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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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 'Chicago19' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley
Guest Historian Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, Thank you for visiting TIAH. This thread is adapted from material which I've previously posted at Changing the Times and Othertimelines.com; it speculates on what might have happened if the Chicago White Sox hadn't won the 1919 American League pennant. For further examples of my work, visit (insert CTT hyperlink right here). If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
Chicago White Sox

August 8

On this day in 1919, the Chicago White Sox, who had been leading the American League standings for most of the baseball season, saw their lead begin to dwindle as they were swept in a doubleheader at Comiskey Park by the Philadelphia Athletics. By the end of the 1919 season the White Sox would be tied for first with the Detroit Tigers and American League president Benjamin Bancroft 'Ban' Johnson would order a one-game playoff to resolve the deadlock; the aftermath of the game would lead to one of the worst urban fires in US history.

 - Ban Johnson
Ban Johnson

August 12

On this day in 1919, White Sox first baseman Arnold "Chick" Gandil suspended by American League president Ban Johnson for assaulting an umpire during an argument over a strike call. Two days later the Detroit Tigers pulled into a first-place tie with Chicago after Detroit beat the New York Yankees 4-2 and the White Sox were thrashed by the Boston Red Sox 13-7.

"Chick" - Arnold Gandil
Arnold Gandil

August 16

On this day in 1919, the White Sox fell two games behind Detroit in the American League standings after a 9-0 loss to the Red Sox during which Chicago infielders Eddie Collins and Charles 'Swede' Risberg collided with each other while diving for the same ground ball.

Swede - Charles Risberg
Charles Risberg

August 20

On this day in 1919, former pitcher-turned-gambler "Sleepy" Bill Burns and one of his associates, ex-featherweight boxing champion Abe Attell, approached Detroit Tigers slugger Ty Cobb about the possibility of his participating in a scheme by Burns, Attell, and New York bookmaking kingpin Arnold Rothstein to fix the 1919 World Series. Cobb's reaction was quick, blunt, and emphatically negative: he ripped into Burns and Attell with an obscenity-laden tirade, then pulled a gun and threatened to kill both men if they ever approached him again.

 - Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

September 16

On this day in 1919, American League president Ban Johnson announced that if the White Sox and Tigers were still tied for first in the AL standings at the end of the regular season, a special one-game playoff would be held in Chicago on October 2nd to break the tie.

Chicago's mayor, anticipating a White Sox victory, declared October 3rd a civic holiday; Detroit's mayor did likewise in expectation of a Tigers win.

 - Ban Johnson
Ban Johnson

October 1

On this day in 1919, the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers finished the regular season still tied for first place; for the tiebreaker game being played the next day, Chicago elected to start ace Claude "Lefty" Williams while Detroit countered with 21-game winner Hooks Dauss.

 - Claude Williams
Claude Williams

October 6

On this day in 1919, the Detroit Tigers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-3 to complete a sweep of the 1919 World Series. Ty Cobb's performance in the best-of-nine contest affirmed his reputation as one of the greatest hitters of his era; he finished the Series with a .507 batting average, fifteen RBIs, and nine home runs(including two grand slams).

 - Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

Cobb's teammates were no slouches at the plate either, batting a collective .423 in the Series

August 16

On this day in 1920, former White Sox infielder Arnold "Chick" Gandil, by then a utility player with the Cleveland Indians, was fatally injured during a game against the New York Yankees when a fastball by Yankees pitcher Carl Mays slammed into his temple and fractured his skull; Gandil died that evening at Columbia University Hospital.

Arnold "Chuck"
Arnold "Chuck" - Gandil

At the time of the deadly accident Gandil had been pinch-hitting for Cleveland's regular shortstop Ray Chapman; less than a month after Gandil's death, a severely traumatized Chapman committed suicide.

February 13

On this day in 1921, the Chicago White Sox released Ray Schalk from their roster; Schalk would spend most of the next 18 months on the semi-pro circuit before returning to the American League in 1923 as a reserve catcher with the St. Louis Browns.

 - Ray Schalk
Ray Schalk

October 4

In 1919, on this day "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, deeply traumatized by the Comiskey Park fire, quit professional baseball for good and left Chicago.

Disaster at Comiskey Park by Chris OakleyEven the most jaded Chicagoans were stunned by Jackson's decision; as he was leaving his house to board a train back to South Carolina, one distraught boy could be heard pleading "Say it ain't so, Joe!"

October 2

In 1919, on this day the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 to clinch the American League pennant; Chicago's last hope victory was dashed when "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (pictured) struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. White Sox fans were quick to protest the strikeout call; one particularly irate spectator lit his game program on fire and waved it menacingly at winning pitcher Hooks Dauss, not realizing he had dropped his still lit match.
Disaster at Comiskey Park by Chris OakleyWithin minutes Comiskey Park itself was in flames; sportswriters Hugh Fullerton and Ring Lardner, who'd barely made it out alive, phoned a running account of the disaster to Fullerton's editor across town. By the time the fire was extinguished, the park and dozens of blocks of the surrounding neighborhood lay in ruins. Among the fire's casualties were Abe Attell; ex-Philadelphia boxer Billy Maharg, a co-conspirator with Attell and "Sleepy" Bill Burns in the now-dead scheme to fix the 1919 World Series; White Sox traveling secretary Harry Grabiner; and Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte, who succumbed to smoke inhalation en route to a local hospital. Sox reserve infielder Freddie MacMullin was permanently paralyzed from the waist down when his spine was severed by falling debris as he was fleeing the park.

February 15

In 1920, on this day "Sleepy" Bill Burns died of gunshot wounds sustained four days earlier in an ambush outside a Manhattan speakeasy; he thus became one of the earliest and most notorious casualties of America's Prohibition-era gang wars.

The Death of "Sleepy" Bill BurnsShortly after Burns' death, a letter he'd written prior to the ambush arrived at the offices of the New York City U.S. district attorney.

Burn's had described at length Arnold Rothstein's role in the long-defunct plot to fix the 1919 World Series.

"I told them I had the hundred thousand dollars to handle the throwing of the World Series. I also told them that I had the names of the men who were going to finance it.That letter would subsequently lead to Rothstein's arrest and indictment on racketeering charges.

Rothstein would be sentenced to consecutive ten-year prison terms for his crimes and die of a stroke just after beginning the second of those terms.

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