Eight Men Out

Eight Men Out

by Eliot Asinof

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Overview

The headlines proclaimed the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati. Mr. Asinof vividly describes the tense meetings, the hitches in the conniving, the actual plays in which the Series was thrown, the Grand Jury indictment, and the famous 1921 trial. Moving behind the scenes, he perceptively examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the conditions that made the improbable fix all too possible. Here, too, is a graphic picture of the American underworld that managed the fix, the deeply shocked newspapermen who uncovered the story, and the war-exhausted nation that turned with relief and pride to the Series, only to be rocked by the scandal. Far more than a superbly told baseball story, this is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613180726
Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date: 05/28/2000
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.16(w) x 8.18(h) x 1.09(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Eliot Asinof was born in the year of the ill-fated World Series fix. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1940, he played minor league baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He wrote numerous books and a variety of plays for television and motion pictures. He lived in Ancramdale, New York, in a house he built with his son.

Read an Excerpt

 

I

THE FIX

“Arnold Rothstein is a man who waits in doorways … a mouse, waiting in the doorway for his cheese.”

William J. Fallon

1

On the morning of October 1, 1919, the sun rose in a clear blue sky over the city of Cincinnati. The temperature would climb to a sultry 83° by midafternoon. It was almost too good to be true, for the forecast had been ominous. From early morning, the sidewalks were jammed. A brightly clad band marched through the streets playing “There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.” Stores were open but business came to a standstill. There was only one thing on everybody’s lips: The World Series.

Cincinnati had never been host to a World Series before. Nor did its citizens dream, at the start of the season, that the Reds would do much better than last year’s weak third in the National League. Somehow the Reds had worked a miracle, which is exactly what the fans called their triumph. For winning the pennant, Manager Pat Moran was known as the “Miracle Man.”

“Cincinnati is nuts with baseball!” wrote syndicated columnist Bugs Baer. “They ought to call this town Cincinnutty!”

The first two games of the Series were to be played here and every seat had long since been sold. Ticket scalpers were getting the phenomenal price of $50 a pair. Every hotel room was taken; visitors found themselves jammed three and four to a room, thankful to have a bed. In private homes, families crowded into one room and hung hastily made signs ROOMS FOR RENT on their front doors. City officials, recognizing the extraordinary conditions, announced that the public parks would be available to those who could not secure accommodations. Visitors slept on wooden benches, officially assured that added police patrols would protect them from thieves.

The center of all this activity was the Sinton, Cincinnati’s leading hotel, which appeared to be bursting at the seams. The huge lobby was barely large enough for the throngs who used it as a meeting place. Through it went such notables as Senator Warren G. Harding, entertainer and songwriter George M. Cohan, former star pitcher Christy Mathewson, brilliant young writer Ring Lardner. The restaurant and coffee shop were constantly overcrowded. The management had the foresight to triple its food purchases, reaching a staggering sum of $5,000 a day. The bakery boasted a daily production of seven thousand rolls.

To the hard-nosed New York newspaperman, Damon Runyon, the big day started like this:

“The crowds coagulate at hotel entrances. Soft hats predominate. It’s a mid-Western, semi-Southern town. Hard-boiled derbys mark the Easterners. The streets of old Cincy have been packed for hours. People get up before breakfast in these parts. The thoroughfares leading to Redland Field have been echoing to the tramp of feet, the honk of auto horns since daylight. It is said that some people kept watch and ward at the ballpark all night long. Might as well stay there as any place in this town. They would have had the same amount of excitement. Flocks of jitneys go squeaking through the streets. This is the heart of the jitney belt. A jitney is the easiest thing obtainable in Cincy. A drink is next … . Cincy is a dry town—as dry as the Atlantic Ocean.”

The excitement of the Series was prevalent throughout the country. The games would be telegraphed to every major city in America. Halls were hired to which Western Union would relay the action, play by play. Fans would experience the curious sensation of cheering a third strike or a base hit in a smoke-filled room a thousand miles from the scene. Over 100,000 miles of wire were to be used for this purpose, servicing 10,000 scoreboards in 250 cities, from Winnipeg, Canada, to Havana, Cuba.

This was the climax of baseball, 1919, the first sporting classic to be played since the end of the World War in Europe.

 

On this Wednesday morning, 30,511 people paid their way into Redland Park. To the Cincinnati fans, there was a throbbing nervous excitement and a secret foreboding. For all their enthusiasm, few could realistically anticipate a World’s Championship. Deep down inside, they foresaw the adversary walking all over them. Not even Miracle Men could be expected to stop the all-powerful colossus from the West.

For they were the Chicago White Sox, a mighty ball club with a history of triumphs. It was said that Chicago fans did not come to see them win: they came to see how. They would watch the great Eddie Cicotte, a pitcher with a season’s record of 29 victories against only 7 defeats, who would tease the Reds with his knuckle ball that came dancing unpredictably toward the hitter. They would see Ray Schalk behind the plate, a small bundle of TNT, smart, always hollering. They would see the finest defensive infield in baseball, “Buck” Weaver, like a cat at third base, inching ever closer to the batter, defying him to hit one by him, always laughing. And “Swede” Risberg on shortstop, a big, rangy man who could move to his left almost with the pitch when he sensed a hit through the middle of the diamond. On second, Eddie Collins, the smooth one, the greatest infielder of his time; he made plays that left White Sox fans gasping. And “Chick” Gandil on first, the giant with hands like iron. They would wait for “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, the left fielder, to knock down fences with the power of his big black bat. They would laugh at “Happy” Felsch in center, since anything that was hit out there was a sure out. And “Shano” Collins in right; he could run, hit, and throw with any ball club in the league. There was a growing mythology about this great team; the public had placed a stamp of invincibility on it. To Cincinnati fans who had never seen the White Sox play the image seemed frightening. These were the big-city boys coming down to show the small-towners how the game should be played. There was no other way for any real fan to see it.

There was, however, one incredible circumstance that would have a bearing on the outcome: eight members of the Chicago White Sox had agreed to throw the World Series.

Copyright © 1963 by Eliot Asinof

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Introduction xv
The Fix 1
The Series 39
The Exposure 121
The Impact 195
The Trial 235
The Aftermath 277
Index 295

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Eight Men Out 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Rachel-Eberle More than 1 year ago
Eight Men Out is a book that vividly describes the events of the 1919 World Series and the events that followed. Eliot Asinof describes, in life like detail, the meetings about how the baseball players and the gamblers were going to fix the games, each game of the World Series and specific plays that lost the White Sox the series, the exposure of the fix and how that impacted the American past time. Many may wonder why a team would purposely lose the World Series when they have the opportunity to win the title and go down in history. The reason is what corrupts countless people in America, greed and money. These ball players the best in the American league were paid the lowest salaries of any other baseball team. So when the gamblers offer them 10,000 dollars each to throw the Series they were inclined to accept. Some major themes in this book are greed, cheating, and guilt. These all play a huge part in the plot of the story, in that order. The message that is the most obvious is that greed and money is not worth the guilt and penalty that always follows. I really liked the way that Asinof told the story. I only know the basics of baseball and I had no trouble understanding the terms Asinof used. Also I generally don't encounter gamblers or famous baseball players so this book gave me a realistic look into the lives of people that I can only imagine. I also like the fact that this book is a page turner, there is never a dull moment. There are so many twists and turns that you can't even guess what is going to happen next. One thing I didn't like so much was the length of the book it defiantly was not the easiest read. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone that is into sports, gambling or is simply looking for a good nonfiction read. I usually am not the biggest fan of nonfiction but the way this book was told, made it seem like a fantasy. The events that happen seem far from realistic. The fact that this book seemed like fiction helped me to get through the book without feeling like I was reading a history book. Overall I absolutely loved this book.
cyberlemur on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A baseball book which assembles the truth of the Black Sox Scandal of 1919, the depth of investigation and completeness of Asinof's retelling is astounding. That only a bit more information has come to light since the publication of this book is testament to the job Asinof has done. A fascinating re-telling of an event in which there are villains of all kinds and few are above reproach.
Griff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An extremely well written book about the infamous Black Sox scandal. What better time of year to read it than now - as the Fall Classic is approaching? The writing is engaging and intelligent. America's pasttime always fascinates - hing but a game, but so much more. I would highly recommend this book. The story is compelling. Read it.
rohwyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the most thoroughly researched book on sports I have ever read. But thanks to the writing skills of Eliot Asinof, it reads more like a fast-paced thriller than like a non-fiction account. Ultimately, this book is as much about America in that era as it is about baseball. It's also easily the best thing to come out of the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(#33 in the 2006 book challenge)I'm glad I finally picked this up, it was one of those books that had been stranded on my "to read" list for years. I should point out that I'm not much of a baseball fan at all, although I am very interested in the concept of baseball as a mirror for American culture, you know? It's a hard book to get a handle on, because it's one of those things where surely everyone (okay, not EVERYONE, but a lot of people in the US) knows the gist of the Black Sox story so you more or less know the broad strokes going in to the thing. It's my impression that this was one of the first attempts to set out the various elements in an organized format, and it does a decent job of that. The writing itself is a little lackluster to say the least. I don't like how Asinof plays around with emphasis to focus on the conclusions he thinks the reader should be reaching. Depending on what he is describing, the ballplayers alternate between throwing the series as a casual thing without giving it a second thought, to agonizing over the choice to deliberately lose the games. I came out of the book with the general impression that Buck Weaver got shafted, and the others were not so much sorry they threw the series as they were sorry they ended up in court for it. The big surprise moment for me was that apparently, everyone and their mother knew the series was fixed before it even started. I always had the impression it was a big shocker when the news came out after the fact.Grade: BRecommended: People who follow baseball have already read this, yes? I think it's a good addition to any library of sports writing, although not so much on its own merits but rather for its value as a point of reference.
BooksForDinner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the classic baseball books... great research and detail... written in the early 60's, still stands!
IronMike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eliot Asinof was kind enough to read a book I wrote, (and he liked it)...my god, I think it was way back in 1969 when he was teaching night school at NYU, and I was driving a cab. The title of my book was "P.N. 7". Hey, Eliot, if you're out there and you still have a copy of my book (unlikely) send me a message here on LT. I lived a pretty "exciting" life back in those days, and my copy of PN7 was last seen in the police station in Elkton, Md., where my friend Ben was being thrown in jail for running a toll booth off the Delaware Memorial bridge. The deputy who read PN7 told me it was a work of art. Anyway, getting back to your book, I really enjoyed it. And I'm not just saying that in hopes of getting my manuscript back. For those who don't know, Eight Men Out is about the Chicago White Sox throwing the World Series back in 1919. They made it into a movie, but as usual, the book is much better than the film. If you like baseball, you'll like this book. These weren't bad guys: not like the guys shooting up steroids today. Eliot explains the financial pressures these players were under in a system that didn't allow them to change teams without the owner's permission. And they didn't have arbitration in those days. Guys who should have been making big bucks were playing for scraps, and they had no way out.
ksmyth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a highly sympathetic look at the Black Sox scandal that also spawned a very sympathetic movie. Asinoff makes the case that owner Charlie Comiskey was a tight-fisted, unpleasant man that took advantage of his players. He also had his fingers in the investigation that led to the trial which found his players not guilty. Does all this justify taking bribes to lose the World Series? Probably not. There was a crack-down on gambling in general in the major leagues which led to the expulsion of known gamblers, such as Hal Chase, and that ushered in the existing rule that has led to the Pete Rose controversy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eight Men Out sheds a new light on Professional Baseball Eight Men Out, the story of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox, recalls the shadiness and corruption involved in the 1919 World Series. High rolling gamblers saw incredible potential profit that they could gain if the heavily favored White Sox threw the series to the Cincinnati Reds. 8 players agreed to throw the series in exchange for money, as their salaries were not fair compensation for their skill. It became pretty obvious, however, that the White Sox weren't playing the series to their full potential and were held on trial for allegedly fixing the series. While they were found innocent on all charges, they were still banned from baseball for life. The major themes of this book are greed, corruption, and disloyalty. The players were being treated unfairly by the club owners and found an opportunity to do something about it. Eddie Cicotte, star pitcher for the Sox at the time, was promised a $10,000 bonus if he won 30 games in 1919. With 29 wins and 5 more starts scheduled, the manager benched Cicotte supposedly to rest him for the series, but he believed it was to save the team $10,000. The players clearly played ball for the money rather than the passion, and couldn't pass up an opportunity to make more money in one week than they had all year long. For a sports fan like myself, it was shocking and a bit upsetting to see some of the big names like Shoeless Joe Jackson being involved in such corruption. I really enjoyed reading this novel because Asinof does a phenomenal job of telling the details involving the fix and breaks down every single piece of it for the readers. You really get a vivid picture in your head of how the fix went down, from the shady meetings to the error-filled innings. I would most certainly suggest this book to any sports fan, because the message is not solely baseball related. Also, if scandals in general intrigue or interest you like they do to me, this novel is definitely worth the read as the 1919 World Series is one of the most notorious scandals in sports history. The only part of this novel that I didn't like was the long backstories of each character involved. While it gives the readers a perspective and allows us to relate to the players as more than just their names on paper, it got boring at times and I found myself wishing the plot would get going quicker. That being said, I haven't read a non-fiction book that I enjoyed more than this book for as long as I can remember, Asinof gets 4/5 stars from me. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eight Men Out sheds a new light on Professional Sports  Eight Men Out, the story of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox, recalls the shadiness and corruption involved in the 1919 World Series. High rolling gamblers saw incredible potential profit that they could gain if the heavily favored White Sox threw the series to the Cincinnati Reds. 8 players agreed to throw the series in exchange for money, as their salaries were not fair compensation for their skill. It became pretty obvious, however, that the White Sox weren't playing the series to their full potential and were held on trial for allegedly fixing the series. While they were found innocent on all charges, they were still banned from baseball for life. 
Logan-W More than 1 year ago
8 men out by Elliot Asinof, is a fantastic book for anyone that has any amount of appreciation for baseball. It is a non-fiction novel that tells an incredible, in-depth, story about the 1919 World Series. The unmatched white sox ball club is faced with an easy decision when they’re approached by their teammate Arnold Glandil, offering 8 of the key players $10,000 to throw the World Series. That would be almost double what they would make than they would if they won, the players got on board right away. From there it becomes a complicated mess of shady gamblers and nosey reporters. The scam is released to the public and after a trial is held the ball players are found innocent but banned from baseball for life. The major themes that are portrayed in this book are greed, corruption, grief and loyalty. These themes re-establish the message that greed is costly and not worth the pain if you lose something you love over it. I enjoyed how the story was told; it was very in-depth almost like a documentary. However, it was not so much so that it became hard to read, it was a page turner but never failed to miss any information that one may have found intriguing. The characters were brought to life throughout this novel and I felt like I knew them, which made me even more invested in the story. I also enjoyed how many aspects it brought to the Series, it involved so many characters from so many walks of life and they were tied together beautifully, from News reporters to every kind of gambler to the highest up members of the American baseball league. The book sometimes hung too topics or elements of the story that I didn’t see at too important for a little too long, making it a bit hard to get through at times, however, it was still artfully put together, and a great read. You should read this book because it is a book that sheds light on one of the most important world series in baseball history, you should read it especially if you think you know about it because you will most likely learn something new. The only reason I can think of that would make this book unappealing is the play by play story telling method that Elliot uses during the actual playing of the World Series it can become repetitive. Other recommended works would include Baseball’s Great Experiment by Jules Tygiel, it follows closely with the topic of 8 Men Out and is told in a similar way, and it just a story that everyone should know. I would give this book a solid 4 stars, it is well a well written representation of one of the most controversial moments in baseball history with interesting twists and perspectives that will keep you turning pages.
jnisbet88 More than 1 year ago
Eight Men Out is a non-fiction book that depicts the 1919 World Series. Not only does Asinof explain in detail the games of the series in which the heavily favored Chicago White Sox intentionally lost to the Cincinnati Reds, he shows us a surprising aftermath and the player’s consequences. No one in the history of baseball every thought it was possible, or even an idea, to throw the most prized trophy in baseball out the window. But when a group of big money gamblers roll into the Sox’s hotel and propose the fix, the players want in. They have one condition – they want the cash. At about $10,000 each, this plan had to climb some serious mountains to gain a profit. At first, they weren’t sure how they could pull it off. When the players doubted the gamblers big promises, the gamblers don’t trust the player’s willingness to get the job done, the plan was looking down. Right before game one, they decided they would do it. Asinof makes it easy to understand the most complex series ever played, but does not skip one word on the details. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves baseball, court cases, or has a gambling problem. This book teaches many lessons and shows that gambling rarely pays off. It also shows how peer pressure can lead to many bad things. With the pressure of the ball players to join the plot, or the gamblers threats to rat each other out, the story reeks of debates between what are lies and what is the truth. When the Grand Jury of Chicago Rules the eight men innocent, everyone is jumping for joy. However, they are still banned from playing baseball for life. Some, such as Buck Weaver, the famous third basemen, try to join other leagues to fill their love of the sport. Asinof stays with the characters until the very end, showing the reader the amount of compassion they had for the sport. He creates a very realistic story that allows you to be in each and every person’s head that was involved in the World Series Scandal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I selected Eight Men Out because my parents have both read the book and they recommended it to me.  They knew that I enjoy sport related novels and figured that this one would be a good choice. I picked it up and began to read, and discovered that this would be the perfect book for me. I would recommend this book to a friend because this book might change their view of how they perceive the sport of baseball.  Most of my friends are involved in sports, so I feel that they may relate to some characters that felt pressured to go along with something they do not support because the team is encouraged it. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about sports and its unique aspects. Eight Men Out did meet my expectations of an informative yet interesting book. I was entertained throughout this novel and I wanted to continue reading on after I finished.  I was constantly learning about the history of baseball and the influence gambling had on it, which gave me a different perspective about how the game is being played today. It is easy to say that Eight Men Out is now one of my favorite books.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I selected Eight Men Out because my parents have both read the book and they recommended it to me.  They knew that I enjoy sport related novels and figured that this one would be a good choice. I picked it up and began to read, and discovered that this would be the perfect book for me. I would recommend this book to a friend because this book might change their view of how they perceive the sport of baseball.  Most of my friends are involved in sports, so I feel that they may relate to some characters that felt pressured to go along with something they do not support because the team is encouraged it. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about sports and its unique aspects. Eight Men Out did meet my expectations of an informative yet interesting book. I was entertained throughout this novel and I wanted to continue reading on after I finished.  I was constantly learning about the history of baseball and the influence gambling had on it, which gave me a different perspective about how the game is being played today. It is easy to say that Eight Men Out is now one of my favorite books.  
Lauren-Capra More than 1 year ago
Eight Men Out...A Grand Slam of a Story! Eight Men Out was a compelling book about the controversial 1919 World Series. Elliot Asinoff tells of the behind the scenes action in great detail and truly makes it all come to life in the reader's mind. It all begins with eight men on the Chicago White Sox planning to throw the series to Cincinnati, after struggling with underpayment and mal-treatment by their owner for so long. The eight men: Eddie Cicotte, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Charles "Swede" Risberg, Oscar "Happy" Felsch, Claude "Lefty" Williams, George "Buck" Weaver, and Fred McMullin, allied with gamblers around the country to earn a profit from the scandalous stunt. The book goes beyond the actual series as well, and reminisces the fix, exposure, impact, trials, and aftermath of the historical event. Themes such as integrity, greed, and justice are prominent throughout the recounting of the crime. Asinoff does a wonderful job bringing out your inner emotions towards the shocking event. You feel a certain empathy towards the players, fans, and the country, who all lost an abundance so long ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the way Asinoff made you feel as if you were right there, back 95 years ago, and living every bit of it as if it were today. The book was thrilling and I loved the great amount of detail Asinoff included. When reading, the story always kept my interest, though at times, there were instances when it seemed to be lengthy, stating details that were perhaps unnecessary to the overall story. In addition, it became a bit of a challenge to keep the many people involved organized. All in all though, this was genuinely one of the best books I've ever read! Learning about the monumental event in the history of baseball was a delight. It lead to so many aspects of baseball today. I would, without a doubt, recommend Eight Men Out. Baseball fans would definitely appreciate the dynamic recounting of the transgression, yet I would firmly recommend it to any reader that enjoys a well written, thorough, and vivid book too. Asinoff legitimately created a literary work of art in Eight Men Out. He generates an appreciation from the reader, towards how far the pastime of baseball has magnificently come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great piece of baseball history
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brittney_Maire More than 1 year ago
Were the players guilty or not?  In the book, it tells the story of the Black Socks and the 1919 World Series. The players were being accused of throwing the series in order to get money from the gamblers that bet against them. It went to court and the court proved the team innocent but the men who were involved were still banned from playing in the major league for the rest of their lives.  Some major messages that were spread throughout the book were cheating and scandals. There was a lot of mystery in the story and I liked the fact you couldn’t predict what was coming next. Throughout the entire book, you really couldn’t tell who was completely innocent or completely guilty. Before reading the book, I had no idea this had even happened. I love the game of baseball and reading this gave me a better idea on the history of the game.  I don’t like the fact that the author gave so much background of the game itself. If you are reading this book, you most likely know a thing or two about baseball already and at times the detail seamed useless and unimportant. People should read this book because it shaped the current game of baseball. After this incident happened, the amount of gambling and throwing of games decreased a lot. Some rules were rewritten and people are now watched closer to make sure another scandal like this doesn’t happen again.  It was very interesting to learn what happened and how fans were affected. I give Eight Men Out  an overall rating of 7 out of 10. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Baseball Lovers Finally Can Become Book Lovers IN 1919 the “Black Sox” created one of the most important pieces of baseball history by scandalously throwing the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds resulting in eight men, who were banned from baseball for the rest of their lives. I've grown up with a love for baseball, and Eliot Asinof finally has mixed my most dreaded summer reading chores with something I absolutely love. I will admit the book is a little lengthy at times, but that will be the only flaw found in this entire transcendent piece of literature. Huge props to Eliot for his beginning quotes and review excerpts. The quotes were all inspiring and did the book and the sport of baseball, justice. The book introduces its reader to not only the amazing story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox, but also to emotions I never thought I’d encounter while reading a baseball book. Emotions such as anxiety, intensity, curiosity, disappointment, deception, sorrow, anger, defeat and vengeance. Overall, this was an amazing read. I was so consumed in it, and I really hope the book lives on to touch others in the same way it did me, if not better. Eliot did an outstanding job piecing together such a mismatched, misunderstood, and mistreated story. Thumbs up, five stars, one of my new favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eight Men Out, Quality Read, Little Too Much Detail at Times This book was an exceptional story about a group of ball players in the 1919 World Series. The ball players attempt to throw the series but run into countless problems along the way. He has you hooked with in the first few chapters. Something that I really enjoyed about the book would be the way that Asinoff tells the story. It is written in third person omniscient point of view. Asinoff gets into all of the character's minds and reveals what is really going on inside. Elliot Asinoff tells this story masterfully; he really takes you back to the times and relates the problems from then to now. The eight men: Eddie Cicotte, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Charles "Swede" Risberg, Oscar "Happy" Felsch, Claude "Lefty" Williams, George "Buck" Weaver, and Fred McMullin, gang up with gamblers around the country to earn a profit from the scandalous stunt. These ball players, the best in the American league were paid the lowest salaries of any other baseball team. So when the gamblers offer them 10,000 dollars each to throw the Series they were inclined to accept. The whole thing starts to spin off course when the gamblers are holding back on the players with the money the requested. Their egos overcome them and the cooperation between the players and gamblers is frayed by miss communication. It was interesting to learn about the scandal and all but sometimes it got too much in depth and became a little boring. As long as you are into baseball you will be able to get through it easily in to the more interesting parts, but that was the only set back to this interesting book. The main gambler behind the whole operation was Arnold Rothstein. He was the man that was secretly pulling strings and he got the biggest payoff. The reason for this was everyone was in over their head, except for him he was even able to get out of any law suits by pinning the whole thing on his assistant and some gamblers that didn’t know any better. Some major themes in this book are greed, cheating, and guilt. Some of the ball players were in debt and were already under paid and greed was he driving factor to their demise. This book was also a good example of how your actions have consequences, because they were to prideful to see that this could potentially blow up in their face. By the end of the book all of the players were feeling major guilt and remorse for what they have done and actually some of them turn themselves in. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about this point in time and how the game of baseball grew and matured to the game it is today. It is a pretty quick read there is just some slower parts of the book but it pick up quickly.
csqurie24 More than 1 year ago
Eight men Out, a Perfect Narrative of the 1919 Series. In 1919 the Chicago White Sox were the best team in baseball and had made it to the game’s biggest stage, the World Series. But frustration of player salaries and the involvement of many gamblers opened the door for 8 players of the team to agree to lose the Series on purpose, thus causing their banishment from pro ball and a critical blow to the reputation of the game. Elliot Anisof uses an incredible amount of detail and description to portray the fixing of the Series from all angles. He brilliantly gathers information from nearly every person that was involved with the team/fixing of the Series. From the president of the White Sox, Charles Commiskey, to the Little Champ Abe Attel (gambler in the fix), to Kid Gleason, the manager of the club. Anisof uncovers an unreal amount of details and gives an inside look from everywhere allowing for a perfect interpretation of the 1919 scandal that was the Black Sox. From the first chapter Anisof has you hooked, and although it may get lengthy at times it is well worth it in the end. Although Anisof does a great job with this book one thing I didn’t like was how he got at some points during the book. Some chapters were 26-30 pages long, and although you may like a lot of detail Anisof will go overboard every once in a while and almost over analyze some parts of the story. With the exception of this he does a brilliant job of writing and depicts nearly every detail that could be explained. I went into this book thinking that I knew most of what was to know about the 1919 Series but after reading this book it was as if I had learned about a whole different baseball scandal, this is how well this book is written. Again if you are a baseball fan, a detail oriented person, or just someone who wants to know more about the Black Sox, read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very intersting book but a little bit too much detail at times. Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof, is a quite in depth look on the 1919 World Series that explains how the whole scandal went down and how it effected baseball early on. Their was no trust in players that had been rumored to work with betters to make money. This World Series was no exception and a few players would end up being erased from the history books. See for yourself how it all plays out. A very good quote in this book was “never bet on anything that can talk”. This is a very important theme in the book because a lot of people depending on the Sox to win the World Series, lost a lot of money because of the eight men on the “Black Sox” that helped betters get money by throwing the World Series to get more money. It was interesting to learn about the scandal and all but sometimes it got too much in depth and became a little boring. I think that baseball lovers would like to read how it all went down. I would also recommend Man on Spikes by Eliot Aisnof as well because it is another great baseball book from this author. All in all I would give this book a 4 out of five because it just got a little boring at some parts but was mostly very interesting. If you love baseball and you are interesested in why Joe Jackson is not in the Hall of Fame, then this is definetly the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago