Happy Felsch

Banished Black Sox Center Fielder


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About the Book

Schooled on the sandlots of Milwaukee, Chicago Black Sox center fielder Oscar “Happy” Felsch (1891–1964) was a rising star who then blew a promising career for a few bucks by participating in the throwing of the 1919 World Series. On the field, Felsch was hitting his peak in 1920, the year the scandal hit the newspapers. His speed, run-producing power and defensive prowess—all attributes that might have garnered consideration by the Hall of Fame—earned comparisons to the great Tris Speaker. Instead, he ended up playing the fallen hero for remote baseball enclaves in Montana and Canada.
Did he really play to lose the series or just say that he did out of fear of reprisal by crooked gamblers? Felsch talked about the scandal more than any of the other eight banned players. This book analyzes his three interviews, revealing his ultimate gullibility and greed and rampant contradictions.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Rathkamp, a senior technical writer, has covered sports for local newspapers and written an online sports column for the Greenwich Village Gazette. He lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas Rathkamp
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9487-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2323-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1. Wilkommen, Charles and Marie 5

2. The Pride of Teutonia Avenue 9

3. Taste of Clark’s Brew 22

4. Happy Times, Clean Sox, New Pants 32

5. The .300 Club 45

6. 100 Wins to Paydirt 52

7. White Sox Become Giants 62

8. $125 a Month and Weekend Ball 72

9. Prelude to Gullibility 79

10. Did Felsch Play to Lose? 92

11. Happy Peak, Career Feats 109

12. Say It Ain’t So, Oscar 122

13. Legal Dodge, Here Comes the Judge 131

14. Not My Signature 144

15. Big Skies, Cow Pastures and Moonshine 153

16. If You Pour, He Will Talk 162

Postlude: Was Felsch a Future Hall of Famer? 167

Chapter Notes 169

Bibliography 177

Index 179