In 1921, with Independence Day festivities out of the way, jury selection began on the biggest scandal to hit the sports world in years: the Black Sox case, with a clutch of eight White Sox players facing justice for throwing the 1919 World Series.
Hiring Al Capone’s favorite lawyer, the players eventually beat the rap, to the cheers of courtroom attendees. But Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the all-powerful baseball commissioner, still banned the “eight men out” for life. Unlike most decisions in baseball, this one actually stuck for good. White Sox star “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, one of the greats of his day, remains ineligible for the Hall of Fame.
The story of Joe, his teammates, and the gamblers behind the alleged fix has lingered in our collective consciousness for close to a century. Daniel A. Nathan‘s wide-ranging, interdisciplinary cultural history of the scandal explores how it has been represented and remembered by journalists, historians, novelists, filmmakers, and baseball fans.
A winner of multiple awards, Saying It’s So offers a series of astute reflections on what these different cultural narratives reveal about their creators and the eras in which they were created, producing a complex study of cultural values, memory, and the ways people make meaning.