White Sox star
pitcher Eddie
Cicotte—one of the
Black Sox
Abe "The Little Champ" Attell,
Rothstein's henchman and
sometimes bodyguard,
former featherwight
champion of the world.
Sleepy Bill Burns,
former major
league pitcher,
who needed
A.R.'s cash for
the fix
East St. Louis
Harry Redmon.
St. Louis
Carl Zork.
Byron "Ban"
Johnson. He
thought he
could make a
deal with
Arnold Rothstein's
brilliant attorney
William J. Fallonâ
"The Great
Fallon helped clear
Rothstein and
Charles Comiskey
Chicago White Sox
Owner Charles
Comiskey. The
scandal ruined his
Billy Maharg
Billy Maharg—
boxer and Major
League baseball
Burns' friend and
Arnold Rothstein
Arnold Rothstein in 1920:
The high-stakes New York
gambler behind the
1919 World Series fix.
Times Square's Astor Hotel:
Scene of the Arnold
Rothstein-Sleepy Bill Burns-Billy
Maharg Confrontation of September
Sleepy Bill Burns (center) on the
witness stand in Chicago during the
Black Sox trial
Eddie Cicotte
Charles A. Stoneham
Wall Street
New York Giants
owner Charles
A. Stoneham
Harry Redmon
Carl Zork
Sleepy Bill Burns
William Fallon
Shoeless Joe Jackson
White Sox
Slugger Shoeless
Joe Jackson took
$10,000 of
Rothstein's money
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis--Baseball's First Commissioner
Federal Judge
Mountain Landis
became Baseball's first
Commissioner in the
wake of the Black Sox
Two of the clique of Midwestern Gamblers
working with Rothstein and Attell
Arnold Rothstein
and Baseball's
1919 Black Sox Scandal
Rothstein Photo Galleries:
Main   Murder   Black Sox   Gangsters   Boxing   Saratoga   Women
To untangle what A.R. tangled we must start at the beginning, with fairly
incontrovertible facts. A cabal of players ("the Black Sox") on the highly favored
American League champion Chicago White Sox conspired to lose the 1919 World Series
to the National League Cincinnati Reds. The Sox were a talented but unhappy and
faction-ridden ball club. Money played a part in their unhappiness. Some players felt
underpaid and hated owner Charles Comiskey for it. But on the Sox were men who
would have stolen even if had been millionaires.

Not one, but two sets of gamblers, financed the fix. The players stretched out their greedy
hands and took money from both. Ultimately, both gambling cliques welshed on their promises,
shorting the players on the cash promised them. The players retaliated by winning Game Three
against Cincinnati, bankrupting one gambling clique and sending them home from the series.
However, under threat of violence, the Sox ultimately lost the Series to the Reds.

It was not the perfect crime. Perfect crimes require discretion and intelligence. In 1919, so
many players and gamblers flaunted their actions that suspicions surfaced almost immediately.
But nearly a year passed before baseball and civil authorities exposed the plot. In July 1921 eight
Black Sox players--pitchers Ed Cicotte and Lefty Williams, outfielders Shoeless Joe Jackson
and Oscar "Happy" Felsch, first baseman Chick Gandil, shortstop Swede Risberg, third
baseman Buck Weaver, and utility man Fred McMullin and a ragtag assortment of gamblers
stood trial in Chicago. After several signed confessions disappeared mysteriously, all won
acquittal—but not exoneration. None of the eight Black Sox ever played major-league baseball

This we know for sure. Less certain is Arnold Rothstein's connection.

A.R. did very little in direct fashion, and until he caught a bullet in his gut, he never paid for his
actions. If things happened--illegal things, immoral things, violent things--and he profited from
them . . . well that was just how things turned out. No one could ever prove anything. If he
shot a cop--or even three--he walked, and the detective who wondered aloud whether shooting
cops should be punished by civil authorities found himself indicted. If the feds indicted A.R. for
questionable activities on Wall Street, the case conveniently never came to trial. If A.R. fixed a
World Series . . .
New York's
Ansonia Hotel:
where Burns and
Maharg plotted
with the Black
Sox to throw the
World Series.
Main         Chronology        Characters         Photos          Films        Excerpt
Astor Hotel
Ansonia Hotel
Chicago Evening Post: Williams and Hap Felsch Confess; Indict 2 Bribers
Buckminster Hotel
Boston's Buckminster
Hotel--where gambler
Sport Sullivan and the
Black Sox plotted in 1919.
Former Chicago Cubs
owner Lucky Charlie
Weeghman heard
rumors of the fix from
Chicago gambler Mont
Chicago Criminal Courts Building
Chicago's Criminal Courts Building,
54 W. Hubbard Street, where the
Black Sox won acquittal in July 1921.
Sleepy Bill Burns on the witness stand.
Chicago Herald and

sportswriter Hugh
Fullerton ("ADVISE
FLOAT") helped
expose the scandal.
Rothstein: The Life, Times and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
Chicago Evening Post: Williams and Hap Felsch Confess; Indict 2 Bribers
Mr. Pietrusza masterfully handles tangled facts, the myriad double-crosses, and the
swirling cast of characters surrounding the Black Sox Scandal. He reveals
Rothstein to have been at the very center of the conspiracy and playing both ends
against the middle so that he couldn't possibly lose. This account challenges that
with which most of us are familiar—Eliot Asinof's in
Eight Men Out—but is so
exhaustively researched that it seems likely to remain the definitive version of