Learning More about the Black Sox Scandal

The Society for American Baseball Research has released Eight Myths Out, a report by its Black Sox Scandal Research Committee debunking widely held beliefs about the worst gambling scandal in the sport’s history.

I was amazed by what I learned in reviewing this work, released as we begin the centennial of the fixing of the 1919 World Series. If most of what you know about it comes from the excellent movie Eight Men Out, you will learn quite a bit.

As the SABR Facebook announcement explains:

The Black Sox Scandal is a cold case, not a closed case; new evidence has been discovered in recent years that has enhanced our collective knowledge of the scandal. Much of the popular narrative about the scandal falls apart under closer scrutiny.

I found that many of my assumptions about the scandal were wrong. And the researchers here have shown there work with links to documents and other artifacts now available online.

I think SABR has done a great service to offer this resource as we enter a new era of legal sports gaming. Knowing what actually happened with the Black Sox and the gambling culture of the first decades of the 20th Century may even help us better avoid such scandals in the future.

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