Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox Scandal After winning the 1906 World Series, the Chicago White Sox were not able to maintain their position of number one. They remained in the middle of the American League until 1915 when a new manager, Clarence Rowland and a new star, Joe Jackson, joined the team. Joe Jackson was a star from South Carolina who was known as “Shoeless” Joe because of his poverty-stricken childhood. Joe Jackson was dubbed “The finest natural hitter in the history of the game.” In 1917 the White Sox won one hundred games in the regular season and went on to defeat the New York Giants in the World Series four games to two. Two years later the Sox were in the World Series thanks to their two twenty game winners, Eddie Cicotte and Clause Williams.
The White Sox lost the best-of-nine series five games to three. A reporter for the Cincinnati Tribune thought something was wrong when he found out that someone had placed a two million dollar bet on the underdog Reds. One year later, in September 1920, Jackson, Cicotte and Wilson signed confessions to receiving five thousand dollars to throw the World Series. Before the trial for Jackson, Cicotte and Wilson, there was a turnover in the Illinois State Attorney’s Office and all the confessions mysteriously disappeared. The three baseball players then said they didn’t sign the confessions so the case was dropped.
The new commissioner for Major League Baseball was Kenesaw Mountain Landis and he believed three players were guilty. He also believed they weren’t the only ones on the team that threw the series. Kenesaw Mountain Landis kicked seven players from the White Sox team of 1919 out of Major League Baseball for life. Eddie Cicotte, Chick Gandil, Clause Williams, Happy Felsch, Swede Risberg, Fred McMullin and Joe Jackson were suspended for accepting a bribe to throw a series. Eight players were actually suspended for life but only seven took bribes. Buck Weaver, the eighth player who was suspended did not take money to throw the series.
He was suspended because he knew what was going on but did not say anything. Even though Joe Jackson was accused of throwing the World Series he had the highest batting average in the series which was .375. He had no errors, twelve hits and the series only homerun. Do those statistics sound like “Shoeless” Joe Jackson threw the series. This turned out to be the greatest fix in the history of baseball.