The Original Curse: Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth's Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal?

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McGraw Hill Professional, Oct 2, 2009 - Sports & Recreation - 256 pages

IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF EIGHT MEN OUT . . .
the untold story of baseball’s ORIGINAL SCANDAL

Did the Chicago Cubs throw the World Series in 1918—and get away with it?

Who were the players involved—and why did they do it?

Were gambling and corruption more widespread across the leagues than previously believed?

Were the players and teams “cursed” by their actions?

Finally, is it time to rewrite baseball history?

With exclusive access to surprising new evidence, Sporting News reporter Sean Deveney details a scandal at the core of baseball’s greatest folklore—in a golden era as exciting and controversial as our sports world today. This inside look at the pivotal year of 1918 proves that baseball has always been a game overrun with colorful characters, intense human drama, and explosive controversy.

"The Original Curse is not just about baseball. It is a sweeping portrait of America at war in 1918. . . . In the end, the proper question is not, ‘How could a player from that era fix the World Series?’ It’s, ‘How could he not?’”
—Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports, from the Introduction

"Sean Deveney plays connect-the-dots in this intriguing account of a possible conspiracy to throw the 1918 World Series. Thoroughly researched and well written, The Original Curse is a must-read for baseball fans and anyone who loves a good mystery. Is Max Flack the Shoeless Joe of the 1918 Cubs? Deveney lays out the case and let's readers decide if the fix was in."
—Paul Sullivan, Cubs beat writer, Chicago Tribune

"This book gives the reader a fun and honest look at baseball as it used to be-- the good guys, the gamblers, the cheaters, the drunks, the inept leaders. But, more than that, it puts those characters into the context of Chicago, Boston and America at the time of World War I, and you wind up with a unique way to explain the motivations of those characters."
—David Kaplan, host, Chicago Tribune Live and WGN's Sports Central

“Deveney’s painstaking study of the 1918 World Series between the Cubs and Red Sox argues that the Black Sox scandal was not an aberration and might have had an antecedent. Deveney’s scholarship does not detract from his ability to spin a good tale: his tendency to imagine players’ conversations will remind readers of Leigh Montville’s The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth.... A welcome companion to Susan Dellinger’s Red Legs and Black Sox: Edd Roush and the Untold Story of the 1919 World Series, Deveney’s book contributes greatly to our understanding of this decisive period in baseball and American morals."
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User Review  - jrgoetziii - LibraryThing

The Original Curse is Sean Deveney's debut and his maturity as a writer is on full display as the book progresses. Yet the first few chapters are dull, and the text requires patience. The thesis ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fuzzy_patters - LibraryThing

Deveney's book put me in the mood for baseball, and it is only January. You can never have too much baseball in January as it eases the winter depression with thoughts of summer afternoons and glasses ... Read full review

Contents

Fixes and Curses Aboard a Train with the White Sox
1
Luck Charley Weeghman
13
Preparedness Harry Frazee and Ed Barrow
25
Discipline Five Days in Spring Training with Ed Barrow
38
Sacrifice Grover Cleveland Alexander
49
Morality Max Flack
61
Cheating Hubert Dutch Leonard
72
Usefulness Newton D Baker
85
Labor Charley Hollocher
133
Death Carl Mays
146
World Series Game 1 Chicago
158
World Series Games 2 and 3 Chicago
169
World Series Games 4 and 5 Boston
182
World Series Game 6 Boston
194
History Throwing the World Series
204
Notes
215

Loyalty The Texel
97
Strategy Harry Hooper
109
Money Recollection of Boston Gambler James Costello
121
Bibliography
231
Index
235
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Sean Deveney has been with The Sporting News since 1999, covering all major sports. Deveney has covered dozens of major championships: the NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowl, the NCAA Tournament, college football's championship game and the PGA championship. He has written about icons such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, and less-than-iconic topics including Roger Clemens and the inside world of sports agents. He is the Sporting News' baseball insider. After graduation from Northwestern University in 1997, Deveney worked as the sports editor for The Sentry-News in Slidell, LA, where he won a Louisiana Press Association award for best feature story. A native of Lynn, Mass., who grew up with a passion for the Red Sox and limited talent as a second baseman, Deveney also has been honored in The Best American Sports Writing anthology for a story about Pedro Martinez. He has been a regular guest on ESPN2's First Take, ESPN Classic, Comcast Sports Chicago Tribune Live, with appearances on Fox News, CNN, CBS and MSNBC. He appears on numerous radio shows around the country each week.

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