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Lecture 6

Political Science 2142A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Eddie Cicotte, 1918 Flu Pandemic, Generation A


Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 2142A/B
Professor
Alison Meek
Lecture
6

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LECTURE – THE 1919 BASEBALL SCANDAL
1919 CRISES
oSPANISH INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC
20-40 million people globally, 675000 in the US
hit younger people in their 20s/30s
oTHE LEAGUE OF NATIONS – coming out of WW1
Not ratified in the US – flops
People begin to question what we really fought for
We lost 40k Americans, nothing is going to change
oLABOUR UNREST
Thousands of workers go on strike, army called in, etc.
oRED SCARE – RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS AND THE DAWN OF
COMMUNISM
Anarchists coming to overthrow American institution – through
labour
oRACE RIOTS
Violent crisis hitting the north for the first time
oTHE BASEBALL SCANDALL
The cherry on top – if baseball is even corrupted, what hope is
there?
Has become America’s national pastime – individualism, the
American dream, etc.
1903 – first time – World Series is played
purpose – National and American league – more games and
more profits
1919 – world series between two teams; Chicago White Box (Black
Sox) and the Cincinnati Reds
Chicago – mvps, should have been an easy win, some of the
worst paid players in the league, tensions among players
o8 of these players – decide to throw the game
EDDIE CICOTTE - mastermind
From the first pitch – people knew something
was wrong and the game was fixed
Missing easy plays, runs, etc.
By 1920, there was a real sense of wrongdoing
o8 players indicted for fraud, as well as the gamblers of
the game
most gamblers had Jewish/Italian names –
anti-immigrant element
ohuge trial, public outraged – our game has been
slandered
o“Shoeless Joe Jackson” – mythology of confession
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oMOST OF THE PLAYERS HAD CONFESSED –
TAPED CONFESSIONS TO BE PLAYED
When it came to introduce the evidence, it
turns out someone stole the tapes, followed by
the players keeping quiet about any
confessions
oNO ONE ACTUALLY CHARGED – NOT GUILTY
DAMAGE IS DONE – GAME HAS BEEN SLANDERED,
HUGE CRISIS OF AMERICAN IDENTITY
The National Agreement, 1921
How do you clean up messes? – baseball
Judge – Kennesaw Mountain Landis, 1920-44
oAppointed new Baseball commissioner 1920
oGOAL; re-establish the sanctity of baseball
Baseball – meant to represent the best of
America, and Landis wants to bring back that
image
oNATIONAL AGREEMENT 1921 - SENDS OUT A
WARNING; “ANY PLAYER THAT THROWS A
GAME… ENTERTAINS PROPOSITIONS OR
PROMISES TO THROW A GAME… WHO SITS IN
ON A CONFERENCE WITH A BUNCH OF
GAMBLERS IN WHICH WAYS AND MEANS OF
THROWING A GAME ARE DISCUSSED AND DOES
NOT PROMPTLY TELLS HIS CUB ABOUT IT, WILL
NEVER PLAY PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL”
8 PLAYERS – BANNED FROM BASEBALL
BABE RUTH
Born to a very poor family in Boston
oMom and dad ran an Irish pub, by 12 years old –
already a big, stalky kid always getting into trouble
Couldn’t be raised properly – turned over to a
local catholic orphanage hoping the priests
would teach him discipline
one of the priests was a baseball player
– channels his anger in the sport
natural-born player
oincredible hitter that changes the game
signed by the Red Sox
o1920 – sold to the NY Yankees
o“THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO” – Boston will not
win a playoff for decades because they sold they best
player they ever had
brought in over a million fans a year
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