The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball by Charles Fountain (2015)
The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball
by Charles Fountain
Oxford University Press, 2015
It is one of the most interesting—and tragic—stories in baseball history. The 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal, arguably the best team in baseball, should-be Hall of Famers involved in the nefarious activity of throwing games for profit. But not just any games. These were World Series (or world’s series) games, the ones that were to determine who was truly the best team of the year. The heavily favored White Sox squared off against the Cincinnati Reds in the 1919 Series, but fell five games to three.
In The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, author Charles Fountain examines the circumstances that led to one of the biggest fixes in sports history, one that saw several Chicago players banned for life due to their participation. Fountain’s research shows the complicity of not only the gamblers and players, but also the owners. Baseball survived the scandal and evolved, requiring integrity of all involved.
I was a little disappointed that Fountain did not discuss the possibility of the involvement of Reds players as well, though he does delve into Hal Chase’s alleged betting in 1918. His treatment of the White Sox, though, particularly Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver, is second-to-none. This is a phenomenal look into the history and environment of the 1919 World Series, one that baseball fans will never forget.
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Posted on October 13, 2015, in baseball, books, reviews and tagged 1919 World Series, Buck Weaver, Charles Fountain, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Joe Jackson, The Betrayal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.