THE BLACK SOX
Congratulations to you for finally producing the story of the 1919 World Series right from Chick Gandil's mouth (Baseball's Blackest Secret, Sept. 17). It was fascinating, and particularly so because he says that the Black Sox tried to doublecross the gamblers and win the Series. This I never suspected.
When I returned from the war in 1919 I made a slight bet of $25 on Cincinnati with a friend of mine. When the story exploded I refunded the money, as I wanted no part of the shenanigans of Messrs. Rothstein, Sullivan and Abe Attel. Thanks to you I will now get that money back where it belongs—in my pocket.
There remains only one thing more. It is to find out from Eddie Cicotte where the $10,000 went after he had removed it from under his pillow. I recall that in his confession Cicotte said that "he did it for the wife and kiddies." Gandil says he didn't get a cent. How about the others? Come on, give us the lowdown.
ROBERT W. WOOD JR.
?The only thing Gandil claims to know about that $10,000 is that he never took any of it. Gandil saw Cicotte put the money under his pillow and after the Series fled Chicago for a small Texas town where he visited his in-laws, had an appendectomy and waited for things to cool down.
When Gandil began to realize the enormity of the public scandal he had helped to create he decided to forego his share of the payoff in hope that this would exonerate him. In the meantime, Gandil and his wife had set up a home in California. Gandil never again saw any of his teammates except Fred McMullen, in 1919, and Swede Risberg, who paid him a brief visit in Berkeley in 1925.—ED.
I strongly believe that your article on the Black Sox scandal was a fascinating and a rewarding piece of writing. My hat is off to Chick Gandil not only for telling a very inspiring tale but also for having enough courage to present us with the actual facts of the scandal.
HARNESS RACING: ROCHESTER DECLARES WAR
If SPORTS ILLUSTRATED erred in its handling of the harness racing as practiced at Rochester's Batavia Downs, it was only on the side of altruism (War Is Declared, Sept 10). It would have been possible to sell several thousand additional copies that week: copies of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED were as scarce as hens' teeth in a matter of half an hour after they appeared on the newsstands.
Possibly this was not caused entirely by regular public response to the harness story. There is a feeling here, substantiated by magazine dealers and stand operators, that Batavia Downs may have been so impressed that it dispatched emissaries into the field to buy up all copies in sight.
If this is so, it is a great pity, because Mr. Tax's disclosures of the backgrounds of Messrs. Marra, Wishman and Provenzano were most enlightening, These men, of course, run harness racing at Batavia and, while it was not entirely news to us, the way the story was handled brought everything into sharp focus and gave the whole unsavory situation a new impact.
?Never underestimate the alertness of Rochester's citizens, for a sample of whose opinions see below.—ED.