Burying the Black Sox


Burying the Black Sox

How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded

Gene Carney

388 pages


June 2007


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eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2011


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About the Book

Most fans today know that gamblers and ballplayers conspired to “fix” the 1919 World Series—the Black Sox Scandal. It has been touched upon in classic works of sports history such as Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out, referred to in literary classics like W. P. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe, and has been central to two of the best baseball movies ever made, John Sayles’s Eight Men Out and Phil Robinson’s Field of Dreams. Many, however, would be surprised to learn that it took nearly a year to uncover the fix. Burying the Black Sox is the first book to focus on the cover-up that kept the fix from the American public until almost another whole baseball season was played, and to examine in detail the way events unfolded as the deception was unraveled. Unlike Eliot Asinof in Eight Men Out, previously the definitive book on the subject, Carney thoroughly documents his information and brings together evidence from a wide variety of sources, many not available to Asinof or more recent writers. In Burying the Black Sox, Gene Carney reveals what else happened and answers the questions that fascinate any baseball fan wondering about baseball’s original dilemma over guilt and innocence. Who else in baseball knew that the fix was in? When did they know? And what did they do about it? Carney explores how Charles Comiskey, the owner of the White Sox, and his fellow owners tried to bury the incident and control the damage, how the conspiracy failed, and how “Shoeless” Joe Jackson attempted to clear his name. He uses primary research materials that weren’t available when Asinof wrote Eight Men Out, including the 1920 grand jury statements by Jackson and pitcher Eddie Cicotte, the diary of Comiskey’s secretary, and the transcripts of Jackson’s 1924 suit against the Sox for back pay. Where Asinof told the story of the eight “Black Sox,” Carney explains the baseball industry’s uncertain response to the scandal.


"Aiming to supersede Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out, veteran baseball researcher Carney unpacks the history of the scandal to reveal new sources and new elements to the tale. Asking who knew what about the fix, when they knew it, and what they did about it, he answers with a fully documented study of scandal and cover-up that should prove essential for all baseball collections."—Library Journal

"It is startling to think that immutable baseball history you've 'known' since childhood is nothing more than a pile of unconnected errors. Gene Carney has convinced me: few of us know a thing about the 1919 World Series, and that if Joe Jackson and his colleagues committed any crimes, they paled in comparison to the cover-up effected by the game's management. And all that is particularly evocative and relevant today, as we try to figure out if the game's management is trying to expose the use of performance-enhancing drugs or hide the evidence of it."—Keith Olbermann

"If you think you know the story of the 'Black Sox Scandal,' think again and start reading. This thoroughly researched and well-balanced account goes well beyond anything that has ever been written about it before. Gene Carney has done a world championship job."—Bill Deane, former senior research associate, National Baseball Hall of Fame

"I thought that I knew everything about the Black Sox Scandal until I read this book. Gene Carney has not entirely solved the puzzle; nobody possibly could. But thanks to his detective work we have a lot more of the pieces and a fuller picture of what occurred both during the 1919 World Series and, equally significantly, during the cover-up that followed."—Jules Tygiel, author of Past Time: Baseball as History

"[Carney] assembles an impressive range of perspectives on each question about the incident. . . . Extensive research and thorough documentation will make this a valuable resource."—Publishers Weekly

"More good stories than you can count . . . And it's more challenging insight than you've ever read on Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox. . . . If you're at all serious about baseball, it's a must-read."—Greenville (SC) News

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