The 1919 Black Sox are forever embedded, for better or worse, in the history of our national pastime for conspiring to throw the World Series. But a recent development leads THE SPORTING NEWS to wonder if the Cubs of 1918 also might have been guilty of the same thing. They might only be looking at a 90-year curse, not a 100-year funk, had they played it straight.
TSN makes a compelling case. Maybe it doesn’t matter much this far after the fact, but it’s still worth your time. The money paragraph?
“Now, it cannot be said for certain that gamblers got to the ‘18 Cubs. But Eddie Cicotte, pitcher and one of the eight White Sox outcasts from the ‘19 World Series, did say in a newly found affidavit he gave to the 1920 Cook County grand jury that the Cubs influenced the Black Sox. Cicotte said the notion of throwing a World Series first came up when the White Sox were on a train to New York. The team was discussing the previous year’s World Series, which had been fixed, according to players. Some members of the Sox tried to figure how many players it would take to throw a Series. From that conversation, Cicotte said, a scandal was born.“
Eight More Men Out? I smell a sequel. But they still need a good nickname for the cheatin’ Cubs if this is true. Don’t forget, too, that 1918 was the Red Sox last title before breaking the hex in 2004. What a strange piece of history could turn out to be.