Factors that led to the Black Sox Scandal of 1919

This paper discusses the factors that led to the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. It will, also, analyze the economic conditions and the societal standards, which led the players to throw the game. It is significant to note that the Black Sox Scandal happened during the time when the American baseball teams played in the World Series of 1919 (Deveney, 2009). As a result of this a lifetime ban was raised against eight players of the Chicago White Sox stopping them from playing baseball because of intentionally allowing the Cincinnati Reds to take the lead and carry the title of the World Series. According to Deveney (2009), Arnold “Chick” Gandil who, at the time was the first baseman of the White sox was the brainchild behind the entire conspiracy following his enduring draws to insignificant underworld figures.  In conjunction with Joseph “Sport” Sullivan, a professional gambler who was, also, his friend, they organized to pull` the fix. They approached Arnold Rothstein, a New York gangster, who agreed to supply the money through Abel Attel, his lieutenant who was, also, a former featherweight boxing champion (Nathan, 2005).  

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Gandil, in his efforts to actualize the fix, enlisted a number of his teammates who were, also, motivated by the unlikable management styles of the club owner Charles Comiskey. Comiskey was known everywhere for poorly paying his players for many years (Nathan, 2005). This was one of the factors that led the players to throw the game. He relied so much on the MLB reserve clause, which required that players were obligated to take the salary or payment that their clubs offered (Nathan, 2005). Besides, it was easy to convince these members because all of them comprised a fraction of the team, which did not like the so called straight-laced players within the squad. The straight-laced team comprised the second faction of the team and it included members like pitcher Red Faber, catcher Ray schalk and second baseman Eddie Collins (Deveney, 2009). The two factions never mingled freely, never spoke and shared anything with each other even while they were not on the field. It was only their resentment of Comiskey that made them look like they had something in common.   

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There are various economic conditions that led the players to throw the game in the 1919 World Series. In the views of Elish (2008), 1918 had a lot of shaky monetary underpinnings, which created a lot uncertainty in regards to the future of the game. There was a staggering world economy coupled with World War I that affected many businesses. Since baseball was a business whose success depended on fans who had some income to dispose at the ballpark. The heat of the economy had taken money away from people’s pockets and only a few could manage to attend the game. This led to low income from baseball, thereby resulting to extremely low salaries to the players. In fact, after the regular baseball season in 1918, most people expected professional baseball to vanish for cease especially after conclusion of the series. Besides, as a result of the World War II, the economy was so bad that the 1919 series was not expected to happen (Elish, 2008). Most clubs had cut the salaries for their players by half. It was, therefore, easy to convince the players to throw the game because that was the only way they could get lamp sum payments from the gamblers who took advantage of the situation.   

There are a number of societal standards that led the players to throw the game. In the early 1900s, there was a lot of poverty and immigration coupled with labor domination battles (Deveney, 2009).  Therefore, the society expected any baseball player and any other player of a professional game to meet the standards of a better life. On the contrary Comiskey’s Chicago white sox paid its players extremely poorly, and did not treat them well. This provoked players to use any opportunity they found to enrich themselves (Nathan, 2005). However, it is significant to note that such kind of a fix could not happen in the today’s society. This is because, the world economy has improved greatly, and most clubs are able to pay their players well. Considering the reserve clause and the payments of the time, it makes little sense to begrudge the players for throwing the game. The reserve clause was the source of all the injustice such as limiting the freedom and salaries. It did not give players any room to negotiate their terms.    In conclusion, there are various economic conditions that led the players to throw the game in the 1919 World Series. In the views of Elish (2008), 1918 had a lot of shaky monetary underpinnings, which created a lot uncertainty in regards to the future of the game. There was a staggering world economy coupled with World War I that affected many businesses. There are a number of societal standards that led the players to throw the game. In the early 1900s, there was a lot of poverty and immigration coupled with labor domination battles (Nathan, 2005).  Therefore, the society expected any baseball player and any other player of a professional game to meet the standards of a better life.

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