EDDIE CICOTTE: "Only Walter Johnson was better. He
knew all the tricks, dusted batters, threw a black ball, shine and emery balls.
Friendly on the field, he was no mingler off."
CLAUDE WILLIAMS: "Basically better than Cicotte,
he won games the conventional way, good curve and fast ball, excellent control.
He was quiet, intelligent and seldom joked."
SWEDE RISBERG: "As rangy as Marty Marion, Risberg
had a wonderful arm at short. Like Weaver, he was a hothead and usually figured
in some sort of rhubarb around second base."
BUCK WEAVER: "At third he was an aggressive,
snappy type. A good hitter, he always knew the latest jokes, was a master bench
jockey and a scrapper, as Billy Martin is today."
FRED McMULLiN: "Handsome and popular, Fred was
only a utility infielder, but he had an excellent baseball head. He scouted the
Reds before the Series on orders from Gleason."
OSCAR FELSCH: "A tall and husky player and always
in good spirits, he was called 'Happy' by the players. With the great Tris
Speaker, he was the best defensive outfielder of the day."
JOE JACKSON: "A natural and one of baseball's
greatest hitters; fame never spoiled him. He had no education but a
surprisingly good head, all despite reports to the contrary."
CHICK GANDIL: "By thetimeof the 1919 Series you
could say I had been around. Although past my peak, I still hit .290 and had
the best first-base fielding record in the league."
CONCESSIONS, DENIALS, OBSCURITY
In the flush of sudden infamy, several players loomed
as star witnesses. Cicotte, Jackson and Williams ruefully signed confessions
(Felsch made one to newspapermen), admitting their part in the plot to throw
the Series. But before the confessions were ever presented in court, there was
a change in the Illinois state's attorney's offices and shortly thereafter all
the papers in the Black Sox case mysteriously disappeared. In the absence of
any evidence and despite a previous indictment handed down by a Chicago grand
jury, the case was dropped. All four men later repudiated their confessions,
Shoeless Joe Jackson maintaining stoutly to his death in 1951 that he was
innocent and that he batted .375 in the Series. Perhaps the most tragic figure
of all was Buck Weaver, who protested his innocence of any wrong-doing from the
very start. Before he died in February of this year, several attempts were made
by admirers to clear his name, but it was generally admitted that if Weaver did
not take an active part in the scandal, he had known about it and had done
nothing to prevent it. Of the others, McMullin denied complicity in a clubhouse
scene before the story broke, but quietly vanished soon after the acquittal.
Risberg played more ball in an "outlaw" league in Montana and later
tried his hand at softball and as a fruit picker in California. He apparently
never told his story.