Originally written on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Just a few days before the 1920 World Series between the Brooklyn Robins (also known as the Dodgers) and the Cleveland Indians began, Eddie Cicotte and Shoeless Joe Jackson turned rumors to fact about gamblers reaching their tentacles into the clubhouse to choke the oxygen of purity from baseball.  Cicotte and Jackson testified before a Chicago grand jury that eight White Sox players “fixed” the 1919 World Series in exchange for payment from gamblers who bet heavily on Chicago’s opponent, the Cincinnati Reds. The White Sox became the Black Sox, in the parlance of the press, because of the black mark they placed on the game. It was an emphatic blow to baseball’s soul. Another dark event occurred in 1920 baseball, tragic because of its finality. On August 16, the Cleveland Indians’ Ray Chapman got hit in the head by a Carl Mays pitch in a Yankees-Indians game. The setting was late afternoon, top of the 5th inning.  Thinking the ball hit the bat, Mays fielded the pitch and threw to first baseman Wally Pipp. Chapman took three or four steps, then collapsed. Although he walked off the field with assistance, the Indians’ shortstop died early the next morning in the hospital. Chapman’s obituary in The New York Times cited Yankees Manager Miller Huggins surmising that Chapman’s spikes got caught in the dirt, thereby preventing him from moving out of the way.  Another theory espoused that Chapman simply did not see the ball because, in that era, balls were scuffed, dirtied, or otherwise marred either by a pitcher or through regular play. By the later innings, without a replacement, a game ball could be discolored, even misshapen. Consequently, a batter might have difficulty perceiving the ball, judging its speed, and avoiding its contact. In the twin wakes of the Black Sox betrayal and Chapman tragedy, a 6’3” lanky yet muscular fellow just four days shy of his 34th birthday strode to his citadel, the Ebbets Field pitching mound. Richard William “Rube” Marquard, nicknamed by a sportswriter after pitching great Rube Waddell, received the task of opening the World Series for Brooklyn.  He gave up three runs to the Indians, still grieving over the Chapman death. It was all the fodder needed. Brooklyn lost the game 3-1, its lone run scored by future Hall of Famer Zack Wheat. Ignominy furthered for Brooklyn in Game 5 when Indians’ second baseman Bill Wambsganss made an unassisted triple play, the only one in World Series history. Brooklyn lost the 1920 World Series to Cleveland, five games to two games. By: David Krell, Baseball Historian Twitter: @DavidKrell
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: NFL looking into Bill Belichick's camera ideas

Saints CB Brian Dixon arrested in Miami

CC Sabathia goes off about spring training stats

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again


John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sports writer get into it over on-court access

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.