Chicago's Black Sox


The Grand Jury Hearings

In September 1920, a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury convened to look into allegations that the Chicago Cubs had thrown games against the Philadelphia Phillies. The investigation soon extended to the 1919 World Series and baseball gambling in general. The White Sox were enjoying a good season when the grand jury began calling players, owners, managers, writers, and gamblers to testify about what had happened the previous year. At the urging of Comiskey, who was trying to cover up his own knowledge of the conspiracy, Jackson and Cicotte were the first to admit everything they knew about the fix.

Local newspapers made the scandal public and stayed on the story throughout the legal proceedings (headlines from the Chicago Tribune). Local newspapers made the scandal public and stayed on the story throughout the legal proceedings (headlines from the Chicago Tribune).

Local newspapers made the scandal public and stayed on the story throughout the legal proceedings (headlines from the Chicago Tribune).

When the grand jury finally concluded its investigation, indictments were handed down against the eight White Sox players, as well as Hal Chase, Abe Attell, Joe Sullivan, Bill Burns, and several of Arnold Rothstein's henchmen. Rothstein, who allegedly made $270,000 on the 1919 Series, was not indicted by the grand jury. Rothstein moved on to bootlegging, drug dealing, and labor racketeering. He was eventually murdered by a rival gambler whom he had accused of fixing a poker game. The indicted players, however, faced a trial.





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