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The 1919 World Series: What Really Happened? (Anglais) Broché – 30 septembre 2001

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 3.1 étoiles sur 5 9 commentaires
5 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 When in doubt, check the facts 15 mars 2010
Par Charles M. Strnad - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I'm a South-Side Chicago born, 55 year old former baseball player, and lifelong White Sox fan.

I've always been interested in baseball's rich history, given how woven it seems to be into the fabric of American history in general, and have lately been reading/rereading through all I can about the fateful 1919 Black Sox Series. One generally starts with Asinof's "Eight Men Out" (probably the most well-known history of the Black Sox Scandal), and the excellent recent (2007) book by Gene Carney, "Burying the Black Sox", the latter of which fills in all the notably missing footnote documentation from Asinof's otherwise spell binding work. The popular 1988 movie "Eight Men Out" directed by John Sayles, and based on Asinof's book, probably brought the 1919 Black Sox scandal to a wider audience than any of the books, which is often true for movies about historical events.

While all these efforts have their pros and cons, it's clearly evident that, after 90+ years now, the full truth behind the Black Sox Scandal in the 1919 World Series will likely never be known with any certainty: too many players involved (ballplayers, managers, sportswriters, gamblers, baseball commissioners, team owners, etc, etc, etc), all with their own, often competing, reasons for why they did what they did (and also what they didn't do).

I bought this book ("The 1919 World Series: What Really Happened")to supplement my reading list on the topic. I had always wondered, with all the controversy after-the-fact, with all the shadings of cover-ups and competing personal interests behind the subsequent Grand Jury depositions and trial, and Commissioner Landis' final banishment of the "eight men out"- exactly what REALLY happened where it counted the most: on the baseball field.

Of course, in all the above works on this subject, events in the games are detailed- but generally just the ones that were "suspect", without the (necessary) context of what happened in the entire, 9 game World Series that year. Unfortunately for posterity, the scorecards of sports writer Hugh Fullerton and observer ( and former baseball great) Christy Matthewson, who agreed to mark down all the plays during the Series that they though looked "fishy", have been lost- though reportedly they came up with only 7-10 total plays (during the 8 games played) that remotely suggested less-than-honest effort by the White Sox players. One wonders: were there also some fantastically GOOD plays by the guilty players during the Series? Only the fishy ones get much press or screen time, it seems. And how did the "clean" Sox players do, compared to their much-reviled "guilty" team mates?

So this book was a most welcome addition to the history of the topic- and such a simple premise, too: what actually happened on the field?

Mr. Cook carefully takes the reader through each game of the 1919 Series, and though he does have an agenda in telling the story (to give the Cincinnatti Reds the real credit they deserved for winning the Series against the favored Sox), he doesn't let that get in the way of telling the facts. No matter what opinion you may have about the Black Sox scandal, what happened on the field is immutably and irrevocably preserved for all time, in the box scores and descriptions of what happened on the field. Cook presents the details of each game clearly, interjecting a few of his personal opinions along the way, but never to the point of avoiding just telling what happened. Congratulations to him for just "telling it like it was".

It's an unavoidable conclusion (to me, anyway) that, fix or not, the White Sox just ran into some mighty fine pitching from Cincinnatti in the 1919 World Series, and the saying in baseball is as old as the hills: good pitching will beat good hitting any time, particularly in a short series. The Reds' 1919 National League record that year was outstanding, btw, as was their pitching staff, all year long. The hype that is commonly given to the White Sox team of 1919 is part of the enduring mythology of the Scandal, too (keep in mind, this is coming from a life-long Sox fan)- they were a very good team, but hardly vastly superior to the Reds, in just about every statistical category except team batting average. And while this is likely to be a never-ending debate amongst baseball history fans (read:nuts), the play on the field in the Series also suggests that most of the "guilty" Sox players played pretty hard, after the first game or two. Even those players commonly portrayed in most modern versions of the event as "guilty as sin", such as Chick Gandil and Eddie Cicotte, had a Series' performance that hardly was an obvious indication of a fix. Yes, the players were guilty for being part of the fix, but I'm not so sure they played out all the games that way (understandable also when you recall that they were largely double-crossed by the gamblers, and most never received the $$$ they though were coming to them). It's instructive to note that Cincinnatti star (and future Hall of Famer) Ed Rousch, who was on the field playing against the Sox for the whole Series, was convinced that all the Sox players, guilty or clean, played very hard. I doubt Rousch was just saying that to embellish his team's accomplishment in winning the Series, either- he was there, on the field, saw all the action at ground level, and likely had much more insight as a player into what was going on, than any sportswriter or after-the-fact historian.

The cases of Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver usually get most of the sympathy vote, but suffice it to say, based on what actually happened on the field, several other of the "guilty" Black Sox played pretty well, and several of the "clean ones" (ie: Eddie Collins) didn't. And lastly, even if you consider ALL of the commonly mentioned "fishy" plays to have been part of an intentional fix to lose the Series, they just weren't enough to accomplish that feat. The Sox lost, 5 games to 3, because they couldn't score many runs off the brilliant Reds' starting pitchers. Chalk up another one for good pitching (and defense- check out the numerous descriptions of game-saving defense played by the Reds in this Series).

I'd recommend this book to anyone with a serious interest in the history of the 1919 World Series, and the Black Sox Scandal. I'd say that to fully understand the subsequent proceedings, that lead to the "eight men out" being banished from baseball forever (so far), it's a plainly obvious requirement to know what actually happened on the baseball field first. And that, like so much other history down through the ages, has been twisted into so many interpretations and conclusions as to be almost semi-fictional in character. As Mark Twain once said: "There are lies, damn lies,and.....statistics."

Only reason I give this 4 stars (instead of 5) is the price: for 192 pages, $25+ seems a bit high.
But then, you can blow $25 at McDonalds with your family, and that's just a one-time deal.

For those baseball history fans with a common sense approach to history, this book is a welcome addition to the history of the Black Sox.

And my vote: reinstate both Buck Weaver and Joe Jackson, and put Joe in the Hall of Fame, where he belongs. If you need to create a space for Joe's plaque, get rid of Charles Comiskey's.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Could Have Done Without the Author's Personal Opinions 1 décembre 2013
Par Brie - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I bought this book because it was from McFarland Publications, who have put out some great books on baseball and American history. As a historian, I will always appreciate the facts rather than a "based on a true story" movie. And before I read this book, I was one of the millions of people who saw "Eight Men Out" the 1988 film that inspired Cook to write this book. No surprise that the film is full of distortions and leaves a lot of people believing things that are not true. But I hope Cook isn't losing any sleep over this. Because while I'm one of the many who saw the movie, I'm one of the few who will read his book or any book that will tell the true story of the 1919 World Series.

While it's clear that Cook, a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan who also lived in Chicago and became a White Sox fan,has an absolute passion for this subject, it would have been much better if an objective source had written this book. Cook does something I've never seen before: he puts his personal opinions into the text. Usually, personal thoughts are reserved for the introduction and/or afterword of a book. Honestly, I don't even know if it's some kind of written or unwritten rule in nonfiction... I've just never seen it where somebody writes a history book, gives the facts and then says, "I think this..." or "I think that..." By doing this, the book ends up reading like a long internet message board post. And one of these opinions, that baseball commissioner Bud Selig has "a constant disregard and ignorance of baseball history" is something I find to simply not to be true. In 1997, Selig announced that Jackie Robinson's number 42 was to be retired forever by every team. Sixteen years later, it remains the only number so retired. That doesn't sound to me like somebody who doesn't know anything about history. In fact, for Cook to compare Selig to his predecessor Kenesaw Mountain Landis as being at the same level of "integrity and stature" is ridiculous. Under Selig, baseball began a Civil Rights Game to honor the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Landis never even wanted Blacks to play in the majors.

I appreciate that Cook acknowledges the capabilities of the 1919 Reds. But there is no way he nor anyone else can possibly know that the Reds would have won that series. Counterfactual history is a bad place to get caught up in. As for what really happened, I find it kind of funny that Cook so criticizes the 1988 movie which oversimplifies the story to make a single point: cheated out of big money by a skinflint owner, some players on the ballclub decide to cash in by fixing games for gamblers. But Cook makes that exact same point in his book! It makes me wonder what kind of movie he would have made to tell this story to a public that had no knowledge of it.

I can't say that I'm someone passionate about seeing Shoeless Joe Jackson reinstated to the game and admitted to the Hall of Fame. But I will say that I think it was very unfair for these men to be acquitted (under questionable circumstances) in a court of law and then for Landis to decide on his own to make the rule up about a lifetime ban for gambling. How can you ban somebody for breaking a rule that was not in place when they supposedly did the wrongdoing?

Anyway, I gave this book 3/5 stars as "just OK." There are some other subtle things I have issue with about Cook and his book but I'll keep them to myself.
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Ball four, just missed the corner. 2 juin 2016
Par Flora Price - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
On the plus side; This book provides an almost pitch by pitch account of game-play from the series. That part was well-written, very well detailed and should be helpful for anyone who is interested in drawing their own conclusions based on the player's performance during the series.

On the down side; The Author starts out by saying that he's not trying to present a biased view or defend the Cincinnati Reds, but then he proceeds to do just that. Over and over again until it gets very tedious and condescending. It gets in the way of what could have been a very good read.

This book should have been a better contribution to the saga of the 1919 World Series. I'd like to see another edition, without all the personal bias. Any reader is already going to know something about the subject and doesn't need to be led by the nose in order to form an opinion. Just give them the facts in a well-written manner so they can draw their own conclusions.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Real Straight Scoop on the 1919 Series. 13 août 2007
Par David - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Will Cook's book on the much publicised 1919 Worls Series is right on the money. More rumors have been spread on this series than all other sporting events. Rotten rumors were flying all over Cincinatti. Cook doesn't question, there is no need to, the many lies, tricks, baloney, and double crosses that occurred before the opening pitch. But, he reveals most of the rumors never transpired onto the playing field. Each team had 12 errors and several shabby plays. Modern computer data, not available in 1919, fully confirm Cook's theory that the Sox were a good team, about even with the two top Reds rivals in the National League. But, for the year 1919 the Reds were a great pitching loaded team. They were much better prepared for a tough series, fully capable of beating the Sox week in and week out of 1919. The Red under ace manager Pat Moran were ready and the Sox were down with sore armed pitchers, poor relief, and low morale.
Will Cook reveals a factual true as possible survey of the series. He covers all the controversial plays using all available data to arrive at a verdict. Also, he lists several "grey areas" in which no present day man can detect the true motive of certain players. Cook plainly states that Sox hero and captain, Hall of Famer Edd Collins, had a miserable series. In the first six games he had 2 hits that produced nothing, all while disgraced Joe Jackson had 8 hits.
Every student of the 1919 series should read this book and then reread it to get the real picture. Then they will understand the truth in Will Cooks premise that its high time the media quits low-rating the 1919 Reds. Will Cook helps the Reds gain full credit for a great series performance.

David Karickhoff
10 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 KUDOS!!! 14 février 2006
Par Sabrina A. Cunningham - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It's about time that someone gives the 1919 Cincinnati Reds the respect they deserve. In his well documented book, author, William A. Cook has finally brought to light the fact that the Cincinnati Reds were quite capable of winning the 1919 World Series, without any help from the Chicago White Sox.The inning by inning replay of the series in the book should raise a few historian's eye brows in that Mr. Cook raises some very important questions in regard to propaganda advanced by the media on baseball's most infamous event over the past 87 years.

I highly recommend the book for baseball fans and historians alike, who have a penchant for objectivity. KUDOS to Mr. Cook for his bold insight.
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