On September 29, 1920, the people of Chicago waited with keen anticipation for the outcome of a key legal case being heard in the Cook County Courthouse. This case was not the trial of a high profile gangster, or even a specific individual, but rather an American institution- the game of baseball. On this particular day, players of the White Sox baseball team were giving testimony about their involvement in the intentional loss of the 1919 World Series. As one of the most popular White Sox players, Joe Jackson, exited the courthouse, a young boy standing on the sidewalk, clearly devastated by the possibility of one of his idols going astray, cried out the immortal words: "Say it ain't so, Joe!" (Brody). Sadly, however, it was true- the White Sox had in fact lost the World Series on purpose, eventually leading to the team being nicknamed Black Sox and the event being known as The Black Sox Scandal (Crepeau).
In retrospect, not only was this a sad moment in baseball history which tarnished the beloved American pastime, some say permanently, but it also struck a dangerous blow to the delicate psyche of a nation recovering from a World War, and an entire people seeking meaning in life and a renewed identity as a unified people.
In this paper, The Black Sox Scandal of 1919 will be discussed not only based upon the face value of what the scandal was, but also from the vantage points of American history, the scandal's effects on the national pastime, and the role of sports in society as a whole. Upon conclusion of the paper, this pivotal event will be understood in the tradition of its true historical, cultural, and recreational significance.
How the Scandal Came About Before a true appreciation of the various effects...