We are continually pulled to the story of the 1919 World Series and the Chicago White Sox -- The Black Sox -- because so much of modern sport, and our attitude towards it, springs from the scandal.
In The Betrayal, Charles Fountain traces the Black Sox story from its roots in the gambling culture that pervaded the game in the years surrounding World War I, through the confusing events of the 1919 World Series itself, to the noisy aftermath and trial, and illuminates the moment as baseball's tipping point.
Situating the Black Sox events in the context of later scandals, including those involving Cincinnati Reds manager and player Pete Rose, and the ongoing use of performance-enhancing drugs in the game up through the present, Fountain illuminates America’s near century-long fascination with the story, and its continuing relevance today.
Charles Fountain is an Associate Professor at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. His journalism career encompassed work in television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Fountain is the author of several books, including Under the March Sun: The Story of Spring Training and Sportswriter: The Life and Times of Grantland Rice.
On an off day for this year’s World Series, we took a look back at the most talked about Fall Classic in baseball history. Listen in...