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    The most notorious Fall Classic in history!

    1919 World Series Games Two through Five Programs (Chicago White Sox & Cincinnati Reds). "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 a centennial of 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, but rarely is such a bounty delivered in a single auction lot. No fewer than four official programs recall the treachery that robbed the sport of its integrity and doomed the Eight Men Out to banishment and ignominy.

    The contents of the lot:

    · Game Two (Cincinnati). Black Sox ace Lefty Williams was nearly unhittable throughout most of the game, but walked three in the fourth, surrendering the three runs that would prove to be the difference in the four to two final. Pitchers' names are handwritten, but center scorecard is otherwise unmarked. Owner has placed a letter "X" next to the names of six Chicago players in the printed roster, labeling the key "crooked." Heavy vertical fold line throughout, staining to front cover.

    · Game Three (Chicago). With "Honest Dickie" Kerr on the mound, and the conspirators concerned that they would not be paid, Chicago shuts out the Reds. Kerr and losing pitcher Ray Fisher are penciled in to the center scorecards, which are otherwise unmarked. Chipping and handwriting on cover, tear to center scorecard, heavy vertical center fold throughout, but the overall integrity of the program is strong.

    · Game Four (Chicago). Eddie Cicotte is back on the mound, intent on a less dramatic failure than Game One. But his two-base throwing error and his cut-off of a Jackson throw to the plate are enough to supply the Reds victory, as the White Sox are shut out. "Ring" and the misspelled "Cycot" are penciled to scorecards, otherwise unmarked. No significant condition flaws beyond a heavy vertical center fold throughout and pencil writing on cover.

    · Game Five (Chicago). Lefty Williams and Hod Eller keep it scoreless until the top of the sixth, when an Eller blooper and a Felsch error move him to third. A subsequent offensive surge plates four for the Reds, ultimately moving to within a single victory of the Championship in a five to nothing result. Interior scorecard is unmarked but for the penciled names of Eller, Williams and Mayer, who relieved for the White Sox in the ninth. Heavy vertical fold line throughout, edge chipping to covers.

    This lot matches the number of 1919 World Series programs we have offered in our entire history, and we're confident it stands as the first single lot to comprise half of the full contingent from this most notorious Fall Classic. Are there any collectors out there brave enough to take the challenge, and attempt a full set? You couldn't ask for a better head start.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,013

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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