Eight Men Out

By: Eliot Asinof


The book Eight Men Out takes place in the fall of 1919 before the World Series is scheduled to take place. The Chicago White Sox were the best team professional baseball had ever seen and was the no doubt favorite to win over a surprise Cincinnati Reds team. Many of the players were very upset with owner Charles Comiskey because they were the best players in the game and were some of the lowest paid in the whole league. Gamblers boasted that they could control the outcome of baseball games just as easily as they controlled horse races. 3 weeks before the World Series was set to begin Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, a gambler, showed up at the hotel the White Sox were staying at and met with Chick Gandil. Gandil told him for just $80,000 he and a few other players could throw the World Series. When Sullivan first heard the proposition he wasn't sure if he felt comfortable rigging the World Series because it was such a special American event. The first teammate Gandil targeted was Eddie Cicotte the best pitcher on the team. After Cicotte Gandil targeted another pitcher Claude "Lefty" Williams. He was hesitant at first but once he found out he Cicotte was on board he soon agreed. He then targeted the power hitters in the lineup; George "Buck" Weaver, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, and Oscar "Happy" Felsch. On September 21st, Gandil gathered the eight players for dinner in his room where he discussed specifics of the plan. The rest of the book is about the 1919 World Series and the event that take place during and after the series to the eight players.


The book Eight Men Out is a great book about our national pastime and one of the biggest scandals to occur in it. I enjoyed this book because I'm an avid sports fan and had little knowledge on the "Black Sox" scandal and this book was great in giving details of the scandal. This is a great book for anyone who enjoys sports, history, or gambling. This book is about the best generation of baseball players ever and gave a better understanding of their mistreatment.


Favorite Passage

"That Gandil had selected a powerful combination, there was no doubt; it was also a convenient one. The White Sox had spent the season split into two cliques, and Gandil's eight ballplayers made up one of them. Unknown even to loyal Chicago fans, this was a ball club ridden with dissension."

I think this passage is my favorite because it shows how even though a team could be the best in the league it can be divided and hold secrets from each other.

Eight Men Out Official Trailer #1 - Christopher Lloyd Movie (1988) HD