Black Sox Might Not be Alone in Throwing a World Series

Steve JankowskiAnalyst IApril 21, 2008

A Sporting News report just released says the Cubs might have fixed the 1918 World Series, one year before the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.

Black Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte says in a newly-discovered affidavit that the 1918 Cubs were the inspiration for the 1919 World Series fix. 

The right-hand man of Charles Comiskey, Harry Grabiner, also wrote in his diary that he believes the Cubs were paid off in the 1918 fall classic.  Columnist Hugh Fullerton reported at the time that something seemed wrong. 

Fullerton blew the whistle on baseball's gambling problem after the 1919 World Series.

Box scores from the 1918 World Series seem to back up Cicotte, Grabiner, and Fullerton's assertions.

Fullerton's accounts of the games between the Cubs and Red Sox indicate several baserunning mistakes, and defensive errors by a Cubs team that went 84-45, and was favored to defeat Babe Ruth's Red Sox.

Cubs baserunners were picked off three times, twice in the decisive game six, and a two-base error by Cubs right fielder Max Flack allowed the Series-winning run to score in a 2-1 Red Sox win.

Cicotte indicated in his testimony that the idea of fixing a Series first came up when the White Sox were on a train to New York during the 1919 World Series.  The team reportedly discussed the previous years' World Series, which according to players, was fixed.  The White Sox players then tried to determine how many players it would take to throw a World Series.

There is no definitive proof that the 1918 World Series was fixed; no smoking gun was found, according The Sporting News.  It may be impossible to know the truth about the 1918 World Series, but the speculation alone is more than intriguing.

Imagine the Cubs being only 90 years removed from their last World Series title.  Their fans would have actually heard it on radio.