In 1919, many members of the American League Champion, Chicago White Sox were unhappy with miserly owner, Charles Comiskey.
First baseman, Charles Gandil, got in touch with some gamblers, most notably, Arnold Rothstein, a member of the Jewish mafia, and offered to throw the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Eight players in all would be fingered, though there is much dispute about the involvement of Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver.
The players would see little of the promised money and many became disillusioned and started reneging on their agreement.
Threats of violence, including some against family members, kept the players in line, and Chicago lost the series 5-3.
Rumors of a fix began circulating all through the 1920 season and on Sept. 28, Eddie Cicotte and Jackson confessed their involvement before a grand jury.
Comiskey thereupon suspended all the suspected players which cost Chicago the pennant. A trial was ordered, the confessions conveniently stolen, and the players were acquitted.
Meanwhile, fearing damaging repercussions, the owners appointed a baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and gave him absolute power.
The day after the players were acquitted, Landis banned them from baseball for life. The effects of this episode are still felt in all professional sports to this day (except the "curse" on the White Sox, which ended when they won the World Series in 2005).
It led to the permanent office of the Baseball Commissioner, and the threat of punishment for any player or official with even a sniff of a connection to organized gambling.
Other notable sports figures that would be affected to some degree by this incident were Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, Art Schlichter, Rick Tocchet, and Wayne and Janet Gretzky.
One side effect was the excellent book and movie, "Eight Men Out".