On this day in history, 97 years ago, the Chicago White Sox, who were heavily favored to win the World Series, were at the heart of the greatest controversy in the history of baseball. They were seriously underpaid and mistreated by owner Charles Comiskey. The conspiracy to fix the games was most likely initiated by first baseman Chick Gandil and small-time gambler Joseph Sullivan.
Later, New York gambler Arnold Rothstein reluctantly endorsed it. The schemers used the team’s discontent to their advantage. Through intermediaries, Rothstein offered relatively small sums of money for the players to lose some of the games intentionally. The scandal came to light when the gamblers did not pay the players as promised, thinking that they had no recourse.
But when the players openly complained, the story became public and authorities were forced to prosecute them. The trial against the players was actually just for show. After a tacit agreement whereby the players assented to not denigrate major league baseball or Comiskey in return for an acquittal, the signed confessions from some of the players mysteriously disappeared from police custody.
As a result of the entire affair, the players were exonerated, but they were never allowed to play baseball again. That’s the difference between baseball and God. When he exonerates sin, we are deemed forgiven, clean, pure, whole, and renewed. We receive all the benefits of heaven as though we never sinned in the first place.
The “Black Sox Scandal,” as it has been known for 95 years, has yet to be erased from the record books or the minds of fans throughout generations. The “Sin Scandal” was settled on the cross.