Eddie Cicotte

The Life and Career of the Banned Black Sox Pitcher


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About the Book

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.”

About the Author(s)

David L. Fleitz is a web developer and database analyst who lives in Troy, Michigan. A longtime SABR member, he has written nine other books on baseball history.

Bibliographic Details

David L. Fleitz
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8019-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4003-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction 1

 1. The Beginning 3

 2. Boston 14

 3. Chicago 27

 4. Career Rejuvenation 39

 5. The Championship Season 51

 6. War and Turmoil 68

 7. The 1919 Season 79

 8. The 1919 World Series 96

 9. The 1920 Season 109

10. The Walls Close In 122

11. The Trial 140

12. Outlaw Ball 155

13. Later Life 166

Epilogue 178

Appendix A: Indictment 183

Appendix B: Eddie Cicotte’s Statistics 185

Chapter Notes 189

Bibliography 197

Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

• “In this unique biography, author and sportswriter Fleitz brings to life one of the most influential figures in the [infamous Black Sox Scandal] … Fleitz’s extensive research and well-written description humanizes and evokes sympathy for [Cicotte] in a way that has rarely been seen. Additionally, the account illuminates much of the motivation behind other influential figures in the scandal, and leaves it to the reader to determine the morality or immorality of each. … This highly readable work, loaded with numbers and statistics, is a must read for any baseball fan, and belongs in most public libraries”—Library Journal

• “This is a book that belongs on every fans’ bookshelf.”—SABR Deadball Era Committee Newsletter

• “The biography offers much about both Cicotte’s career and his role in the Black Sox scandal. In that regard, this is an important book in understanding one player’s contribution to one of the major events in baseball history.”—Nine