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Crisis: 1919 Black Sox Scandal

The date is September 28, 1920, and White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte and outfielder “Shoeless” Joe Jackson have just confessed to a scheme that will rock the baseball and sporting world. A plot was revealed in which they and seven other White Sox players had thrown the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. An emotional and remorseful Cicotte laid out how had been paid $10,000 from gamblers to go through with the fix, and Jackson implicated Chick Gandill as the mastermind. However, suspicions abound that that kind of capital could only be obtained from nefarious means, and names of men with connections to the criminal underworld have been floating about. This scandal has the potential to completely unravel professional baseball and shatter the public’s perception of the game as honest and the greatest representation of American values. The owner’s massive investments in clubs are tied to the game’s popularity, and dropping attendance from disillusioned fans would spell disaster for their bottom line. However, a sense of reform is also in the air, with this crisis requiring drastic action to prevent players from turning to such desperate means for, as Cicotte put it, “the wife and kids.” This is baseball’s darkest hour, and delegates must find a way to reform its structure, keep its credibility, and bring justice to this scandal if they wish America’s pastime not to become a relic of the past.

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