Muscle Sport Magazine

Black Sox Buck Weaver Applies For Reinstatement – TDI Baseball 1922

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Guilty by association. That seemed to be the case with a number of players on the 1919 Chicago White Sox, who became infamous for throwing the World Series against the Cincinatti Reds. One of them was George Daniel “Buck” Weaver, who had 11 hits (including four doubles and a triple) and batted .324 in the best-of-nine game Fall Classic.

Prominent New York gangster Arnold “The Brain” Rothstein was behind the fix and while some of the players involved did accept a payoff, Weaver was not one of them. The third baseman was in fact present during a meeting in one of the accused’s hotel rooms in New York where the plan was discussed. Arnold “Chick” Gandil was the main player involved, as was Eddie Cicotte. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson is perhaps the most memorable of them all, even though he played well in the series but did allegedly take a $5,000 payment – one that he denied until his dying day.

The White Sox were favored to win the series and things seemed amiss when their play was not up to par of a pennant winner. The Reds won five-games-to-three and rumors ran amok throughout the following season, so much that a grand jury was convened in September. During the hearings, Cicotte admitted his part in the scandal and the ugly details came out. The White Sox were actually in a dogfight with the Cleveland Indians at the time for the top spot in the American League, but team owner Charles Comiskey suspended the seven players who had taken part in the fix. An eighth, Gandil, was not on the roster in 1920. With a now-depleted line-up, the Sox dropped two of their last three and finished second to Cleveland.

After the indictments were handed down, a trial took place in June of 1921. After weeks of heated testimony, the jury acquitted all of the players. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was appointed the first Commissioner of Baseball at the start of the 1921 season, placed all the players on an “ineligible list”. Weaver was singled out by Landis as knowing of the fix, but not notifying team officials.

On this date in 1922, Weaver made his first application for reinstatement and Landis quickly denied it. Five more attempts followed and they all ended the same as the first, the last coming in 1953. Weaver passed away three years later at the age of 65 and even had a journalist and his niece make a few more attempts at clearing his name with subsequent commissioners, all to no avail.

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