"Shoeless" Joe Jackson

The 1919 World Series featured baseball’s most infamous scandal. That Fall Classic pitted the heavily favored Chicago White Sox against the underdog Cincinnati Reds. Eager to make some extra money, some Sox took bribes from gamblers to throw the World Series. Eventually, the bribery was discovered and a national scandal erupted. Sox star outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson’s name appeared prominently among those implicated as cheaters. By 1921, several White Sox, including Shoeless Joe, faced a criminal trial. A Chicago jury found them not guilty, but the baseball commissioner banned them from the sport forever. Follow as the Chicago History Museum uses Shoeless Joe's voice to tell his story.

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After the first game, people saw Gleason yellin’ at Risberg and Cicotte outside our hotel in Cincinnati. The rumor is that Gleason got a bunch of telegrams tippin’ him off about the fix. All Kid could do was hope it wasn’t true and put Lefty Williams on the mound for Game Two. Lefty won 23 games that season but he was only makin’ $2,600 a year. Durin’ the second game, Lefty pitched an alright game except for his six walks. He could’ve played it off as a bad game, but Ray Schalk knew better and yelled that Williams “crossed him three times.” We ended up losin’ the second game 4-2. Our team morale was so low that Gleason lunged at Gandil in the dugout after the loss. Luckily, other players were there to stop it. The same can’t be said for Lefty, who got approached by Ray Schalk outside the ballpark. Schalk got in a good amount of punches before we stopped him. Our team was fallin’ apart at the seams but the gamblers were gettin’ their money and that was all that mattered.

Lefty Williams, Redland Field, 1919 (SDN-061904) , White Sox Catcher Ray Schalk Baseball Card, 1919 (ICHi-67457)