1927 – Bob on the Black Sox and related issues

First post, in response to another poster:

1. There are a couple more ’19 Sox who will merit some consideration besides Collins: Ray Schalk and Red Faber.

2. I would vote for Weaver, if he had been better in his 9-year career. Having knowledge of a fix is not the same thing (to me) as being in on the fix, especially in that time and place. I more or less agree with Chase that it was pretty rampant.

3. I can’t imagine me ever voting for Jackson (or Cicotte). Intentionally trying to lose IS the cardinal sin in all sports. If Jackson’s only saving grace is that “everybody does it”, that’s not good enough for me. I remember my dad telling me, after meeting one of my high school friends he didn’t like, “I can tell what kind of man you are by the company you keep”. Jackson didn’t pick very good friends.

4. I am unsure what to do with Pete Rose. When he shows up on the 1992 ballot, I don’t think I’ll be voting for him. For a player, betting to win might not be quite as heinous as betting to lose, tho anybody who’d do that is pretty dumb, knowing the consequences. But for a manager to bet to win IS as bad as betting to lose. The consequence of a manager trying to win ONE game that he’s bet on, might effect the outcome of the pennant. Let me give an example: Davey Johnson, as manager of the Nats, places a bet to win today’s game that Strasberg is pitching. After the 6th innings, Stras has thrown 100 pitches, but the game is still tied 0-0. Normally, Johnson might take him out, but with money at stake, Johnson chooses to leave him in. One game wouldn’t make that much difference, but if Johnson were to bet on 10 of Stras’ starts, adding an inning or two per start, Stras would get to his 160 inning limit much sooner, and subsequently start fewer games in September, when the pennant might be on line. This is my problem with Rose: he might have jeopardized the pennant, trying to win specific games.

My thoughts about Joe Jackson are pretty obvious, as I haven’t voted and won’t vote for him….Ever. I can see why guys are voting for him. Twelve hits, no errors. Conflicting viewpoints about his fielding. Asinov took some liberties. Still…I can’t get past his confession. Saying that I didn’t do something wrong isn’t evidence of my innocence. But my saying I did do something wrong is, to me, evidence of my guilt. Jackson confessed that he did help throw games. That makes it cut-and-dried in my estimation.

When I first brought this up a year and a half ago, I think I called my project Bob’s Mock Hall Of Fame or something like that. The premise was that the Hall started in 1885, and I picked players who WOULD have been chosen as opposed to who SHOULD be chosen. I am absolutely convinced that, under this scenario, Jim Creighton would have been selected in 1885 and Joe Leggett would have been selected in 1886. Of this, I am most positive. And I still try to use this when making out my yearly ballot. I cannot imagine that Joe Jackson et al WOULD have been elected. SHOULD is an entirely different discussion. WOULD he be elected? Heck no; I’m not sure that hell freezing over would have helped his cause. SHOULD he be selected? Well, that’s what we’re trying to decide.

If I had my way: in the ’28 election, we all leave the Black Sox off our ballot so they drop off….OR….we all (excluding me of course) vote Jackson #1 and Cicotte #2, and they win. Either way, they drop off the ’29 ballot and I never have to talk about them again.


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