1914 Philadelphia Athletics: Precursor to the Black Sox?

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1914 Philadelphia Athletics: Precursor to the Black Sox?

Post by LucasRiley on Tue May 15, 2012 8:30 pm

I've only recently become aware of suggestions in certain publications that there may be more to the story of Connie Mack's 1914 Philadelphia Athletics, so memorably swept in October by the 'miracle' Boston Braves. As most of us know, Philly had won three of the previous four World Series up to then and had taken 99 games that season, with a roster that included Home Run Baker, Eddie Collins, Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Plank, and Chief Bender. Yet, they couldn't notch a win against a team with a collective batting average of .263 and no one over 78 RBI's.

At least one book, To Every Thing A Season by Bruce Kuklick, has suggested that it might not have been so simple as Boston pulling the upset, that perhaps some players were irritated with Mack's frugality and didn't play hard, and also noting that George M. Cohan placed large wagers against Philly through bookmaker Sport Sullivan, the same guy from the 1919 Back Sox scandal. And yet, those Braves had gone 70-19 over their last 89 games; they were clearly on a hot streak. Added to that, I haven't found much other support (at least not online) for the 'laying down' angle.

I'm just curious: Does anyone else know of any documentation or publications that support Kuklick's take? Or do you think he was just speculating to sell copies?

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Re: 1914 Philadelphia Athletics: Precursor to the Black Sox?

Post by bowlingshoeguy on Tue May 15, 2012 10:26 pm

Very interesting, the A's players seem to have a motive. maybe Mack figured it out and that is why all the players got sold off.

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