Buck Weaver

From BR Bullpen


George Daniel Weaver

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Star Player" in the upcoming 1919 World Series

Buck Weaver was banned from baseball for life for allegedly conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series. He was allegedly the least guilty, if guilty at all, of the bunch. As a result, there are still efforts afoot to get Weaver cleared.

Weaver was a shortstop in his early years with the Chicago White Sox, and moved over to third base in 1917, when Swede Risberg took over at short. In the 1919 World Series, he hit .324 and slugged .500. He also hit over .300 in the 1917 World Series. He came up at age 21 in 1912, hitting .224 in 147 games, and committing a whopping 71 errors. He was a weak right-handed hitter at the time, then taught himself to switch-hit in the offseason, and gradually improved his hitting to the point where he was an offensive force in his last season, 1920, batting .331/.365/.420 with 208 hits, 102 runs and 34 doubles. In spite of the initial spate of errors, he had outstanding range at shortstop, and led the league in put-outs and double plays in 1913. He was considered an excellent fielder as a third baseman, with a particular ability to field bunts, and even led the league in fielding percentage in some seasons.

Weaver attended at least two meetings where his teammates discussed throwing the 1919 World Series. Allegedly, he was doubtful about whether the scheme could succeed and refused to join in, not taking any money from gamblers or showing evidence of any decreased level of play during the Series. However, newly-appointed Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis made a point of singling out Weaver in his statement on the banning of eight players involved in the Black Sox Scandal: "...no player that sits in conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers, where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball."

Weaver found the punishment excessive and continually applied to be re-instated until his death, but the commissioner would not budge. He wanted to make a point and discourage any future player from turning a blind eye to accusations of game-fixing, and it worked. But Weaver became an increasingly bitter man, feeling that he had been made to pay much too much for his failing: "A murderer even serves his sentence and is let out," he told novelist James T. Farrell towards the end of his life, "[but] I got life."

After baseball, Weaver worked odd jobs, and barnstormed with other banned players as the ex-Major League Stars. He played semi-pro and sandlot ball, and managed a women's team. He also became a painter and is said to have painted the courtroom where he was tried. He also worked in the drugstore business, but his stores were bankrupted by the Great Depression, and he ended up working as a betting clerk at a racetrack.

He was the brother-in-law of Jim Scott.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL At Bats Leader (1919)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1920)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (1920)
  • Won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 1917

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gene Carney: Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded, Potomac Books Inc., 2006, ISBN 978-1574889727
  • David J. Fletcher: "George Daniel 'Buck' Weaver", in David Jones, ed.: Deadball Stars of the American League, SABR, Potomac Books Inc., Dulles, VA, 2006, pp. 510-513.
  • David Fletcher: "Buck Weaver", in Jacob Pomrenke, ed.: Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 213-218. ISBN 978-1-933599-95-3

External Links[edit]