1919 Black Sox World Series Centennial Will Likely Go Overlooked

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Sunday sees the ending of the Chicago White Sox season, with not much of note to show for it, except Tim Anderson winning the batting title. Tuesday marks the centennial of the beginning of the most intriguing and interesting thing the White Sox, or anyone else in sports for that matter, has ever done.

We are referring of course to the 1919 World Series, which will forever be defined by the Black Sox scandal, in which eight ballplayers were forever evicted from the game, due to their conspiring to intentionally suffer defeat. The Sox were heavily favored to beat the National League-champion Reds that fall classic, which began Oct. 1, 1919, but fell behind 4-1 in the best-of-nine, and lost in game eight (they were experimenting with the format that autumn). Eight Sox players, including one of the most mythical figures in baseball history, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, were charged in 1920 with conspiring to throw the Series, but were acquitted.

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FBI Joins NASCAR in Noose Investigation, Lifetime Ban for Perpetrator

NASCAR President Steve Phelps made it absolutely clear- whomever placed the noose in the garage of Bubba Wallace will be banned from the sport forever.

“Unequivocally they will be banned from this sport for life,” Phelps said on a conference call with the media minutes ago.  “There is no room for this at all.  We won’t tolerate it.  They won’t be here.  I don’t care who they are, they will not be here.”

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NASCAR Bans the Confederate Flag, Enjoy the Comments Section

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155 years after the Confederate States of America lost the Civil War, we’re still dealing trying to get rid of their propaganda. It’s utterly unbelievable- a treasonous and later crushed rebellion, built on the tenet of white supremacy, never recognized as a real country by anyone in the entire world, still somehow has a brand presence today.

Confederate monuments are coming down at a rapid pace everywhere, the Confederate flag is likely on its way out as well. Now NASCAR, yes, NASCAR is distancing itself from it. This is huge, as the main group of people that think favorably of that flag comprise the sport’s core audience.

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Random Cooperstown: 10 Obscure Objects to See in the Baseball Hall of Fame

There will be a time when museums are open again, and we’ll all be free to enjoy them. That time is not next week, or next month, but it will return. For now, well as Albert Camus wrote on page 67 of The Plague: “once the town gates were shut, every one of us realized that all…were, so to speak, in the same boat, and each would have to adapt himself to the new conditions of life.”

That’s now, the rest of this month, and probably May as well, but in time public events will return and destinations like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York will re-open. When they do, I highly encourage to get out and roam. Definitely go to Cooperstown! I went last August and I wrote up the experience here and here.

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Dock Ellis “D”: Story of Pirates Pitcher who Threw a No-Hitter on Acid

There have been approximately just 300 no hit games pitched in the history of baseball, a sport that goes all the way back to the 1870s. Of all those no-hitters, only one was achieved while tripping balls on LSD.

Yes, lysergic acid, or “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was one of many controlled substances in the bloodstream of Dock Ellis on June 12, 1970. The Pittsburgh Pirates hurler, known for not never pitching sober in his career, and a frequent user of “greenies,” dexamills and other metamphetamines, tossed a no no that night against the San Diego Padres. Listen below as we tell you the tale, in the 17th episode of “Let’s Get Weird, Sports.”

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Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Revisiting the Spanish Flu and 1918 World Series (Podcast)

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In October of 2018, we published a podcast, “Let’s Get Weird, Sports #5” that focused on the Spanish Flu and the 1918 World Series, in which the Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe in recent history, actually deadlier than World War I, and it was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin.

The Coronavirus outbreak, and the worldwide hysteria it is causing, are drawing a tremendous mount of comparisons to the Spanish Flu, hence we are re-publishing our podcast from 18 months ago, which is embedded and easily accessed below:

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Super Bowl peaked in 1991 with Buffalo Bills, Whitney Houston

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As Super Bowl 2020 arrives, it’s time to reflect on the biggest of all the big games. The Buffalo Bills went to four straight Super Bowls and lost all four in the 1990s, but man did they give us the best Super Bowl of all time. Like Tom Petty said, “even the losers- get lucky sometimes.”

Obviously, they never did but sometimes history is better when it’s written be the losers. It wasn’t just the Buffalo Bills who made that Super Bowl so special.

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In Die Hard, What Christmas Eve Bowl Game has Notre Dame vs USC?

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(Editor’s note: re-publishing this holiday season article in advance of Christmas Eve)

This weekend begins the bowl season, and with it the crappy bowl games that very few of us care about. Saturday brings us a cadre of bowl games that are just as awful as whatever bowl game hosted Notre Dame and USC in the classic Christmas film “Die Hard.”

The total number of bowl games has multiplied at an absurd rate these past few decades, but one truth still remains- real bowl games don’t start until after Christmas, and for the most part well after Christmas. Genuinely desirable bowl games still adhere to tradition, and take place on New Year’s. (For a preview of #14 Notre Dame vs #17 LSU go to this link)

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Revisiting the Michigan vs Ohio Toledo War of 1835, Frostbitten Convention

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This week is rivalry week in college football. Which conjures up memories of the Toledo War and the Frostbitten Convention. This weekend brings awesome games with cool names like “The Iron Bowl” (Alabama-Auburn) and “The Holy War” (BYU-Utah). But only one of these rivalry games can claim an actual war in the history of its geographic region. That’s the Michigan Wolverines vs. the Ohio State Buckeyes, or “The Game,” as it’s called.

The Toledo War is one of the many reasons ESPN Classic is running a marathon of past tOSU-UM games today.

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VIDEO: First ever “Black Sox,” White Sox-Reds Series footage emerges

Editor’s note: re-publishing this from May 2014 as the centennial of the 1919 World Series approaches on Tuesday. 

The Black Sox are one of the most compelling stories in Chicago sports history. The eight members of the Chicago White Sox ex-communicated from baseball forever for throwing the Cincinnati Reds comprise as intriguing and multi-layered scandals as you’ll find anywhere in sports history.

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Hack Wilson: a Chicago Cubs Story of RBIs, Booze and Brawling

There is a brick outside Wrigley Field that honors Hack Wilson; accompanying the flag that flies atop the roof, also glorifying the Great Depression era slugger. Wilson is also enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, largely on the strength of his 56 home run, 191 RBI season of 1930.

His National League single season home run record didn’t fall until the steroid era, and his Major League Baseball single season RBIs record still stands to this day, having made it through the PEDs craziness of the 1990s and 2000s. For a few years, Hack Wilson was legitimately standing eye-to-eye with Babe Ruth. Yet his career end before his mid 30s, with under 250 homers to his name.

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Time to Rethink Black Sox Legacy Amid Field of Dreams Game

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Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the rest of his teammates banned from baseball due to the Black Sox scandal, are not in the Hall of Fame, but they do have a strong presence in Cooperstown.

On the main level of the baseball hall of fame, you’ll see prominent photos of Shoeless Joe, the 1919 Chicago White Sox, and various artifacts relating to the team and the scandal. The hall has ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte’s pocket watch, manager Kid Gleason’s jersey and the very first ball thrown in the World Series on display.

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