Then in the middle of September everything came to a head and, surprisingly, as the result of an apparent effort by gamblers to fix a National League game, one between the Cubs and Phillies. William L. Veeck Sr., president of the Cubs, had been tipped off that his pitcher, Claude Hendrix, had been bought off by gamblers.
Maybe there was no truth in the report, but Ban Johnson seized upon the chance to fluster the National League by asking a grand jury to investigate the matter, which it did.
I saw this immediately as a chance to get them to investigate the rumors about the 1919 Series. I got a prominent White Sox fan, Fred M. Loomis, to sign an open letter to the Chicago Tribune asking that the grand jury investigate the 1919 Series too. The Tribune displayed the letter on the front page of the sport section. I never have admitted before this that I wrote it.
The grand jury acted immediately on the suggestion. I testified for more than an hour. I told the jury of the incident with Attell and Gleason, and named Arnold Rothstein as the big gambler behind it. I told them that I had heard that Hal Chase, the ex-ballplayer who had been dropped from several clubs for his nefarious activities, conceived the plot to throw the Series and had conferred with Gandil as to which players they would dare approach. They in turn had got Rothstein to agree to finance the plan which could be swung for $100,000. [This is at variance with Gandil's version.—ED.]
The morning of September 28, Manager Gleason went to Comiskey and asked: "Boss, do you want the truth? I think I can get it for you now. Cicotte is about to break down."
Comiskey told Gleason to bring Cicotte to his attorney's office. Cicotte was compelled to sweat in the anteroom for an hour. Then he was taken before Comiskey and the attorney and at once broke into tears and confessed.
"Don't tell me," said Comiskey. "Go tell it to the grand jury."
So Cicotte was taken before the grand jury where he confessed that he had received $10,000 as his part in throwing the games.
Immediately Joe Jackson rushed to the grand jury room and confessed that he had taken $5,000 to throw the games, saying he had been promised $20,000 but never got the rest of it. [Gandil mentions only $10,000.—ED.]
The crooked World Series of 1919 had been exposed. I was told later by Assistant State's Attorney Hartley Replogle, the man in charge of the investigation, that if I hadn't been a witness the whole case would have been whitewashed. But I can't say I was happy writing it.