Saturday, February 4, 2017

World Series: Did You Know?

Although one of the most prominent members of the fixing of the 1919 Fall Classic, Chick Gandil had the last RBI for his team in three games. I guess Chick knew someone was watching his every move, so he'd better come through on at least some occasions. Even if it helped his team.

Gandil's RBI in game one did little, however. Chicago was on the road, in Cincinnati and absorbed a 9-1 thrashing. Gandil drove in the run that actually tied the game, momentarily, in the top of the second. That run, however, was not only Chicago's lone tally, but unearned for good measure. Joe Jackson, of all people, had reached on an error. Gandil's hit scored him.

But in game two, which the Chicago White Sox also lost (4-2), Gandil didn't drive in any runs. Joe Jackson was on third in the top of the second, with just one out, but Gandil didn't deliver. Two innings later, Jackson was on second, and Buck Weaver was 90 feet away from the dish, at third. Gandil hit into a fielder's choice. Trailing 4-2 going into the top of the 9th, Gandil got a single to lead it off. A double play put the Reds one out away. Ray Schalk singled, but that lead to nothing, as well. Fred McMullin grounded out to end that.

The change of scenery meant Chicago needed to win at home. They did, but needed some fine pitching from Dick Kerr to win, 3-0. Gandil singled home Jackson and Happy Felsch. Gandil led off the fourth by making an out. Swede Risberg tripled and scored on a bunt single for the contest's last tally. Another two hits for Gandil.

But he was needed in the next two games as Chicago's bats went to sleep. Cincinnati won them by scores of 2-0 and 5-0. Chick had just one hit. The White Sox had three, total in each of the two losses. The 1919 World Series was best of nine, so Gandil's team was still alive.

Still, it was a tall order to come back. Game six was back in Cincinnati, and the Reds were determined to settle it. They raced out to a 4-0 lead in the sixth contest. The White scored rallied, and had a chance to take the lead in the eight inning. Jackson and Gandil drew walks, but were both stranded. Dick Kerr, as he had in game two, kept the Reds at bay (Although he allowed four runs). In the top of the tenth, Buck Weaver got it all going with a double. Jackson bunted him to third. Gandil's stroke of the ball didn't leave the infield, but Weaver crossed the plate. Down went the home team in the bottom of the frame. The 5-4 Chicago win narrowed the World Series score to 4-2.

The White Sox won game seven, as well. This time, a little bit more decisively. The final score was 4-1, but the game was never that close. Chicago raced out to a quick 4-0 lead and didn't bother looking back. But Gandil was 0-4, and could have widen the lead with some hits.

And the next game was also decided quickly, but against Chicago. It was 4-0 for the visiting Cincinnati Reds before the home team could even send one man up. And the Sox didn't make it on to the scoreboard until the bottom of the third. The 4-1 lead was soon widened to 10-1 by the bottom of the eighth. Chicago soon plated two runners, but when Happy Felsch was retired, it was two down. Gandil then was at the plate, and he rewarded with a triple, as the Reds' right fielder Greasy Neale couldn't make out where the ball was. The sun blinded him. Joe Jackson, on second, scored to make it 10-4. Gandil then scored when Edd Roush, in centre, made an error on Swede Risberg's fly. Gandil scored. 10-5.

Chicago put another two men on in the bottom of the ninth, but did not get any closer. The Reds, with this win by a margin of five runs, took the 1919 World Series 5-3. Gandil held out the following season, but joined seven other White Sox players banned for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis not long after the latter's anointment. He would die in California in 1970. And probably, despite collecting five RBIs all told, never lived down the "Black Sox" label.


Frommer, Harvey. Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball. Dallas, TX: Taylor Pub., 1992. Print, pp. 183.

Gropman, Donald. Say It Ain't So, Joe!: The True Story Of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Revised ed. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group, 1992. Print.

Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print, pp 49-124.

Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series: Complete Play-by-play of Every Game, 1903-1989. 4th ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. Print, pp. 76-81.

Nemec, David et all. 20th Century Baseball Chronicle: A Year-by-year History of Major League Baseball. Collector's Edition. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications International, 1993. Print, pp. 84-91.

Sports Reference LLC. - Major League Statistics and Information. Web. 04 Feb, 2017.

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