Editor’s note: re-publishing this from May 2014 as the Field of Dreams game unveiled their special uniforms today.
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.
History was made as the first ever footage from the most infamous World Series in Major League history was unearthed in Canada this week.
The Black Sox, and most specifically, Shoeless Joe Jackson, the greatest player of the eight forever banished, have inspired some of the greatest movies of all time. Yet no video of the Black Sox existed — until now.
Finding this entry on the Fox Sports homepage page has made my week.
The footage was found in 1978 in Dawson City, a remote town in Canadian Yukon.
The Libraries and Archives Canada and the US Library of Congress restored 500,000 feet of footage from a variety of films and transferred it onto stable media.
Excerpt from the British Canadian Pathé News showing various baseball games between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds in the 1919 World Series.
Material is from the Dawson City Museum and Historical Society Collection, as well as Library and Archives Canada. You can vividly see pitcher Dickie Kerr in action, one of the clean White Sox, he won two games in the series, as he was not one of the Black Sox.
Pretty cool, eh? (thank you Canadian archivists)
Joe Jackson has been played by many actors over the years, including Ray Liotta and D.B. Sweeney. The Black Sox scandal threw the Sox franchise into disarray for decades. They did not win a pennant for four decades afterward. And did not win it all until 2005.
“I’m not aware of there being any other footage of the 1919 World Series,” Bill Morrison, who found the black-and-white clip in the Canadian national archive, told the Columbus Dispatch recently, “yet it’s inspired who-knows-how-many Hollywood movies.” (h/t Fox Sports)
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.