All "Eight Men Out" are present!1919 Chicago White Sox Original News Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1. "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." Though Cicotte, Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other half dozen collaborators are nearing the centennial of their excommunication, most baseball historians have long since forgiven their sins, understanding that the truth for these Sox was neither black nor white, but rather a shade of grey. Landis, one of the fiercest defenders of the game's entrenched racism, is honored in Cooperstown. With him is Charles Comiskey, who benched Cicotte rather than allow him the opportunity to earn a deserved thirty-win bonus, and who paid his American League Champions well under the standard salary.
The moral complexity of the sport's greatest scandal has been the fuel that propels the rare surviving collectibles from the 1919 Black Sox to the pinnacle of collecting intrigue, the scandal serving as the ragged edge between the rough-and-tumble Dead Ball Era and the Golden Age of Babe Ruth. What had served as the sport's greatest shame is now its greatest point of intrigue, with the scant few relics surviving from that most consequential of baseball seasons fiercely coveted by modern collectors.
Presented is the most spectacular photographic image of the 1919 Chicago White Sox we have ever encountered, a charming and playful team shot that belies the treachery to come. All eight conspirators appear among the twenty-three teammates pictured:
Top row, from left: Fred McMullin (6), "Shoeless Joe" Jackson (9).
Middle row, from left: Swede Risberg (3), Hap Felsch (5), Chick Gandil (6), Buck Weaver (7).
Bottom row, from left: Eddie Cicotte (3), Lefty Williams (5).
The 8x10" period print exhibits a degree of border wear/chipping and light staining, but none of these defects intrudes upon the image itself beyond the thinnest crease at the top right square centimeter of the background, well clear of the players. The apparent defects in the image are part of the negative, not the photo itself. Reverse is stamped "International" and bears a handwritten editor's notation and the remnants of a removed paper caption. Encapsulated "Type 1" by PSA/DNA.
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