SI Vault
James Crusinberry
September 17, 1956
James Crusinberry, a Chicago sports-writer, was the first reporter to break the details of the Black Sox scandal. Here he tells how the conspiracy came to light.
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September 17, 1956

A Newsman's Biggest Story

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In late July came the first real break; the break that in late September proved to be the bomb that blew the case wide open. It was a rainy day in New York and the Sox-Yankee game was postponed. In late afternoon I was in my room with Ring Lardner when I received a phone call from Gleason.


"Come up to Dinty Moore's," he said. "I'm at the bar with Abe Attell. He's talking, and I want you to hear it." He said he wouldn't let on that he knew us and was sure Attell wouldn't know either one of us.

In a few minutes Ring and I walked into the bar, stood close to Gleason and Attell, ordered something to drink and then just listened.

"So it was Arnold Rothstein who put up the dough for the fix," we heard Gleason say.

"That was it, Kid," from Attell. "You know, Kid, I hated to do that to you, but I thought I was going to make a lot of money and I needed it, and then the big guy double-crossed me, and I never got but a small part of what he promised."

During the rest of the season, the seven suspected players acted as if they knew I was investigating them. One night in Philadelphia I came into the hotel lobby. Only Swede Risberg was there. As I went to the desk to get my key, he approached with a sneer on his face.

"How does it feel to be a star reporter," he asked me.

"Just about the same as being a star shortstop," I answered as I made a beeline for the elevator.

"Well, I guess that stops me," was Swede's seemingly perplexed reply, and the incident ended.

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