On September 27, 1920, a grand jury was convened, charging eight members of the Chicago White Sox with conspiracy in relation to intentionally losing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for kickbacks from gambling interests.
Eddie Cicotte reportedly confessed on Sep 28. The seven players still in the majors were all suspended for the final series of the year and ultimately lost the 1920 AL pennant to Cleveland. Of the eight, seven had attended a meeting to discuss throwing the series. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was reportedly not present. He supposedly did receive $5000 to participate in the conspiracy. Whether he did participate (and even whether he actually took the money) has been a subject of debate for a century. Buck Weaver did attend the meeting, but did not take money and always insisted he did not participate in losing the series on purpose. The grand jury handed down an indictment for nine counts of conspiracy to defraud. The trial ultimately took place in 1921. The eight players were acquitted. The new/first ever commissioner of baseball nonetheless permanently disqualified all eight, including Jackson and Weaver, from participating in affiliated baseball. Ever since 1921, every clubhouse has had a warning posted of the consequences of getting caught betting on baseball or conspiring with gamblers.
Say it ain’t so, Joe.
PS: 9/27/1722…Sam Adams’ birthday. Cheers!