Description1919 Chicago White Sox Payroll Check Signed by Eddie Cicotte & Charles Comiskey. "I never did anything I regretted so much in my life," Chicago White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte would tell a journalist, years after Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banished him and his fellow conspirators from baseball forever. "I would give anything in the world if I could undo my acts - I played a crooked game and I have lost." The star right hander was just days away from making the fateful decision to throw the 1919 World Series when he deposited the presented check for $426.25, made payable to him by team owner Charles Comiskey.
Baseball historians have argued for years whether the man who signed the front or the man who endorsed the back of this check was most to blame for the greatest scandal in baseball history. While it was undeniably Cicotte who beaned the first Cincinnati Reds batter he faced in Game One to signal the fix was on, the parsimonious Comiskey is widely faulted for inspiring the betrayal with his issuance of salaries well below the League norm, particularly for a team of Championship caliber. There's no question but that the Eight Men Out believed a partnership with crooked gamblers was the only means of improving their financial lot.
The large (3.5x8.5") check is filled out and signed in the hand of Baseball Hall of Famer Charles Comiskey, with a stamped date of "Sept-5 19." The endorsing signature on verso, "EV Cicotte" is joined by further bank stamping of "Sep. 8 1919." The black fountain pen ink utilized by each survives today at a bold 8/10, and the bank stamping and punch coding remains mercifully clear of the autographs. The check is encapsulated by PSA/DNA in a NM-MT 8 slab for protection and unquestioned authenticity. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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