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SABR/Baseball Reference Encyclopedia

Baseball's collaborative encyclopedia with 84,485 articles

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1919 White Sox

The 1919 World Series series is most remembered for the Black Sox Scandal. On the field, the underdog Cincinnati Reds defeated the prestigious Chicago White Sox (pictured) by five games to three to earn their first World Championship. However, the team's achievement has been diminished by the fact that eight of the White Sox players were later accused of accepting money to fix the outcome of the Series, and were eventually all permanently banned from organized baseball. To this day, there is still considerable debate as to whether or how much the accused players tried to deliberately lose the Series, and which team would have won had the games been played entirely on the level. The 1919 World Series was one of the most historically important World Series ever played, along with the 1903 World Series which created the pattern for future series. The 1919 Series could easily have been the last one to be played, given the disgust over the unholy gambling business that took place around the games. However, the firm reaction of newly-appointed Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was able to restore the public's fate in the fairness of futures series. Apart from the scandal, the series was also important for being the last one of the Deadball Era: the home run played almost no role in the eight games, something that would never be true from that point forward. In spite of the tainted nature of the results, it also raised tremendous public interest, indicating that major league baseball had survived the shock of World War I with its popularity unscathed; it would only grow exponentially in future years.

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