe." This book gives a broad scope of the key people involved with the 1919 World Series. Not a heart warming book by any means; after all it is all about corruption--though it is fascinating. Wondering why Asinof doesn't list his sources?

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