SPORTS & RECREATION

Double Plays and Double Crosses: The Black Sox and Baseball in 1920

Rowman & Littlefield. Mar. 2021. 344p. ISBN 9781538142325. $36. SPORTS
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The 1919 Black Sox baseball scandal, in which Chicago White Sox players were accused of deliberately losing the World Series under pressure from gamblers, still resonates across sports. The scandal itself has been well examined previously; here, Chicago native Zminda (The Legendary Harry Caray) breaks new ground with an in-depth study of the following year, 1920. Zminda’s exhaustive research reveals that game-fixing continued into that next season, with the Chicago team divided between the so-called Black Sox players and those who were uninvolved: the Clean Sox. Tracing the scandal’s fallout and the division among those Chicago teammates, Zminda exposes the full extent of corruption throughout Major League Baseball, beyond what has generally been known. Impeccable research and a fan’s eye for detail make Zminda’s account the unexpected missing link in the ever-fascinating story of the tainted 1919 World Series and the beginning of baseball’s recovery afterward. Included are photographs of key players in the White Sox franchise.
VERDICT One hundred years after the notorious Black Sox scandal, baseball scholars and historians will find this an essential study of a previously unexplored chapter of the game’s history. An important addition to baseball collections, especially for academic and specialty libraries.

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