Arnold Rothstein
and Baseball's 1919 Black Sox Scandal
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 again.

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 . . .
Arnold Rothstein
Abe
Sleepy Bill Burns
"A.R."--
Arnold Rothstein in 1920:
The high-stakes New
York gambler behind the
1919 World Series fix.
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
Billy Maharg
Harry Redmon
Carl Zork
Sleepy Bill Burns, former
major league pitcher,
who needed A.R.'s cash
for the fix
East St. Louis gambler
Harry Redmon.
St. Louis gambler
Carl Zork.
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Eddie Cicotte
Byron
White Sox Slugger
Shoeless Joe Jackson
took $10,000 of
Rothstein's money
Knuckleballing White Sox
star pitcher Eddie
Cicotte--one of the key
Black Sox
American League President
Byron "Ban" Johnson. He
thought he could make a deal
with Rothstein.
Charles Comiskey
William Fallon
Charles A. Stoneham
Chicago White Sox
Owner Charles
Comiskey. The scandal
ruined his championship
franchise.
Arnold Rothstein's
brilliant attorney
William J. Fallon--
"The Great Mouthpiece."
Fallon helped clear
Rothstein and Attell.
Rothstein's
Wall Street associate,
New York Giants owner Charles
A. Stoneham
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis--Baseball's First Commissioner
Buckminster Hotel
Federal Judge Kenesaw
Mountain Landis
became Baseball's first
Commissioner in the
wake of the Black Sox
Scandal
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 Tennes.
Ansonia Hotel
Astor Hotel
New York's
Ansonia Hotel:
where Burns and
Maharg plotted with the
Black Sox to throw the
World Series.
Chicago Herald and
Examiner
sportswriter
Hugh Fullerton ("ADVISE
ALL NOT TO BET ON THIS
SERIES. UGLY RUMORS
FLOAT") helped expose
the scandal.
Times Square's Astor Hotel:
Sleepy Bill Burns on the witness stand.
Chicago Criminal Courts Building
Chicago Evening Post: Williams and Hap Felsch Confess; Indict 2 Bribers
Sleepy Bill Burns
(center) on the witness
stand in Chicago during
the Black Sox trial
Chicago's Criminal Courts
Building, 54 W. Hubbard
Street, where the Black
Sox won acquittal in

July 1921.