Magazine article Information Today

What Can Go Wrong

Magazine article Information Today

What Can Go Wrong

Article excerpt

Long before Pete Rose was even a glimmer in some bookie's eye, baseball had its share of gambling scandals.

Players famous (Ty Cobb), nearly famous (Ross Youngs), and merely infamous (Hal Chase) were at one time or another mentioned in incidents of garne fixing, betting, or consorting with suspicious, nefarious characters. (Cobb and Youngs, both members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, were cleared; Chase was run out of the game in tjhe 1920s.)

But nothing-at least not until the aforementioned Mr. Rose and his out-of-control betting habits-could match the 1919 Chicago White Sox, the team accused of throwing the World Series. There's even been a movie made about those "Black Sox," the excellent Eight Men Out, and a wellresearched and well-designed Web site (http://www.1919blacksox.com).

It's been 85 years since the Black Sox scandal broke, and millions of words have been written about the team in the intervening years, including the 1963 book that was the basis for the film. But 1919blacksox.com brings a new perspective and added depth to the story.

First of all, the site explains that the Black Sox incident didn't just come out of, well, left field. Baseball had been trying to deal with gambling, with little success, for many years before the 1919 World Series. And though nothing quite as dramatic happened until the aforementioned Mr. Eose's case broke open, there were scattered incidents (chronicled on the site) through the years.

There are special features on each of the eight players implicated in the Black Sox scandal, including nicely done photo galleries (Chick Gandil, the admitted ringleader of the fix, looks suspicious in every one), links to images of baseball cards (sadly, none could be printed well enough to fool anyone except maybe Dan Rather), and career stats.

The site also offers a historical perspective (not the most common feature of many fan pages) that includes mention of the Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit on the incident and (for you conspiracy buffs out there) the documents from that era that have forever been sealed by the hall's monitors.

And, unlike many sites of its ilk, 1919blacksox.com doesn't have anything for sale, unless you count a link to Amazon . …

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