Black Sox Thesis

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Comiskey was probably no worse than most owners—in fact, Chicago had the largest team payroll in 1919.

In the era of the reserve clause, gamblers could find players on many teams looking for extra cash—and they did.

In addition, the clubhouse was divided into two factions.

One group resented the more straitlaced players (later called the "Clean Sox"), a group that included players like second baseman Eddie Collins, a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University, catcher Ray Schalk, and pitchers Red Faber and Dickey Kerr.

These rumors also reached the press box where a number of correspondents, including Hugh Fullerton of the Chicago Herald and Examiner and ex-player and manager Christy Mathewson, resolved to compare notes on any plays and players that they felt were questionable.

However, most fans and observers were taking the series at face value.

Years later, Schalk said that if Faber had been available, the fix would have likely never happened, since Faber would have almost certainly started games that went instead to two of the alleged conspirators, Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams.

On October 1, the day of Game One, there were rumors amongst gamblers that the series was fixed, and a sudden influx of money being bet on Cincinnati caused the odds against them to fall rapidly.

After throwing a strike with his first pitch of the Series, Cicotte's second pitch struck Cincinnati leadoff hitter Morrie Rath in the back, delivering a pre-arranged signal confirming the players' willingness to go through with the fix.

Lefty Williams, one of the "Eight Men Out", lost three games, a Series record.

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