Eddie Cicotte, who pitched in the American League 1905–1920, was one of the tragic figures of baseball. A family man and a fan favorite, he ascended to stardom with nothing more than a mediocre fastball, endless guile and a repertoire of trick pitches. He won 29 games in 1919 and led the Chicago White Sox to the pennant. Although he pitched poorly in the World Series that October, fans did not hold it against him—a slump can happen to anybody.
A year later, the public learned the truth: Cicotte’s poor performance was no slump. He had taken a bribe to throw the Series. Along with seven teammates, he was implicated in what became known as the Black Sox Scandal, the most disgraceful episode in the history of the sport. Overnight, he became a pariah and would remain so for the rest of his life. This is the first full-length biography of Cicotte, best known today not as a great pitcher but as one of the “Eight Men Out.”