SI Vault
Arnold (Chick) Gandil
September 17, 1956
The ringleader of the infamous plot, the first baseman of the team which exploded baseball's dirty business with the game's worst scandal, breaks his silence to speak for the first time
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September 17, 1956

This Is My Story Of The Black Sox Series

The ringleader of the infamous plot, the first baseman of the team which exploded baseball's dirty business with the game's worst scandal, breaks his silence to speak for the first time

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That night I got more threatening phone calls. I'll never know whether they came from, screwballs or from gamblers. I half expected a visit from Sullivan or one of his men, but I imagine things were hot for them, too. By this time I'm sure they knew the deal was off, especially since our collection man didn't show up after the game to try to get the first installment of the $70,000.

The White Sox made 10 hits in the second game against four for Cincinnati, yet we were beaten 4-2 when we should have won easily. In the fourth inning, with no score, we had runners on second and third with one down, but I grounded into an out at the plate and Risberg popped up to kill our chances.

In the last of the fourth our pitcher, Williams, hit a wild streak, gave up three walks and a triple to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. They stretched it to 4-0 in the sixth, but we made two in the seventh when Risberg and Schalk scored on a wild throw by Greasy Neale, the Cincinnati right fielder who later became a pro football coach.

After the game the cynics made quite a thing of the six walks issued by Williams, and there were rumors that he wasn't following his catcher's signals. But nothing was said about Neale's wild throw, or some dumb base running by Edd Roush, the Cincy center fielder, who was caught in a trap and tagged out after trying to go to second.

When the doubt is planted, it is easy to mistake plain and simple boners in a ball game for acts of crookedness.

The pressure eased when we came back to Comiskey Park for the third game and Dickie Kerr threw a shutout for a 3-0 win. I batted in our first two runs in the second inning with a long single to center. We made our third run on a triple by Risberg, who then scored on a slick bunt by Schalk.

That night I was paid an unexpected visit by Burns, who was in a panic. He and some other gamblers, going on the assumption the Series was fixed, had bet heavily on the Reds. Now they had their doubts. Burns said that if I could assure him that the players would go along with the fix, he would guarantee me $20,000. Since I personally didn't feel that Burns could guarantee me 20 cents, and since I was troubled with enough outside pressure as it was, I told him I wasn't interested. Meanwhile, the threatening calls got so heavy that I had to quit answering the telephone.

Cicotte went to the mound in the fourth game and allowed only five hits, but we got only three and were beaten 2-0. Both of the Cincy runs were scored in the fifth inning, partly due to two errors by Cicotte. One was probably my fault. Eddie fielded an easy roller and threw wide to first, permitting the runner to move to second. When the next batter singled to left center, and Jackson threw to the plate to try to cut off a run, I yelled to Cicotte to intercept the throw. I felt we had no chance to get the man at home but could nail the batter now trying to reach second. Cicotte juggled the ball and all hands were safe. The next man then doubled, and Cincy had both its runs.

Well, you can imagine all the gossiping that took place that night. Everyone talked of Cicotte's two errors, but no one even mentioned that he had allowed only five hits. After listening to all the talk in the hotel lobby, Gleason called a meeting of the players. He asked if there were any truth to the rumors he had been hearing. We who were involved with gamblers got all huffy about this; the players who were not kept quiet. Gleason was happy to let the matter drop, but Comiskey was now convinced that we were out to throw the Series. He suspected the whole club.

With the Reds now leading three games to one, we came back with Williams in the fifth game against Hod Eller, who was one of those fellows who could be either real bad or real good. This day he was good. He had a mean shine ball that had us missing all over the place. He struck out the side in two straight innings—and half of those he fanned were never in on our plot.

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