In the fall of 1926, the world of baseball was rocked by the sudden retirements of Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. The reasons given by the Baseball Gods were unconvincing.
The startling move was forced by American League President Ban Johnson, who tried to manage the situation secretly, desperate to hold onto the last shreds of his power. But when the mighty Kenesaw Mountain Landis learned about the scandal behind Cobb's and Speaker's retirements, the commissioner launched an investigation of his own.
The tale that unfolded seemed too incredible to be true: Cobb and Speaker were implicated in a game-fixing and gambling scheme, and former star pitcher, Dutch Leonard, was blackmailing baseball with leters from Cobb and Smoky Joe Wood that Leonard had saved since the winter of 1919.
Judge Landis had a major crisis on his hands, more complex and potentially more consequential th the Black Sox Scandal. How could Landis balance his hatred of gambling without ruining the reputations of two baseball legends, while at the same time squash the impudent blowhard Johnson once and for all?
Baseball Gods in Scandal is the first complete telling of the Dutch Leonard Affair. The dark underbelly of the Deadball Era is exposed in all its sordidness. All the characters of the scandal are brought to life through in-depth profiles, complete transcripts of Cobb's and Speaker's testimony, and an expert analysis of the years-long legal and personal battles between Judge Landis and Ban Johnson.
Also presented is a never-befor-published interview with co-conspirator Smoky Joe Wood, whose revised account of the scandal was so packed with dynamite that it was buried in the archives at the Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame for more than 50 years--until now!