Friday, April 22, 2011
That one comment, from a guy trying to save his own skin, with absolutely no evidence or proof to back it up--and zero corroborating evidence--has led to articles in just about every publication in America saying that the Cubs may have thrown the 1918 World Series.
It was on the front page of the Daily Herald yesterday. It's in the Boston Globe today.
I've looked at this story pretty extensively. In fact, I researched it for weeks. There's an entire book written on the subject, and that author spent more than a year researching it. After that whole time he came up with a few potentially fishy plays in the series, and a notebook written by a White Sox executive, who called somebody on the Cubs "a fixer." Two of the pitchers on the Cubs were later accused of fixing games too--but there's no evidence at all that they did in this series.
I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm just saying that there's no proof at all that it did.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It was still known as Weeghman Park at the time, named after their owner Charlie Weeghman, the man that built it. William Wrigley had just bought a minority share in the club, but the ballpark wouldn't bear his name for several more years.
Hall of Famer Joe Tinker (we have his 1911 baseball card at the link--that's Joe in the photo). The man on the mound, Claude Hendrix, was quietly banned from baseball in 1920 for allegedly betting against the Cubs. (He also started the first game in the ballpark's history in 1914)
It was almost as if the Cubs knew this was going to be an important day in their history. They staged a parade from Grant Park through the downtown streets before the game, and then, before the game started, they sent aerial bombs into the sky--each one shooting an American flag into the crowd, or beyond into the North Side neighborhood.
The Cubs won that first game after a dramatic comeback. They scored twice in the bottom of the eighth thanks to doubles by (future 1918 World Series goat) Max Flack, and (future criminal) Heinie Zimmerman. Cubs first baseman Vic Saier knocked in Cy Williams with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Here's one last piece of trivia from that day. The first ever National League homer hit in that ballpark was slugged by Reds outfielder Johnny Beall. It was the only one he hit that year, one of only three in his career, and the last one he ever hit.
The first televised Cubs game was exactly 65 years ago, April 20,1946. They raised the 1945 pennant flag that day.