Cobb wrote, in part, from Augusta, Ga. on Oct. 23, 1919:
Well, old boy, guess you are out in California by this time and enjoying life.
Wood and myself are considerably disappointed in our business proposition, as we had $2,000 to put into it and the other side quoted us $1,400, and when we finally secured that much money it was about 2 o'clock and they refused to deal with us, as they had men in Chicago to take the matter up with and they had not time, so we fell down and of course we felt badly over it.
Everything was open to Wood and he can tell you about it when we get together. It was quite a responsibility and I don't care for it again, I assure you.
I thought the White Sox should have won [the Series], but am satisfied they were too confident. Well, old scout, drop me a line when you can.
It was not difficult for Landis to confirm the authenticity of the letters. Wood, for one, was quite willing to elaborate. "I told him [Leonard] I did not care to put up as much money as the $2,500 he suggested," Wood told the commissioner, "but a friend of mine, from Cleveland, said he was willing to take a third of it."
Despite such convincing evidence, Cobb and Speaker turned the air Day-Glo purple with denials. "I told Judge Landis, and I say now," Speaker said, "that I never bet a dime on a game and that I never had anything to do with a game being thrown or knew of a game being thrown." As proof, he offered the fact that he had made three hits in the game and scored two runs. Cobb charged that the whole thing was a case of blackmail on Leonard's part: "I'll stake my record on the diamond and off it against that of any ball player, manager, club president or even Judge Landis. I 'm clean and have always been so.... I've told everything I know. I rest my case with the fans of the country. The only blame that can be attached to me is that I knew there was betting going on."
If Cobb expected that argument to work with Landis, he was naive. Only weeks before, the Judge had banned poor, drunken Shufflin' Phil Douglas for life because he suggested in a letter that he would leave his team—the Giants—so that Manager John McGraw would win fewer games. Landis' instincts were hardly in doubt. He wanted all four men out of the game. But he knew he had to tread softly. Coming so soon after the Black Sox scandal, a ban on two of the best-known players in the game could have been a disaster.
The development of the case shows how frightened baseball was. In his report Landis said, "This investigation was instituted by the Detroit club of the American League. They had been dealing with Leonard over his claims for money and it was in these conversations that Leonard made the charges against Cobb, Speaker and Wood." It was a long time before Landis was called in, because the American League didn't want him. It did not want any noise. Just as Charles A. Comiskey, owner of the White Sox, did not want the Black Sox convicted (none of them were), the American League did not now want to mar the reputations of two great heroes. The letters were strong stuff, however, and there was no keeping Landis out. The problem now was to minimize the noise.
Landis' solution was to allow Cobb and Speaker to resign their jobs "for personal reasons." Since Wood, by now a baseball coach at Yale, and Leonard were already out of the game, that would solve the problem in the quietest way. Indeed, when he made his deadpan statement to the press, Landis said that since all four were out of baseball there was no need for him to take any action.