At the Nexus of labor and leisure: baseball, nativism, and the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
This well-known story has been repeated in various forms, through a variety of media, for decades. (2) Many baseball reporters claim the story is apocryphal, but others insist on its verity. Writer James T. Farrell, a devoted White Sox fan during the time of the scandal, claimed the incident indeed happened, but slightly differently. According to Farrell, in September of 1920, after the story of the scandal broke, over 200 gathered near the clubhouse after a Sox victory over the Detroit Tigers and began calling to Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch as they descended the stairs:
A few fans called to them, but they gave no acknowledgement to these greetings. They turned and started to walk away. Spontaneously, the crowd followed in a slow, disorderly manner. 1 went with the crowd and trailed about five feet behind Jackson and Felsch. They walked somewhat slowly. A fan called out:
"It ain't true, Joe."
The two suspected players did not turn back. They walked on, slowly. The crowd took up this cry and more than once men and boys repeated:
"It ain't true, Joe."
This call followed Jackson and Felsch as they walked all the way under the stands to the Thirty-fifth Street side of the ball park.... Soon Felsch and Jackson drove out in their sportive roadsters, through a double file of silent fans. (3)
Whether or not the story happened this way, if at all, it is a poignant tale not only of children's love for baseball, but also for the role the Black Sox scandal played in exposing deeper divisions in American culture. The scandal became a symbol of the rising post-war tensions over labor relations, race, ethnicity, and nationalism in America. It also became a vehicle for circumscribing the meanings of Americanism.
In Chicago in 1919, and indeed throughout the nation, leisure sites like baseball parks became battlegrounds in which the meanings of Americanism, democracy, and loyalty were negotiated. These sites represented what Nancy Fraser calls "arenas of discursive interaction" in which citizens came together in a shared public space and addressed common experiences and concerns. (4) These sites had within them the potential for creating a shared sense of American identity, but also the possibility of forging a contested urban landscape. Central to discussions about the future of American democracy was the relationship between leisure, labor, race and ethnicity, and public space. (5)
The backdrop for the Black Sox scandal was the end of World War I. Patriotism and the promotion of "one hundred percent Americanism" subsumed all other issues both during and after the war. Discussions of the American victory and the road ahead focused on the need to continue to "make the world safe for democracy" by promoting a particular brand of Americanism at home. On November 9, 1918, the Elgin Watch Company took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times welcoming home American soldiers. "Brave boys! Do you think we don't know the biggest thing that issued from this awful struggle? Ah, but we do. It has purified and burned clear the high white flame of true Americanism." (6) Theodore Roosevelt issued a similar statement regarding the proper ways to keep this "high white flame of Americanism" burning after the war:
There must be no sagging back in the fight for Americanism even though the war is over. Our principles in this matter should be absolutely simple ... [W]e should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separates from the rest of America then he isn't doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here....(7)
This rhetoric of the invasive threats of foreigners reflected America's fear both of internal and external threats, and contributed to the nativist zeal of the post-war era.
Post-war conditions brought this process of defining and constricting the meanings of Americanism into sharper focus. As historian Nell Irvin Painter explains, "The scope of permissible thought narrowed....Disloyalty and hyphenism came to be seen as opposites of 100 percent Americanism..." (8) The changes in northern cities wrought by the war, including the Great Migration of African Americans, the wartime economic boom and labor's concessions to the government, and contested nationalist loyalties among immigrants, had the potential to shatter the delicate peace President Woodrow Wilson negotiated at Versailles. Indeed, within months of the end of the war, packinghouse strikes, steel strikes, and race riots shook Chicago and the nation. Trying to come to grips with these events led many contemporary observers to subsume all incidents of unrest under the rubric of patriotism and Americanism.
A variety of groups helped construct the meanings of Americanism during and after World War I. Employers, social scientists, reformers, workers, the state, and popular culture all played crucial roles in shaping the nation's understanding of American identity. Often these notions of Americanism conflicted with one another. Labor strife and ethnic tensions together became symbols of disloyalty and anti-Americanism among many popular commentators. In the process, radicalism and foreignness were conflated; any challenge to the campaign for "100 percent Americanism," including labor's demands for industrial democracy, was portrayed as a threat to the future of America. The threat, it seemed, was a foreign one, triggered by external forces. As a result, the Hun and the Bolshevik became interchangeable menaces that could undermine and disrupt American institutions. (9)
This article analyzes how the climate of suspicion that pervaded post-war American culture made events like the Black Sox scandal become subsumed under the concerns over the meanings of "Americanism." Baseball players accused in the scandal hoped their testimony might expose the exploitation of a new class of workers, those involved in leisure industries. The prevalent brand of Americanism that dominated civic debate, however, espoused by the mainstream press, civic boosters, and the business community, served to construct leisure and labor as distinct categories. As a result, the Black Sox scandal became an issue not of unfair labor practices or an exploited workforce, nor an issue of how the promotion of leisure culture required new kinds of workers to make it possible. Rather, the Black Sox scandal was interpreted as an instance of "foreign" threats against the wholesomeness of an American institution. Gamblers, with their foreign-sounding names and associations with immigrant working-class subcultures, b ore the brunt of attack, just as did radical ethnic leaders of the steel strike. In both instances, leaders in industry and government placed blame squarely on the shoulders of outsiders bent on destroying the wholesomeness of American institutions, whether it be baseball or industry.
Americanism, Labor, and Baseball
Play and recreation became central elements in the fight to promote Americanism at home, both during and after World War I. Civic leaders looked to the organized play movement as a source for instilling patriotic values in working-class ethnic youth in the cities. Organized recreation was part of a growing movement among urban residents at the turn of the century to recognize the benefits of strenuous activity. As historian Daniel T. Rodgers points out, "The cult of strenuosity and the recreation movement grew together, minimizing the distinctions between usefulness and sport, toil and recreation, the work ethic and the spirit of play." (10)
Proponents of organized recreation stressed the central role of play in instilling values of civility and decorum. (11) For example, E.B. DeGroot, Director of Recreation of the South Park District in Chicago, highlighted the role recreation supervisors could play in inculcating loyalty, discipline, and order:
On the athletic field, and in the practice of games in the gymnasium, the instructor should praise every tendency of a boy or girl to sacrifice himself or herself for the good of the team. Show them that this is the only way to succeed--by unity of action. If you can develop this spirit you have laid the foundation of cooperation, politeness and good morals. (12)
Jane Addams and other play proponents linked team play to the modern industrial work process: "It takes thirty-nine people to make a coat in a modem tailoring establishment, yet those same thirty-nine people might produce a coat in a spirit of 'team work' which would make the entire process as much more exhilarating than the work of the old solitary tailor, as playing in a baseball nine gives more pleasure to a boy than that afforded by a solitary game of handball." (13)
The most effective game for promoting team spirit, according to play promoters and reformers, was baseball. They looked to baseball and its rules promoting discipline, order, and self-sacrifice as a means of instilling nationalism and loyalty in the urban working-class. According to sports writer Hugh Fullerton,
Baseball, to my way of thinking, is the greatest single force working for Americanization. No other game appeals so much to the foreign-born youngsters and nothing, not even the schools, teaches the American spirit so quickly, or inculcates the idea of sportsmanship or fair play as thoroughly. (14)
Baseball writers and reformers spoke of the importance of recognizing how individual skill and success were only useful when used to promote the advancement of the team. Henry Curtis of the Playground Association articulated this vision in his discussion of the role of each player in a baseball game:
A long hit or a daring run may not be what is needed. The judgment of his play is a social judgment. It is estimated not on the basis of its individual excellence, but by its effect on the success of the team. The boy must come out and practice when he wants to go fishing. He must bat out in order that the man on third may run in. Many a time he must sacrifice himself to the team. This type of loyalty is the same thing we call good citizenship as applied to the city, that we call patriotism as applied to the country. The team game is undoubtedly the best training for these civic virtues. (15)
Curtis argued that in baseball, the peer group became an instrument of Americanization, as ethnic barriers could be overcome in organized team play.
The rise of professional baseball had its roots in the organized athletic clubs of nineteenth-century cities. These clubs sometimes grew out of earlier fraternal organizations and the urban culture of the saloon. Roy Rosenzweig's classic study of the saloon, Eight Hours for What We Will, highlighted the increasingly important role spaces of leisure served in promoting community interaction and fostering class solidarity in industrializing cities. With workers exercising less control over the production process, they often looked to leisure sites as the sources of personal and communal identity. By the late nineteenth century, the rituals associated with leisure played a central role in defining and shaping notions of class, community, and masculinity. (16)
Sport as a means for promoting camaraderie grew out of the ethnic athletic clubs many groups started upon entering American cities. German turners, Czech sokols, and Scottish Caledonian Clubs all provided alternative spaces for gathering and social activities that helped maintain links to ethnic culture. Baseball clubs followed similar patterns, though most often were comprised of skilled craftsmen like carpenters and shipbuilders, clerks, and shopkeepers. In forming organized baseball clubs, they were part of a redefinition of masculinity and male urban culture. Rather than participating in the rough male sports of prizefighting and cock fights, which eschewed Victorian prescriptions for gentility, baseball club members created new terms for defining masculinity that reflected the competitive commercial marketplace. These clubs emphasized the role of baseball in establishing competitiveness, control, and discipline as features of manly virtue. (17) Baseball also allowed men to reclaim part of the world of sp orts culture as their own at a time when prescriptions for women's participation in certain forms of athletics were blurring the gendered distinctions between male and female leisure and recreation. (18)
Ironically, just at the time baseball was becoming more clearly linked with the world of the marketplace and urban commercial culture, and its popularity was rising, some promoters and former amateur players called for a return to the pre-commercial era when money was not associated with the game. (19) In issuing this call, they helped create the myth of baseball's history as one defined by a pre-industrial pastoral heritage that was uncorrupted by the marketplace. This harkening back to a "golden age" demonstrated the ambivalence felt toward associating baseball with the marketplace. Moreover, the evocation of the pastoral elements of baseball contributed to campaigns to recognize it as America's national pastime. In 1907, sporting goods magnate and National League Chicago White Stockings owner Albert G. Spalding called for a formal investigation into the national origins of baseball, and appointed a committee headed by National League president Abraham G. Mills to conduct the study. Several baseball players and writers pointed to the British games of cricket and rounders as clear sources for baseball's origins. Yet when the commission handed down its findings, it argued that Civil War General Abner Doubleday "drew the first known diagram of the diamond, indicating positions for the players... in Cooperstown, New York in 1839." (20) Thus, Spalding and his commission linked baseball, American identity, and pastoral agrarian culture in a way that denied the central role of urban culture and the marketplace in shaping the origins and growth of the game.
Baseball owners and promoters carried this myth of baseball's past onto modern urban ballfields by instituting rules and regulations that would make the sport acceptable to bourgeois urban residents, who could attend a ballgame and experience it as a retreat from the world of commerce and work. Club owners outlawed Sunday games in many cities, barred the sale of alcohol, charged higher admission fees, instituted "Ladies' Days," and issued fines to players for drinking, swearing, arguing with the umpire, and tardiness. (21) The baseball park might then function as a source of well-regulated leisure activity for patrons, where sentiments of civic pride and team loyalty could be fostered by creating a mythic space of carefree pastoral recreation. As sports editor Edward B. Moss put it, "Businessmen and professional men forget their standing in the community and shoulder to shoulder with the street urchin 'root' frantically for the hit needed to win the game." (22) Local loyalty and civic pride could be shared ex periences inside the ballpark, yet this public space was shaped by owners seeking to promote a particular vision of the baseball field as a space of carefree recreation. As Warren Goldstein points out, "the democracy of the national pastime could be celebrated only by those who did not play the game and therefore could experience the ballpark exclusively as an arena of play." (23)
Ball club owners recognized that if fans bought into the pre-industrial pastoral myth of the game, they would have no reason to think of baseball as a marketplace commodity whose value could be affected by labor relations. Yet just at the same time owners created this image, baseball was in the process of being transformed into a form of labor with similarities to the shopfloor. Training, skill, and specialization became the keystones of professional baseball. Just as managerial control supplanted workers' autonomy in the factory, so the growing distance between players and managers created a task-specific work culture in which the decisions affecting the club were issued from those controlling the capital. Owners also instituted new work conditions, which included salary caps, regulations and fines for behavior on and off the field, blacklisting, and the dreaded reserve clause, which stipulated that a team that first signed a player "reserved" his services indefinitely. (24)
Players responded to these conditions just as factory workers did. They attempted to form unions and break the power of capital in dictating working conditions. One of the most successful examples of player resistance occurred in 1885, when John Montgomery Ward, attorney and captain of the New York Giants, organized the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players. In forming the union, Ward used the anti-commercial rhetoric of the owners to challenge their treatment of ball players:
There was a time when the National League stood for integrity and fair dealing; today it stands for dollars and cents.... Players have been bought, sold, or exchanged as sheep, instead of American citizens.... By a combination among themselves, stronger than the strongest trusts, owners were able to enforce the most arbitrary measures, and the player had either to submit or get out of the profession in which he had spent years attaining proficiency. (25)
Ward's use of the language of citizenship and professionalism brilliantly captured the hypocrisy in the owners' rhetoric of Americanism. The union sought to improve wages and raise the level of respect accorded players by linking them to skilled republican artisans of the pre-industrial era. Ward's language also reflected the republican and producerist ideals espoused by the Knights of Labor. Ward attempted to illustrate how the players, not the owners, embodied the values of expertise and integrity. In doing so, he tried to force Americans to recognize the crucial links between sporting culture and labor relations in America. He also highlighted how players too could evoke anti-commercialism in promoting the connections between labor and republicanism.
Members of the Brotherhood organized the Players' League in 1890 to mount a more serious challenge to managerial and owner control of the laborforce. This new league sought not only to raise wages of players, which it did relatively effectively, but also to undermine the work rules set forth by the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. Yet the League was defeated after less than two seasons. The League's failure resulted from Albert Spalding's "War Committee," designed to undermine the League by offering its financial backers lucrative opportunities to buy into the National League. This defeat effectively lowered salaries and forestalled unionism for decades. The formation of the American League in 1900 only served to consolidate the power of management and owners against player-workers. (26)
The difficulty of challenging the myth of baseball was made clear in 1915, when the Federal League (a new league formed in 1914 to challenge and compete with the major leagues) sued the National and American Leagues for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Owners of Federal League teams initiated the lawsuit after they were unable to compete effectively for players against the two big leagues, and argued that the reserve clause barred fair competition in the marketplace. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis presided over the hearing, but never issued a verdict because he felt it would forever alter the history of baseball. When the case reached the Supreme Court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes argued that baseball leagues were not sources of interstate commerce, and therefore could not have violated anti-trust laws. (27) Landis, though, would play a central role in the next decade in shaping both baseball and labor relations in America under the guise of promoting "100 percent Americanism."
Steel Strike, Palmer Raids, and Definitions of Americanism
Questions about labor, loyalty, Americanism, and foreignness became pronounced during the massive steel strike of 1919, and the terms used to describe the strike foreshadowed those used during the investigation into the 1919 Black Sox scandal. On September 22, 1919, 350,000 steel workers went on strike across the nation. Strikers were protesting the post-war attempt by employers to undermine gains made by unions during World War I, including overtime pay for work beyond eight hours and the right to collective bargaining. In May 1919, delegates from the National Committee for Organizing Iron and Steel Workers met to consider options for having their demands met. They sought an eight-hour day; one day's rest in seven; an increase in wages sufficient to guarantee an "American standard of living"; a standard scale of wages for all classifications of workers; double pay for overtime; the abolition of company unions; and the right to collective bargaining. Chairman of the Committee Samuel Gompers, along with Vice C hairman John Fitzpatrick (head of the Chicago Federation of Labor) and Secretary William Z. Foster (leader of the radical Industrial Workers of the World), weighed the benefits of a strike. They feared making a hasty strike decision given the post-war climate of hostility and antagonism toward those considered "subversives." The strike was the result of the refusal by Elbert H. Gary, chairman of the Board of Directors of U.S. Steel, to meet with strike leaders or listen to their demands. (28)
Critics of the strike immediately charged the workers with being unpatriotic and threatening the stability of American institutions that they were trying to rebuild following the war. According to the Tuscaloosa News, "It is a hotheaded and probably unpatriotic thing for these workmen to announce a strike in the present delicate situation of American industry." (29) Indeed, the very notion of union's rights came under fire as employers and their sympathizers painted strikers and union organizers as disloyal Americans. Elbert Gary expressed this connection between union leaders and subversives when he explained why he refused to meet with labor representatives. "We do not negotiate with labor unions," he argued, "because it would indicate the closing of our shops against non-union labor." He asserted that the open shop--that is, the right of employers to hire non-union workers--was "vital to the greatest industrial progress or prosperity." Further, he argued that the open shop not only represented the greatest hope for America's future prosperity, but that it symbolized the greatest hope for workers as well, "who prosper only when industry succeeds." (30)
Reports of developments in the strike focused on the role of "radical outsiders" in threatening American institutions. Elbert Gary argued, "[M]en did not strike on their own. They were taken out by the constant effort of union leaders to bring about a strike." Gary referred to union leaders, including William Poster and John Fitzpatrick, as "vicious elements" who "inflamed and distorted" people's minds. Others linked "foreign born" radicalism and sedition, arguing that labor union activity was the equivalent of the betrayal of America. One worker who testified before the Senate Investigating Committee examining the strike stated, "Out of [all the workers] who struck I should say that at least 99% were foreigners." He argued that strike leaders did not represent workers, and that "they should be sent out of the country, and if necessary, some of them ought to be shot." Judge Joseph Buffington of the U.S. Court of Appeals was more specific about who was guilty of causing unrest. "[William] Foster is the type of man who is causing all this unrest among the foreign born.... He is a most dangerous leader and a dangerous domestic enemy. I say this ... because I feel it is my duty to do so." (31)
Duty, loyalty, and Americanism became catch-phrases in discussing the meanings of the steel strike in the popular press. Critics of the strikers charged that they were part of a larger conspiracy to shake the foundations of American society. The process of linking labor activism to a foreign menace had a long history in America, and in Chicago. The Haymarket Riot of 1886, for example, exposed many of the tensions in American culture over the place of radicalism and immigrants in American culture. The end of World War I brought with it heightened ethnic conflict as a result of the legacy of suspicion of Germans, and of the emerging fear of Bolshevism, both abroad and at home, culminating in the Red Scare and Palmer Raids of 1919. When Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer set up the antiradicalism division of the Justice Department and instituted raids against radical organizations across the country, he directly linked labor activism, political radicalism, and foreignness. The deportation of leading radicals, i ncluding Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, highlighted the increasingly popular belief that labor unrest could be quelled, and Americanism promoted, by keeping foreigners off of American shores. In light of the Palmer Raids and the growing belief that "outsiders" were threatening American institutions, the steel strike became a symbol of un-Americanism, not of a legitimate battle between labor and capital.
The 1919 World Series and the Purity of the National Pastime
The rhetoric employed during the 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds reflected this restricted definition of Americanism. Sports fans, owners, and writers awaited with eager anticipation the start of the 1919 Series. This would be the first series played since the American victory in World War I, adding further nationalist fervor to the already patriotic event. A New York Times article captured this zeal as it suggested that the series had the potential to draw all Americans together despite the contentious events dividing the nation during that summer:
The war against the Bolshevik, the conflict on the Adriatic, the race riots, the struggle between labor and capital, all fade into the background just now; the one topic of transcendent interest, the one great issue, is the struggle now being fought out between the White Guards from that great city which certain of its own poets have hailed as "hog butcher to the universe" and the warlike Reds from the Metropolis of Malt. (33)
Philosopher Morris Cohen referred to baseball as America's "national religion," and linked it to moralism and war:
Instead of purifying only fear and pity, baseball exercises and purifies all of our emotions, cultivating hope and courage when we are behind, resignation when we are beaten, fairness to the other team when we are ahead, charity for the umpire, and above all the zest for combat and conquest. (34)
Baseball was connected to the war effort by more than just rhetoric. During the 1917 season, the year the White Sox won the World Series, major league baseball teams conducted military drills for one hour each day. In May 1918, with war still raging, the Secretary of War Newton Baker issued a "work or fight" order, forcing all eligible men to contribute in some way to the war effort. Over half of the professional baseball players entered the armed forces, while others sought war jobs at munitions factories, shipyards, and steel mills. Yet many of the ball players who went to work in these factories actually spent more time playing baseball on the company teams. Companies went so far as to recruit big-name players and give them money and fringe benefits for improving the team and drawing crowds. (35)
Many sports writers and fans criticized those players who went to work rather to fight. Charles Comiskey expressed his condemnation of the "disloyal" players as well. Comiskey's patriotic rhetoric veiled his deeper concern, matched by that of other club owners, that the company teams who were paying players were subverting the authority of the major league clubs by undermining the reserve clause. The war gave players the ability to offer their services in an open market and sell to the highest bidder. It was one of the rare instances, aside from strikes and the formation of alternative leagues, in which players had some control over their labor and work conditions, in that they could make demands and either have them met by one club or threaten to go to another. With the end of the war, players were forced to return to the teams which "owned" them, and despite the threats of owners during the war, most took back all of their players, even those who were "disloyal" and did not join the armed forces. (36) For m ost owners, winning was the bottom line, and they were loathe to threaten their gate receipts and competitive edge by dismissing star players. The reserve clause also insured that the relative freedom players experienced during the war would revert back to complete control over the labor pool by owners. Therefore, there was no room for negotiating salaries and work conditions.
Both of these issues proved contentious for Chicago White Sox players during the start of the 1919 season. The White Sox were commonly regarded as the team with the most talent, though their salaries were often lower than those of mediocre and poor teams, this despite their high drawing capacity and gate receipts. (37) These low salaries, combined with a low daily food allowance, a charge to players to have their uniforms laundered, and the general disdain of the reserve clause, caused a great deal of player dissatisfaction both among the White Sox and throughout the league. When rumors began circulating about a World Series fix, it was not much of a surprise to many journalists closely associated with the game, especially Chicago writers Hugh Fullerton and Ring Lardner.
Fullerton and Lardner suspected scandal as early as the opening game of the series. The White Sox were touted as clear favorites to win the championship, and the league's leading pitcher, Eddie Cicotte, was pitching in the October 1 game. (38) Yet the Reds demolished the White Sox, who lost not only the opening game but also the series. Following the loss, baseball promoters and sports journals did their best to reassert the purity of the game. Sports writers attacked Fullerton (who early on expressed his suspicions in his columns) as unpatriotic and Ignorant of the game. (39) Even the Chicago Daily News reported that rumors of a fix were unfair and unfounded:
Predications on the World Series did not come true in every instance. Some experts who put in many hours figuring out the "dope" gave the White Sox the edge at nearly every position. The Reds upset the predications, and it is an arduous task for the experts who picked the American leaguers to find a suitable alibi. Most of them find it impossible to do so and in order to cover up their mistake cast reflections on the integrity of the national game by insinuating that gambling had something to do with the final results of the battle. Nothing is more absurd. (40)
Reports of scandal quickly spread, however, and the public was forced to face what many observers suspected all along. Ironically, the fix was confirmed only after a Grand Jury was called to investigate evidence of scandal involving the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Athletics during the 1920 season. In addition, there were rumors of players from the Yankees, Braves, Red Sox, Indians, and Giants fixing games. Even the great Ty Cobb was suspected. On September 7,1920, a special Cook County Grand Jury was established to investigate the rumors surrounding not only the Cubs-Phillies game, but baseball gambling in general. Illinois State's Attorney Maclay Hoyne led the investigation, and took testimony from a large cast of players and gamblers. The focus, however, soon returned to the White Sox and the 1919 World Series. (41)
On September 27, 1920, the Philadelphia North American featured a headline reading "Gamblers Promised White Sox $100,000 to Lose." The article
included an interview with Bill Maharg, an ex-prize fighter, who related details of how the fix was planned between himself, former baseball player William "Sleepy" Burns, first baseman Arnold "Chick" Gandil, and pitcher Eddie Cicotte. Gandil claimed eight White Sox players were willing to go along with their plan, including himself, Cicotte, pitcher Claude "Lefty" Williams, third baseman George "Buck" Weaver, outfielder Oscar "Happy" Felsch, shortstop Charles "Swede" Risberg, infielder Fred McMullin, and outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. By the time the deal was cemented, Maharg said, New Yorker Abe Attel, the former featherweight champion, and Boston gambler Joseph "Sport" Sullivan were involved in raising the necessary money, which they ultimately obtained from Arnold Rothstein, head of one of New York's largest gambling syndicates. (42)
The scandal exposed the historic connections between professional baseball and the underworld of gambling and vice. Gambling had always played a role in the economy of organized baseball. The language of baseball reflected the knowledge of betting as an element of the game, with sports writers referring to the "odds" of winning and statistics helping to determine the "probability" of players' effective performance. (43) Ironically, Comiskey Park included an inscription emblazened right on the grandstand reading "No Betting Allowed In This Park" (see Figure 1). This visible reminder of the need for ballpark regulations highlighted the close connections between professional sports and gambling. By attempting to publicly distance themselves from gambling, owners hoped to remove the connections between baseball and the urban working-class culture of the saloon and pool hall, and make baseball a part of respectable bourgeois culture.
Once the story of the World Series fix broke, commentators continued extolling the virtues of the game, and its central role in both shaping and reflecting American values. In doing so, they helped recreate the myth of a "golden age of baseball" when it was "pure" and "honest." The language used to discuss the scandal emphasized loyalty, integrity, and Americanism. An article in The Nation focused on the importance of public belief in the integrity of the game, and the reasons behind Americans' trust of players.
The man at bat, cheer him or hoot at him as we may, is supposed to be doing his best. There is something about the very nature of the game, played in the bright sunlight with nerves at the very edge of tension, that produces the illusion of a cleanliness in the characters of the performers more or less comparable to the sharp, clean movements and instinctive responses of their bodies.
The North American Review featured a piece by Walter Camp, director of athletics at Yale University, that discussed the links between spectators and baseball players. "Baseball is the true National Game of America. It is a game for the people, played by them and understood by them.... Is it any wonder, then, that the public feels a vested interest in this game, and that they are inexpressibly shocked to discover that these players whom they had admired and in whom they had implicit confidence, have been betraying them by selling games?" (45) Camp ended by emphasizing the importance of a player's "loyalty to his uniform" and his "honesty of purpose and ... single-heartedness in the struggle to win." The American Review of Reviews reported that to destroy a boy's faith in "the integrity and honesty" of baseball was to "plant suspicion of all things in his heart." (46)
Throughout the investigation into the scandal, reporters portrayed the eight White Sox players as traitors to the game and betrayers of American values. The Philadelphia Bulletin compared the indicted players with "the soldier or sailor who would sell out his country and its flag in time of war." (47) The Roosevelt Club of Boston newsboys passed a resolution stating that "the eight White Sox players be condemned and punished for this murderous blow at the kids' game; and be it further resolved that Ray Schalk and Dickie Kerr (players not involved in the scandal) be commended for their manly stand against the Benedict Arnolds of baseball." Charles Comiskey even offered bonuses of $1,500 to "his honest Sox" in the fall of 1920, when the White Sox were on the verge of capturing the American League pennant once again. (48) Both Comiskey and the press publicly made a sharp distinction between the honest Sox and the disloyal ones, and sought to distance themselves and baseball from the latter.
On September 28, one day after the expose in the Philadelphia North American, Charles Comiskey's lawyer, Alfred Austrian, advised Cicotte, Lefty Williams, and Jackson to confess their roles in the fix before the Grand Jury. He suggested that by cooperating they would receive immunity, and told each that the other had already implicated all those involved. In fact, the players signed a waiver of immunity and "confessed" to committing crimes in which they had not played a part. Once the trial got under way, Austrian played a behind-the-scenes role in the players' defense, which was headed by Michael Ahearn (who became one of Al Capone's lawyers), partner Thomas Nash, and former State's Attorney Ben Short. The eight White Sox and several named gamblers were charged with "conspiracy to defraud the public, ... conspiracy to commit a confidence game, ... and conspiracy to injure the business of Charles A. Comiskey." (49)
The District Attorney surprised all during his opening statements by explaining that the signed confessions of Cicotte, Jackson, and Williams, since retracted, had been lost or stolen. The defense argued that the state now had no case, and that the testimonies were obtained under duress and would have been inadmissible anyway. After fourteen days of questioning, the jury deliberated for two hours before returning a verdict of "not guilty," arguing that the state did not prove that "it was the intent of the ballplayers and the gamblers... to defraud the public and others and not merely to throw ballgames." The players were cleared of all charges. (50)
Throughout the revelations of scandal and the subsequent trial, attention and blame shifted away from the players and toward the gamblers who were named in the indictments. Newspaper accounts referred to the "crooked crooks and gamblers" who were willing to "debase the great national game." During the trial, attended by the accused White Sox but not by the named gamblers, defense attorney Ben Short argued that the State had no case because it was charging the wrong people. "If [the case] wasn't a failure, you'd have the real babies of the conspiracy here--the men who made millions--and not these ballplayers who were reported to get big salaries but most of whom got practically nothing." (53)
Indeed, numerous accounts began to paint the ballplayers as the victims of the chicanery and furtiveness of the "professional gambler." According to an article in The Outlook, "The more the facts become known as regards bribery and game-selling in baseball, the more evident it is that that professional gambler is at the root of the evil." The article went on to express concern over the lack of prosecution of the gamblers really responsible. "But what of the sure-thing gamblers? What of those high up, the men who plotted this thing and carried it through, the parasites who preyed on the weakness of character of these unfortunate creatures?" (52) According to the Grand Rapids Herald, "When cheap leeches strike at this sport of sports they strike at one of the institutions of the Republic." (53)
Some commentators linked the gambling scandal explicitly to "foreigners," and Jews in particular (specifically gambler Arnold Rothstein, even though he played a minor role in the initial scheme to fix the Series). Commentators linked Jewishness with financial wheeling and dealing, illicit gambling, and un-Americanness. The Sporting News, the weekly baseball publication out of St. Louis, issued the harshest indictment against "outsiders" threatening the sanctity of an American institution. "Because a lot of dirty, long-nosed, thick-lipped, and strong-smelling gamblers butted into the World Series-an American event, by the way-and some of said gentlemen got crossed, stories were peddled that there was something wrong with the way the games were played." Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent was more straightforward in its anti-Semitic rhetoric. Ford argued that Jews were responsible for all corruption in baseball and scorned them for "soiling the good name of American sports." The Sporting News condemned Ford for t hese "bigoted" statements, but proceeded to argue that the best way to clean up baseball was to get the players to inform on one another. It argued that the National Commission, the governing body of baseball, should give medals to players who expose betrayers among their teammates. "You wouldn't sit down to a poker game with a card player who cheated, would you?" (54) By placing blame squarely on the shoulders of gamblers, and by linking gamblers to the supposed ethnic underworld of vice and corruption, baseball promoters and the popular press could distance the players themselves from the scandal, and thereby reassert the purity of the game, and its Americanness.
Baseball promoters still feared that the "Black Sox" scandal would permanently damage the respectability of baseball. The New York Times commented, "Professional baseball is in a bad way, not so much because of the Chicago scandal as because that scandal has provoked it to bringing up all the rumors and suspicions of years past." (55) Editorials and cartoons placed baseball back in the same company as horseracing and pugilism, regarded by many as disreputable underworld culture that threatened middle-class values and institutions. The Kansas City Times reported, "[O]wners, managers, and players have got to convince the public the game is square. Unless they can do that baseball must ultimately go the way of horse-racing. The public will not stand for a crooked sport." (56)
Promoters of organized baseball recognized the need to restore faith in the integrity of the game in order to keep it profitable. The Grand Jury organized to investigate corruption in baseball took the first step toward meeting this demand. Headlines reported that the investigation "F[ound] Baseball Generally Honest," arguing that "the leaders in organized baseball may be relied upon to keep the game above suspicion." (57) Supporters of the game employed the imagery of cleanliness verses dirt in order to sanction the honesty of the game. Articles such as "Making the Black Sox White Again," "The Flaw in the Diamond," and "The Baseball Scandal" featured cartoons depicting baseballs being scrubbed "clean and white" (see Figure 2). (58) The racial imagery used to describe the scandal, from the terra "Black Sox" to the promotion of "cleanliness," in part reflected the overarching concern with labeling anything that potentially threatened American purity as dirty, foreign, and subversive.
In order to ensure baseball's purity, club owners acted upon the advice of the Grand Jury to reorganize the National Commission and put it solely in the hands of one publicly-respected governing official. Club owners put forth several names as possible commissioners, including war hero General William Pershing and Judge William Howard Taft. (59) Ultimately, they chose U.S. District Court of Illinois Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who initially presided over the Federal League lawsuit that reaffirmed the legality of the reserve clause and exempted baseball from anti-trust legislation. (60)
Landis immediately worked to "clean up baseball" by expelling all eight White Sox who had been acquitted the year before. "Regardless of the verdict of the juries," he argued, "no player who throws a ball game, no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ball game, no player who sits in confidence with a bunch of crooked players and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball!" (61) Landis evidently agreed with the New York World's contention that "[i]f the crooks who were acquitted try to show their faces in decent sporting circles they should be boycotted and blackballed." While several cartoons and editorials criticized Landis's harsh actions and words, others supported his efforts to save the image of baseball. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat linked the integrity of baseball to American morality in general. "If Judge Landis can keep the game of baseball on a high plane of sports ethics, he will do far more for the boys of America than he has ever done or can ever do on the Federal bench.... Nor could he do more for the country as a whole, because the standard of integrity of the boy becomes also his standard as a citizen." (62)
The focus on "gamblers" and "outsiders" as those responsible for sullying the game allowed baseball promoters, club owners, and fans once again to proclaim their faith in the integrity of America's national pastime. By rooting out the criminals and corrupters of the game, Landis and other supporters of baseball could argue for its continued honesty. Moreover, this strategy allowed club owners and the public in general to sidestep issues of labor relations and owner subjugation as important factors contributing to baseball scandals. Gambling and player involvement provided a means by which players could assert some autonomy in the face of complete owner authority, best symbolized by the reserve clause and blacklisting. By refusing to confront this long history of the links between gambling and labor disputes in baseball, Landis helped reassert the absolute power of owners to impose salaries and work conditions on players who had no recourse for appeal. (63)
In neither the Black Sox scandal nor the steel strike did issues of work conditions, wages, or collective bargaining rights reach the forefront of discussion in the popular press. Instead, the national debate surrounding the scandal and the strike focused on Americanism and threats to American values, institutions, and loyal citizens. Those who seemed to upset the "return to normalcy" and the patriotic fervor following World War I were labeled "aliens," "outsiders," and "radicals." Coincidentally, Judge Landis, who was appointed to "clean up baseball," was the same judge who presided over the trial of I.W.W. leader "Big" Bill Haywood during the war, when he sentenced Haywood and ninety-two other Wobblies to prison for sedition and alleged obstruction of the nation's war preparations. (64)
This heightened post-war nativism illustrated the power of popular attitudes toward ethnicity, race, labor, and radical politics to shape American ideas about patriotism and policies towards immigrants and radicals. (65) Leaders such as Attorney General Mitchell Palmer and Landis targeted gamblers, baseball players, labor leaders, and ethnic workers in part because they introduced issues of class and ethnic difference to a nation whose progressive values of order, stability, and respectability were being constricted as part of an effort to narrow definitions of Americanism. The campaign for "100% Americanism" recast the meaning of American identity and loyalty by denying the Americanness of those who posed challenges to industrial capitalism and American homogeneity. The 1919 Palmer Raids, the Espionage and Sedition Acts, and the Immigration quotas of 1921 and 1924, made this widespread paranoia the law of the land. (66)
This post-war climate of suspicion allowed the American institution of baseball to remain pure by creating a myth of American pastoral recreation removed from the world of urban working-class culture and labor relations. By harkening back to a pre-industrial past that supposedly represented the order and harmony largely absent from modern society, many Americans further glorified baseball as a symbol of national pride in need of protection from outsiders. Baseball ultimately was able to escape the Black Sox scandal relatively unscathed as a result of Americans' unquestioned allegiance to and belief in the purity and integrity of American institutions.
The scandal also highlighted the important role played by popular culture in shaping broader elements of civic identity. Baseball players were national heroes who were supposed to represent all that was good about America. When their behavior, or their associations with "disreputable" characters, threatened "American" values, they were labeled traitors. At the same time that new arenas of commercial culture like baseball parks became central sites for civic debate, the number of participants whose voices could be heard in those debates was circumscribed. Baseball's most public moment, then, was one that led to limitations on access to civic debate rather than one that expanded it.
(1.) For further discussion of the Black Sox scandal, see Eliot Asinof, Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series (New York, 1963), Robert F. Burk, Never Just a Game: Players, Owners, arid American Baseball to 1920 (Chapel Hill, 1994), 232-35, Harvey Frommer, Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball (Dallas, 1992), Robert I. Goler, "Black Sox," Chicago History (Fall and Winter, 1988-1989), 42-69, Steven A. Riess, Touching Base: Professional Baseball and American Culture in the Progressive Era (Westport, CT, 1980), 67-73, and Harold Seymour, Baseball: The Golden Years, vol. 2 (New York, 1971), 294-339.
(2.) For further discussion of the Black Sox Scandal and its representation in popular culture, see Daniel A. Nathan, "Saying It's So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal of 1919" (Urbana, 2003) esp. chap. 1 and 2. Recent films, including Eight Men Out (based on the Asinoff book) and Field of Dreams, offer more sympathetic accounts of the role of the players in the scandal. John Sayles' Eight Men Out also highlights the role of labor issues in shaping the unfolding of the scandal. Nathan analyzes these cultural representations of the scandal--in newspapers, novels, and film--and suggests how the reappearance and shifting mythology of the scandal reflects broader changes in American ideas of innocence and nostalgia.
(3.) James T. Farrell, My Baseball Diary (New York, 1957), 106.
(4.) Nancy Fraser, "Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy," Social Text 25/26 (1990), 56-80; 57. For further discussion of the process of creating and defining public spheres, see Craig Calhoun, ed., Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge, Mass., 1991); Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquirty into a Category of Bourgeois Society trans. Thomas Burger with Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, Mass., 1989); and Robert C. Holub, Jurgen Habermas: Critic in the Public Sphere (London and New York, 1991).
(5.) For further discussion of the links between urban culture, leisure, and space, see Richard Butsch, For Fun and Profit: The Transformation of Leisure into Consumption (Philadelphia, 1990); George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World (New York, 1994); Lewis Erenberg, Steppin' Out: New York City Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture, 1890-1930 (Westport, Conn., 1981); Richard Wightman Fox and T.J. Jackson Lears, eds., "Introduction," in The Power of Culture: Critical Essays in American History (Chicago, 1993); Stephen Kern, The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918 (Cambridge, MA, 1983), 131-180); David Nasaw, Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusements (New York, 1993); Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (Philadelphia, 1986); Steven A. Riess, City Games: The Evolution of American Urban Society and the Rise of Sports (Urbana, 1989), 127-150; Roy Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City (Cambridge, 1983); Robert Rotenberg and Gary McDonogh, eds., "Introduction," in The Cultur Meaning of Urban Space (Westport, CT, 1993); William R. Taylor, In Pursuit of Gotham: Culture and Commerce in New York (New York, 1992); and Taylor, ed., Inventing Times Square: Commerce and Culture at the Crossroads of the World (New York, 1991).
(6.) New York Times, Nov. 9, 1918.
(7.) Theodore Roosevelt, quoted in William D. Miller, Pretty Bubbles in the Air: America in 1919 (Urbana, 1991), 60.
(8.) Nell Irvin Painter, Standing at Armageddon: The United Stares, 1877-1919 (New York, 1987), 303-04.
(9.) For further discussion of nativism after World War I, see Eliot Asinof, 1919: America's Loss of Innocence (New York, 1989); CaseyNelson Blake, Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford (Chapel Hill, 1990); John Higham, Send These to Me: Immigrants in Urban America (Baltimore, 1984), esp. chapter 2; Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (New York, 1963), 194-263; David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (New York, 1980); Richard Lindberg, Chicago Ragtime: Another Look at Chicago, 1880-1920 (South Bend, IN, 1985); Henry F. May, The End of American Innocence: The First Years of Our Own Times, 1912-1917 (Oxford, 1959); Walter Benn Michaels, Our America: Nativism, Modernism, and Pluralism (Durham, NC, 1995); Miller, Pretty Bubbles in the Air; Robert K. Murray, Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria (New York, 1964); Roderick Nash, The Nervous Generation: American Thought, 1917-19 30 (Chicago, 1970); and Painter, Standing at Armageddon, 306-390.
(10.) Daniel T. Rodgers, The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850-1920 (Chicago, 1978), 102.
(11.) Benjamin McArthur, "Parks, Playgrounds, and Progressivism," in A Breath of Fresh Air: Chicago's Neighborhood Parks of the Progressive Reform Era, 1900-1925 (Chicago, 1989), 13. For more on the play movement, see Paul Bayer, Urban Masses and Moral Order in America, 1820-1920 (Cambridge, MA, 1978); Dominick Cavallo, Muscles and Morals: Organized Playgrounds and Urban Reform, 1880-1920 (Philadelphia, 1981); William A. Gleason, The Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840-1940 (Stanford, 1999), especially chapter 3; Cary Goodman, Choosing Sides: Playground and Street Life on the Lower East Side (New York, 1979); Elizabeth Halsey, Development of Public Recreation in Metropolitan Chicago (Chicago, 1940), 8, 115, and Riess, City Games, 132-168. See also Benjamin McArthur, "The Chicago Playground Movement: A Neglected Feature of Social Justice," Social Science Review 49 (Sept. 1975), 376-95, 379.
(12.) City of Chicago, Annual Report of the South Park Commission, 1905, pp. 48. See also Annual Report of the Special Park Commissioners, 1909, 26-8.
(13.) Jane Addams, The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (New York, 1909), 147. See also Cavallo's discussion of progressive theories of play in Muscles and Morals, 9, 55-70. Allen Guttmann supports Cavallo's contention that supervised play was not merely an example of bourgeois social control, and takes issue with Cary Goodman's argument that the a round movement reflected the hegemony of middle-class aspirations. William Gleason and Gerald Gems also highlight the element of social control involved in the play movement. Yet often these discussions fail to differentiate among the rhetorics of play theorists such as Joseph Lee, Henry Curtis, Luther Halsey Gulick, and other progressive reformers (including Jane Addams and John Dewey) who argued that play opened up new arenas for diverse cultural expression and exchange. See Gerald R. Gems, Windy City Wars: Labor, Leisure, and Sport in the Making of Chicago (Lanham, Md., 1997); William A. Gleason, The Leisure Ethic, 99-114; Allen Guttmann, A Whole New Ball Ga me: An Interpretation of American Sports (Chapel Hill, 1988), 88-89; See also David A. Karp, Gregory P. Stone, and William C. Yoels, Being Urban: A Sociology of City Life (New York, 1991), 200 for a discussion of the play movement as a contest for the urban space and leisure time of immigrant children.
(14.) Quoted in Riess, Touching Base, 25.
(15.) Henry Curtis, The Practical Conduct of Play (New York, 1915), 212.
(16.) See Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will.
(17.) For further discussion of ethnic athletic clubs and their role in creating a "bachelor subculture," see Melvin L. Adelman, A Sporting Time: New York City and the Rise of Modern Athletics, 1820-1870 (Urbana, 1990), 224; Gems, Windy City Wars, 25-30; Elliott J. Gorn and Warren Goldstein, A Brief History of American Sports (New York, 1993), 14, 70-72, Benjamin G. Rader, American Sports: From the Age of Folk Games to the Age of Spectators (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983), 97-98, Rader, "The Quest for Subcommunities and the Rise of American Sport," in Paul J. Zingg, ed., The Sporting Image: Readings in American Sport History (Lanham, MD, 1988), 142, and Riess, City Games, 16, 22-25. My discussion of changing views of "manliness" is largely informed by Gorn and Goldstein, A Brief History, 80.
(18.) For further discussion of gender and athletics, see Susan K. Cahn, Coming On Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women's Sport (New York, 1994), especially chaps. 1-3; George Eisen, "Sport, Recreation and Gender: Jewish Immigrant Women in Turn-of-the-Century America (1880-1920)," Journal of Sport History 18 (Spring 1991), 103-120; Allen Guttmann, Women's Sports, A History (New York, 1991); Helen Lenskyj, Out of Bounds; Women, Sport, and Sexuality (Toronto, 1986); Michael Messner and Don Sabo, eds., Sport, Men, and the Gender Order: Critical Feminist Perspectives (Champaign, Il, 1990); Gregory Kent Stanley, The Rise and Fall of the Sportswoman: Women's Health, Fitness, and Athletics, 1860-1940 (New York, 1996); Stephanie L. Twin, Out of the Bleachers: Writing on Women and Sport (Old Westbury, NY, 1979); Twin, "Women and Sport," in Donald Spivey, ed., Sport in America: New Historical Perspectives (Westport, Conn., 1985), 193-217; and Patricia A. Vertinksy, The Eternally Wounded Woman: Women, Doctors, and Exercise in the Late Nineteenth Century (Manchester, 1990).
(19.) For general histories of professional baseball, see Adelman, A Sporting Time; Charles C. Alexander, Our Game: An American can Baseball History (New York, 1991); Warren Goldstein, Playing for Keeps: A History of Early Baseball (Ithaca, NY, 1989); Allen Guttmann, From Ritual to Record: The Nature of Modern Sports (New York, 1978); Riess, Touching Base, Harold Seymour, Baseball: the Early Years, vol. 1, and Baseball: The Golden Age, vol. 2 (New York, 1960 and 1971); and David Q. Voigt, American Baseball: From Gentleman's Sport to the Commissioner System, vol. 1, and From the Commissioners to the Continental Expansion, vol. 2 (Norman, OK, 1966 and 1970).
(20.) Quoted in Goldstein, Playing for Keeps, 11.
(21.) Gorn and Goldstein, A Brief History, 209, Goldstein, Playing for Keeps, 35, Riess, Touching Base, 122.
(22.) Edward B. Moss, "The Fan and His Ways," Harper's Weekly 54 (June 11,1910), 13. Also quoted in Riess, Touching Base, 24. Though promoters touted professional baseball as a unifying game promoting civic pride and community cohesion, they did not consider racial integration one of baseball's goals. Teams were forbidden have players as of 1867. Baseball nonetheless played a central role in African-American communities, and the development of the Negro National League illustrates its role in black professional and entrepreneurial growth as well. See Robert W. Peterson, Only the Ball Was White (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1970), Rob Ruck, Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh (Urbana, 1987), and Jules Tygiel, Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy (New York, 1983).
(23.) Goldstein, Playing for Keeps, 149. Goldstein argues that baseball has followed two paths throughout its history. Baseball's relationship with money shapes what Goldstein refers to as the "linear" history of the game, while its emotional and mythic element lends itself to a cyclical history, defined by attempts to recreate a "golden age." I agree with this assessment, but would go further and argue that these two elements of baseball history are integrally related. During periods when labor and money issues became more prominent, baseball proponents were more likely to construct baseball as a pastoral, pre-industrial activity removed from the world of the marketplace. See Goldstein, Playing for Keeps, 70.
(24.) For further discussion of labor relations and baseball, see Robert F. Burk, Never Just a Game: Players, Owners, and American Baseball to 1920 (Chapel Hill, 1994), Goldstein, Playing for Keeps, 134-149; Allen Guttmann, A Whole New Ball Game: An Interpretation of American Sports (Chapel Hill, 1988), 61-69; William A. Hulbert, "The National Game," in James Franklin Aldrich Papers, Box 1, Folder 2, Chicago Historical Society, Special Collections; Lee Lowenfish, The Imperfect Diamond: A History of America's Labor Wars (New York, 1991); and Edward 0. White, Creating the National Pastime: Baseball Transforms Itself (Princeton, 1996).
(25.) John Montgomery Ward, "The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players' Manifesto" (1889), quoted in Anthony J. Connor, Baseball for the Love of It: Hall of Famers Tell It Like It Was (New York, 1982), 216.
(26.) Riess, Touching Base, pp. 156-157; Harold Seymour, Baseball: the Early Years, vol. 1 New York, 1960 and 1971), pp. 267-270; and David Q. Voigt, American Baseball: From Gentleman's Sport to the Commissioner System, vol. 1. (Norman, 1966 and 1970), 233-234.
(27.) See Burk, Never Just a Game, 207-209; Guttmann, A Whole New Ball Game, 65- 69; Lowenfish, Imperfect Diamond, 88-90; Seymour, The Golden Age, 212, 230-34; and Voigt, American Baseball, vol. 2, pp. 21, 81. For discussions of the cartel-like structure of professional sports, see Charles Euchner, Playing the Field: Why Sports Teams Move and Cities Fight to Keep Them (Baltimore, 1993); Mark S. Rosentraub, Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It (New York, 1997); and Kenneth L. Shropshire, The Sports Franchise Game: Cities in Pursuit of Sports Franchises, Events, Stadiums, and Arenas (Philadelphia, 1995).
(28.) "The Steel Strike," Literary Digest 63 (Oct. 4, 1919), 9-13. For further discussion of the steel strike and anti-union sentiment, see David Brody, Labor in Crisis: The Steel Strike of 1919 (Philadelphia, 1965); Melvin Dubofsky, We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World (Urbana, 1988); William Z. Foster, The GreatSteel Strike and Its Lessons (New York, 1920); Interchurch World Movement of North America, Report on the Steel Strike of 1919 (New York, 1920); David Montgomery, The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State, and American Labor Activism (Cambridge, 1987); Painter, Standing at Armageddon, 370-75; and Rodgers, The Work Ethic.
(29.) Tuscaloosa News article, quoted in "The Steel Strike," 12.
(30.) "The Steel Strike," 12.
(31.) NYT, Oct. 3, 1919, Oct. 5,1919, Ocr. 1,1919.
(32.) For further discussion of the Red Scare see Asinoff, 1919; Miller, Pretty Bubbles; and Robert K. Murray, Red Scare: A Study in National Hysteria (Minneapolis, 1955).
(33.) NYT, Oct. 9, 1919.
(34.) Cohen, "Baseball," The Dial (July 26, 1919), 57.
(35.) Joe Jackson went to work for a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel, and played on the company team. Burk, Never Just a Game, p. 219; Frommer, Shoeless Joe, 68-69, 79-84; Ruck, Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh, 42; Seymour, The Golden Age, pp. 244-47. For further discussion of industrial athletic teams, see Gems, Windy City Wars; and Steven Riess, Sport in Industrial America, 1850-1920 (Wheeling, Il, 1995).
(36.) See Burk, Never Just a Game, 220-221; Lowenfish, Imperfect Diamond, 96; and Seymour, The Golden Age, 251-52.
(37.) Joe Jackson earned $6,000 per year, while Buck Weaver, Chick Gandil, and Happy Felsch each earned $4,000. Eddie Cicotte, the White Sox star pitcher, earned $5,500 even though many believed him to be the best pitcher in the league after Walter Johnson. In 1917, when the White Sox won the World Series, Charles Comiskey promised Cicotte a $10,000 bonus if he won thirty games. When Cicotte was close to achieving that mark, Comiskey benched him so he came up short. See Asinof, Eight Men Out, 15-20; Burk, Never Just a Game, 233; Frommer, Shoeless Joe, 86; and Lowenfish, Imperfect Diamond, 98-99. Frommer follows Asinof's lead by suggesting that the White Sox were one of the lowest paid teams in 1919. Burk's appendix for player salaries, however, illustrates that the White Sox in general were earning salaries commensurate with those paid other teams, though the other reams did not have the same earning power in gate receipts that the Sox had. See Burk, Never Just a Game, Appendix Figures 1 and 5, 243, 247.
(38.) The Chicago Daily News reported, "Before the World Series it was not thought possible the Cincinnati Reds could win from the Chicago White Sox. ... The Reds were not given a ghost of a chance, because it was thought they won in an inferior league and therefore were greatly inferior to the tribe piloted by Manager Kid Gleason. Some even said it was a crime to pit the Reds against the South Siders." Chicago Daily News, Oct. 10, 1919.
(39.) An editorial in Baseball Magazine argued, "If a man really knows so little about baseball that he believes the game is or can be fixed, he should keep his mouth shut in the presence of intelligent people." Baseball Magazine (November 1919), quoted in Frommer, Shoeless Joe, 119.
(40.) Chicago Daily News, Oct. 11, 1919. The Reds were quick to point to the legitimacy of their titles too. Reds manager Pat Moran argued, "The best team won the series, and don't you forget it." Chicago Herald Examiner, Oct. 1, 1920.
(41.) See Chicago Tribune, Chicago Herald and Examiner, NYT, Sept. 8, 1920. See also Asinof, Eight Men Out, 149-160; Burk, Never Just a Game, 231-33; Frommer, Shoeless Joe, 130-134; and Seymour, The Golden Age, 300-305, 384-85.
(42.) See above, as well as the Chicago Tribune, Herald and Examiner, Record-Herald, NYT, Sept. 29, 1920.
(43.) The earliest known instance of players fixing games was in 1865, when Thomas Devyr, William Wansley, and Edward Duffy of New York Mutuals confessed to "selling" a game against the Eckfords. Devyr was expelled, but brought back one year later when his team needed a shortstop. Two protests were lodged against the team for playing Devyr during the 1867 season, and the Judiciary Committee of the National Association voted to expel him. Later that year the decision was reversed and Devyr was reinstated. See Adelman, Sporting Time, 160-161; Burk, Never Just a Game, 31; Goldstein, Playing for Keeps, 90-92; and Seymour, The Early Years, 51-53.
(44.) "The Baseball Scandal," The Nation (Oct. 13, 1920), 395.
(45.) Walter Camp, "The Truth About Baseball," North American Review (April 1921), 483.
(46.) Camp, "Truth," p. 487; Hugh Fullerton, "Baseball--The Sport and the Business," American Review of Reviews (April 6, 1920), 420.
(47.) Philadelphia Bulletin, quoted in Frommer, Shoeless Joe, 154.
(48.) Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, NYT, Oct. 1, 1920. Actually, Comiskey did not divide the whole difference among the ten players, for he kept close to $500 for himself. Moreover, the total players' share of the receipts from the 1919 series was $260,249.66, while the owners' share was $389,822.94. See NYT, Oct. 10, 1919. Comiskey also offered large bonuses and salaries to the suspected players before the 1920 season, suggesting that he was more concerned with fielding a winning team than he was with punishing his "disloyal" players. See Chicago White Sox Contracts, White Sox Collection, Chicago Historical Society, Special Collections.
(49.) See accounts in NYT, Oct. 2, 1920; "The Flaw in the Diamond," Literary Digest 67 (Oct. 9, 1920), 12-13; "For Honest Baseball," The Outlook 126 (Oct. 6, 1920), 219-220; and "The Gamblers and the Ballplayers," The Outlook 126 (Oct. 13, 1920), 267.
(50.) See The Grand Jury testimony of Joe Jackson, Sept. 28, 1920, Joe Jackson Papers, Chicago Historical Society, Special Collections; Chicago Tribune, NYT, Aug. 3, 1920; Asinof, Eight Men Out, pp. 22-31; Burk, Never Just a Game, 232; Frommer, Shoeless Joe, pp. 168-170; and Goler, Block Sox, 60.
(51.) See Chicago Tribune, NYT, Oct. 2, 1920; Asinof, Eight Men Out, 240-41; and Frommer, Shoeless Joe, 159-170.
(52.) "The Gamblers and the Ball p layers," p .267. Interestingly, the article also argues that in order for baseball to be "kept clean" in the future, it must be run by those "interested in baseball as a sport, and not in a business way." It is the taint of commercialism associated with the game that needs to be lessened if baseball is to recover and regain its purity in the minds of fans.
(53.) Grand Rapids Herald article, cited in "The Flaw in the Diamond," 13.
(54.) J.G. Taylor Spink, The Sporting News (Oct. 1919); The Dearborn Independent (Aug. 3, 1921); The Sporting News (Aug, 1921), quoted in Asinof, Eight Men Out, 136.
(55.) NYT, Aug. 3, 1921.
(56.) See "The Flaw in the Diamond," Literary Digest (Oct. 9, 1920), 7.
(57.) NYT, Nov. 7, 1920.
(58.) See "Making the Black Sox White Again," Literary Digest (Aug. 20, 1921); "The Flaw in the Diamond;" "The Baseball Scandal;" and "For Honest Baseball," The Outlook," (Oct. 6, 1920).
(59.) Chicago Tribune, Herald and Examiner, NYT, Oct. 2, 1920.
(60.) Landis's salary as Commissioner of Baseball was $50,000, minus his federal salary of $7,500. "A Super-Umpire for Baseball," The Outlook 126 (Nov. 24, 1920), 535.
(61.) "Judge Landis, The New Czar of Baseballdom," Literary Digest (Dec. 4, 1920). See also Burk, Never Just a Game, 235-240.
(62.) New York World, quoted in Frommer, Shoeless Joe, p. 170; Literary Digest (Aug. 20, 1921); New York Evening Post, Jan. 28, 1927; and "Judge Landis, the New Czar."
(63.) Landis also was responsible for maintaining the "gentlemen's agreement" banning African-Americans from major league baseball. See Tygiel, Baseball's Great Experiment, pp. 30-46, for further discussion of Landis's role in keeping blacks out of the major leagues. Despite consistently denying any formal ban on black players, both owners and players knew that as long as Landis was at the helm, segregation would remain. According to Tygiel, Landis's death in 1944 "eliminated one of the most implacable and influential opponents of integration." Tygiel, p. 41. Landis also came under fire by some critics who charged him with undermining the judiciary by collecting a salary from baseball magnates, the very group that had been charged with violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Congressman Benjamin Welty of Ohio brought impeachment charges against Landis, arguing that if Landis "wants to retain the confidence and respect as a judge he must divorce himself from the fleshpots of illegal combinations." See "Judge Lan dis Under Fire," Literary Digest 68 (March 12, 1921), 40-44, 42.
(64.) See "Judge Landis, the New Czar;" Burk, Never Just a Game, p. 232; Melvyn Dubofsky, "Big Bill" Haywood (New York, 1987); Frommer, Shoeless Joe, pp. 155-58; Goler, "Black Sox," 64; and Seymour, The Golden Age, 311-312.
(65.) For further discussion of the conflation of radicalism, foreignness, and race, see Elazar Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Conceptions of Race in Britian and the United States between the World Wars (New York, 1992); Thomas F. Gosset, Race: The History of an Idea in America (New York, 1965); David R, Roediger, "Whiteness and Ethnicity in the History of 'White Ethnics' in the United States," in Roediger, Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essays on Race, Politics, and Working Class History (London, 1994), 181-198; Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (London, 1991), especially Chap. 6; and William S. Sadler, M.D., Race Decadence: An Examination of the Causes of Racial Degeneracy in the United States (Chicago, 1922).
(66.) On nativism, ethnicity, and civic culture, Lawrence H. Fuchs, The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture (Hanover, 1990); Higham, Strangers in the Land; and Henry D. Shapiro and Jonathan D. Sarna, eds., Ethnic Diversity and Civic Identity: Patterns of Conflict and Cohesion in Cincinnati since 1820 (Urbana, 1992).
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|Author:||Bachin, Robin F.|
|Publication:||Journal of Social History|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2003|
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