Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded

Overview

Most fans today know that gamblers and ballplayers conspired to “fix” the 1919 World Series—the Black Sox Scandal. It has been touched upon in classic works of sports history such as Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out, referred to in literary classics like W. P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, and has been central to two of the best baseball movies ever made, John Sayles’s Eight Men Out and Phil Robinson’s Field of Dreams.

Many, however, would be surprised to learn that it took nearly a year...

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Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded

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Overview

Most fans today know that gamblers and ballplayers conspired to “fix” the 1919 World Series—the Black Sox Scandal. It has been touched upon in classic works of sports history such as Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out, referred to in literary classics like W. P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, and has been central to two of the best baseball movies ever made, John Sayles’s Eight Men Out and Phil Robinson’s Field of Dreams.

Many, however, would be surprised to learn that it took nearly a year to uncover the fix. Burying the Black Sox is the first book to focus on the cover-up that kept the fix from the American public until almost another whole baseball season was played, and to examine in detail the way events unfolded as the deception was unraveled. Unlike Eliot Asinof in Eight Men Out, previously the definitive book on the subject, Carney thoroughly documents his information and brings together evidence from a wide variety of sources, many not available to Asinof or more recent writers.

In Burying the Black Sox, Gene Carney reveals what else happened and answers the questions that fascinate any baseball fan wondering about baseball’s original dilemma over guilt and innocence. Who else in baseball knew that the fix was in? When did they know? And what did they do about it? Carney explores how Charles Comiskey, the owner of the White Sox, and his fellow owners tried to bury the incident and control the damage, how the conspiracy failed, and how “Shoeless” Joe Jackson attempted to clear his name. He uses primary research materials that weren’t available when Asinof wrote Eight Men Out, including the 1920 grand jury statements by Jackson and pitcher Eddie Cicotte, the diary of Comiskey’s secretary, and the transcripts of Jackson’s 1924 suit against the Sox for back pay. Where Asinof told the story of the eight “Black Sox,” Carney explains the baseball industry’s uncertain response to the scandal.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The best, most researched, most enjoyable research I have ever seen on the Black Sox. Anyone remotely interested in the subject has to read Burying the Black Sox. It is the best!"

"Carney has created the definitive study on the scandal in Burying the Black Sox."

"Carney's book is carefull researched and well documented; he probably knows more about the 1919 World Series than anyone. It succeeds in correcting myths long believed by writers and fans who have too casually accepted uncorroborated accounts of the 1919 World Series' many tangled events."

"[Carney] has taken an incident which is really a tapestry of smaller, often unconnected events, twirled them around in his mind, analyzed them from every angle, and done the best job yet of solving a semmingly unsolvable puzzle. He has done this by uncompromisingly thorough research, as he literally discusses almost everything written or said about baseball's most intriguing event and yet keeps it highly readable...well worth one's time."

"This is a must read for any fan interested in the Black Sox Scandal story. Gene Carney has done his research and the book speaks for itself...I have been researching Joe Jackson and the Black Sox Scandal for over 22 years, and this is the very best book to date on the true story of the fix....If you only have time to read one book on the Black Sox Scandal, you must read this one!"

"...[O]ne of the best pieces of baseball research to come along in quite a while."

"One of the most notorious events in baseball history—the "fixing" of the 1919 World Series by the Chicago White Sox (Black Sox ever afterward)—gets a thorough and overdue revisionist examination by a Utica, N.Y. writer. Carney goes far beyond the traditional "Eight Men Out" (book and film of the same title), especially in his account of baseball's initial attempt to cover up the World Series scandal."

"...Numerous books, films, and documentaries have been produced on the topic, but Carney's newest tome delves into the subject unlike any other...has shed new light on this great mystery of baseball."

"How do you describe a book once you pick it up, you find it's hard to put it down. That's Burying the Black Sox. This book will be a future reference book. A 21-gun salute is in order!"

"I have read the book and salute [Gene Carney] for an extraordinary job of research. He not only covered every angle, but every angle on every angle."

"Gene Carney has done a first-rate job not only mining previous research but finding new material on baseball's blackest moment. While he concedes that not everything will ever be known about the scandal, given the difficulties of time and memory, this book reads with authority. Its special strength, as the title hints, is in the detail about organized baseball's attempt to bury the scandal. Thanks to Carney, more of this part of the story is now known than ever before. Highly recommended,"

"...[T]here is no doubt that this book was extremely well-researched. [Carney] does a good job of separating fact from fiction, giving credit to other sources where it is due and correcting misinformation that was previously published."

"For any baseball fan with an interest in this black spot on baseball's history, this is a must-read. Gene Carney 'hits a home run' in exposing the Black Sox scandal for the complex phenomenon that it was."

Library Journal
Aiming to supersede Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series, veteran baseball researcher Carney unpacks the history of the scandal to reveal new sources and new elements to the tale. Asking who knew what about the fix, when they knew it, and what they did about it, he answers with a fully documented study of scandal and cover-up that should prove essential for all baseball collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597971089
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/30/2007
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 935,429
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gene Carney (1946–2009) is the author of Romancing the Horsehide: Baseball Poems on Players and the Game and numerous articles in publications ranging from USA Today’s Sports Weekly to academic journals and small magazines. He lives in Utica, New York.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
The Roster     ix
Chronology of Key Events     xi
Preface     xiii
The Trial Nobody Noticed     1
The World Series of 1919     17
The Cover-Up     26
Shoeless Joe Jackson's Role     61
It Comes Undone     76
Scandal, Trial, Consequences     126
Shoeless, Knuckles, and Lefty     165
The Other Ghosts of Summer     206
The Fixers     236
Down in History     263
Aftermath     284
Epilog     302
Appendix     304
Notes     306
Bibliography     345
Index     358
About the Author     363
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