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"Black Sox" Trial: 1921

Cicotte Hits First Batter, "say It Ain't So, Joe", A Double, Double Cross

Defendants: Edward Victor "Eddie" Cicotte, Oscar Emil "Happy" Felsch, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, Joseph Jefferson Wofford, "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, Frederick William "Fred" McMullin, Charles August "Swede" Risberg, George Daniel "Buck" Weaver, Claude Preston "Lefty" Williams, David Zelser, and Carl Zork
Crimes Charged: Statutory conspiracy and common-law conspiracy to fix the outcome of the 1919 World Series
Chief Defense Lawyers: Michael Ahern, Henry A. Berger, A. Morgan Frumberg, Max Lusker, Thomas D. Nash, Thomas J. O'Brien, and Benedictine J. Short
Chief Prosecutors: George E. Gorman, Edward Prindeville, and John F. Tyrrell
Judge: Hugo N. Friend
Place: Chicago, Illinois
Dates of Trial: July 18-August 3, 1921
Verdict: Not guilty

SIGNIFICANCE: The first American trial involving national sports figures—heroes to many after the horrors of WWI—ended an ineffective three-person National Baseball Commission. It also saw the arrival of Kenesaw Mountain Landis to the new office of Baseball Commissioner. The day after the acquittal verdict, Landis ruled that the eight players who had been tried were banned from playing professional baseball for life.

In 1918, the baseball season ended on Labor Day to show baseball's support of the nation's World War effort. The next year, apparently to make up for lost time, the World Series was increased from the best of seven to the best of nine games. The National League's Cincinnati Reds went to bat against the American League's Chicago White Sox that September.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940