The 1919 Chicago White Sox Scandalize the Baseball World (feat. Jake Johnson) – Drunk History

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– Hello, I am Katie Nolan, and this is the story
of the Blackhawks. Blackhawks? – You wanna do
“Black Hawk Down”? – Maybe.
– I feel, like, we should do– – Should we do the baseball
thing instead, and then maybe next time
we’ll do “Black Hawk Down.” – Yeah, [bleep], yeah.
God bless Josh Hartnett though. – Hello, I’m Katie Nolan, and this is the Black Sox
scandal.[old timey music]Our story begins in 1919,exactly 100 years ago.The Chicago White Soxare in the middle
of a winning season.
They’re owner,
Charles Comiskey,
is a piece of shit.He’s making a bunch of money.He hasn’t even paid for their
laundering of their uniforms.
The players are like,
this is bullshit.
We’re playing good baseball,and we should be
paid more money
because we’re people
and we have families.
So the–the players are being
[bleep]ed by ownership, and they were pissed.So Chick Gandil,
first baseman,
he’s like, look, I’m towards
the end of my career.
I want to make
a bunch of money,
and I can’t make
a bunch of money
because I’m not getting
paid it.
So Arnold Rothstein,
who was a mob dude…
Arnold Rothstein
approaches him and he says,
Hey, kid,I want to make money.
You want to make money.
You play games for a living.I will pay you moneysand you will throw
the World Series.
And he’s like,
that’s it?
That’s so easy.
I can lose.
And so Rothstein said,look,
I’m glad you’re on the team,
but one person is not enough
to throw a baseball game.
We’re gonna need a lot
of other people.
Maybe, like, eight people?So he called a meetingwith a bunch of players
on the team.
Now, that included
Eddie Cicotte,
Lefty Williams, and then
Shoeless Joe Jackson.
And so Chick Gandil,
he’s like,
look, everybody,
I met this dude.
He will give us $100,000if we lose the World Series.And a lot of them were like,uh, what?
I love baseball.
All I’ve ever done is devoted
my life to baseball.
And Chick’s like,
yeah, no, I get it,
but we can make
more money losing
than we will earn notoriety
the guys like,
I will compromise everything
for some cash.
So the players leave
that meeting,
and they recruited a bunch
of dudes within the team.
So they have eight people.I wanna bring the mic down
to my face. – [laughs]– We get to the point where
they get to the World Series.
Chicago White Sox versus
Cincinnati Reds.
Game one, best of nine.The White Sox,
heavily favored,
and Eddie Cicotte takes
the mound.
So the signal betweenthe players
and the gambling guy
was that Eddie would hit
the very first batter.He winds up,
he throws his first pitch,
and it’s a perfect strike.He throws it right down
the middle,and everyone’s like,
wait, what the [bleep]?
I thought we were gonna
throw the game.
Second pitch, winds up,
throws it.
Hits the batter,
and so everybody knows,
oh, it’s on.
So the game goes on
and on and on.
Eddie throws terrible pitches.They lose 9-1.– Holy shit.– Papers come out the next day,
Derek. [giggles]
And they’re like,what?But we got to go
on to game two.Throughout the series,
they keep losing.
Whoopsies, I should have
probably caught that.
And then they were like,oh, I wish I could throw
that to the plate,
but I can only throw it
to the pitcher.
Oh, a line drive.
[wimpy scream]
Whoopsies.And Chick Gandil was like,I’m gonna get this. I got it.
I got it. I got it.
And he waved everybody off,and then instead
he just didn’t got it.
– [laughs]– I’m getting too drunk to be
able to maintain– – You’re okay. We’re just gonna finish
that story. – So the series is 4-1.Lefty Williams says,hey, we have not received
any payments.
We’re not gonna keep throwing
our legacy for nothing.
Let’s go up it–
on the baseball field.
Let’s come from behindand win this World Series!Yeah!So for the next few games
they’re, like, trying.
They’re winning,
then the night before
the eighth game of the seriesArnold Rothstein
and his associates
visited Lefty Williams
in his hotel room.
Rothstein says,if by the first inningit isn’t obvious
we’re gonna lose,
I’ll murder your wife.And Lefty Williams was like,
I’m shook.
So game eight,
Lefty goes out,
he’s the starting pitcher,
and he sucks.
Real bad.
Like, on purpose bad,and they end up losing
10 to 5,
and that’s it.
The World Series is over
and Cincinnati has won.People were shocked,and then there started
to be these rumors.
People are like,
it felt fixed.And the press labels
the White Sox the Black Sox.
– Why?– It’s black mark. It’s bad. Forever.
– [laughs]– So there’s a grand jury
and Eddie Cicotte
and Shoeless Joe
both break down in front
of the grand jury.
And he said,yup, [slap resounds]
I did it.
I have no family.
[slap resounds]
I didn’t make enough money.
[slap resounds]
– Is your hand okay when you
did that?
[slap resounds] – Ow, don’t do that. [slap resounds]
– Hey, hey, hey.[slap resounds]Shoeless Joe was like,I am
Shoeless Joe Jackson
and I’m not wearing
any shoes! – [laughs] – This is what led to the very
first commissioner of baseball.He had the most
first name ever.
Kenesaw Mountain Landis.He comes out and he’s like,we won’t stand for
no cheaters,
and so all those eight meninvolved in
the Black Sox scandal,
banned from baseball
for life.
And so now there’s
no more cheaters left
in major league baseball,except all the cheaters
that existed after that.
I have no shoes on. Boop.
[mic thuds] Do you get it? It’s black socks.


  1. They put the lyrics to "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" at the bottom-right on "Some Chicago Newspaper " at 4:58 ???

  2. Love Drunk History! However, new research has dispelled a lot of the myths in this episode. If you want to know more about then Black Sox scandal, on a more sober note, there’s a podcast devoted to it. It’s season two of the Infamous America Podcast.

  3. This video perpetuates several myths about the scandal. A historian who spent years investigating the scandal and writing a book about it was on PBS Newshour recently . He said the players were actually well paid. They didn't earn ridiculous salaries like today, but no athlete did. Still they earned more than the average person. It was about greed, period. Also, the whole thing was actually the players' idea, not someone else's.

  4. Why does the comedian play the actor in the recreation while the narrator is played by someone unknown or partially famous (in this case Katie Nolan)?

  5. Whenever I hear this story I always feel so bad for shoeless Joe, he was devoted to the sport and had the best record of that year, and was pressured into throwing the game. then he got banned from playing baseball

  6. This is so on brand having Jake Johnson reenact this because I believe he’s actually from Chicago and a Baseball fan too. Lol!!!

  7. 1 .Katie Nolan is a typical, vapid, liberal female. At least 50 percent of what she said isn't even accurate. For one, the players never interacted with Rothstein directly. He was actually in New York for the duration of the series and was not in the stands for a single game! Furthermore, the proposition was brought to Rothstein…not the other way around. She also completely failed to mention that there was not one bit TWO fixing collisions. The other one ( arguably the one with the most impact history wise) involved Boston gambler sport sullivan. Incidentally, both separate collisions involved Rothstein…but the one that actually had Rothsteins backing was the one with Sullivan! Rothstein gave him 80k to give to the players; half up front, half after the series. But being the shady gambler he was, Sullivan instead used the majority of the money to get on the series instead of giving it to the players, which resulted in the players getting upset and actually deciding to win in games 7 and 8. And yes it's true lefty Williams was threatened the night bef9re the last game, but the man who did so was hired by sport sullivan…Rothstein had NOTHING to do with that part.

    2. Rothstein is just the top name of a long, LONG list of Jews involved in the scandal. Sport Sullivan was pretty much the only gentle involved. Seriously, the list of names behind the fix reads like the RSVP list for a bar mitzvah. Jews are literally involved with everything that can be considered "bad" or "immoral". (Of course, the Hebrews who own Comedy Central would never tell you this..)

  8. So they were really banned? Tbh, I know what they did was wrong, but they weren't getting paid. (Not that the mobster was paying them anyways), but they did it so they wouldn't be living on the streets and dying of pneumonia. People can't work for free, that's not a job. People need money in order to survive, at least fine them and put them on suspension for like 4 months or till next season. Plus they were threatened so they had no choice really.

  9. Joe never ever had any part of this scheme. Maybe though aware others had Joe decided to play his best ever as one man can't throw a series or have won it by they self. Joe only crime was not selling his teammates out if anything.

  10. Y'all need to read SABR's Eight Myths Out. I know this was based off the Eight Men Out book and film, but that isn't what actually happened.

  11. They weren't the only team under paid, very few players back then were paid enough money, so they wouldn't have to have a second job after the baseball season, They were just in the right place when someone offered them money to throw the series so those guys could make a lot of money on the stupid ball players on the whitesox, only 1 player ever received any money.

  12. Did you know that "Shoe less" Joe Jackson couldn't actually read or write, so he didn't really understand what was happening, and so he actually tried in the World Series and did really well. Unfortunately, even though he didn't really understand what it was for, Jackson accepted the money so he was found guilty and banned from baseball. It's an interesting story, but also a sad one, as Jackson was banned from doing what he loved, because he was manipulated by Arnold Rothstein. My 5th grade teacher, who loved baseball, tought me this story. He was my favorite teacher but sadly, he passed away last year. Thought I could share this story with you, the same way he shared it with me.

  13. Um, Katie does know they were called the black sox BEFORE the world series, right? Comisky charged for laundry, so they did not wash their uniforms … was she drunk and forgot that like the whole Shoeless Joe bit? 🙂

  14. baseball is for people who hate action and love stats, they are brothers to fantasy football, they are both pieces of shit.

  15. Why film jake Johnson and the rest of the actors reenacting the story only to mute their voices and have Katie Nolan’s annoying nasally voice talk over it?!? Who makes the decisions on everything Katie’s dumbass does? Seriously someone fill me in on this.does she have a rich family that pays for her to be popular in the sports world? She must get to make producing decisions because the attention is always about her.this being on of them

  16. This is nowhere close to the entire story. If this program applies this type of standard to all their segments, they are worthless.

  17. and Arnold was the backer of the money in a way, but he was never seen around the players and stuff like that.  It wasn't him who came up with the idea.  It was a couple other guys.

  18. This history is wrong. The story we are often told has been repeated and repeated by lazy historians and journalists that based their facts on one book, eight men out, that was a fictionalized account of the event.

  19. Honestly this what college athletes should do more often. If they do it enough, they’d have no choice but to pay them

  20. Katie Nolan is one of the greatest personalities on television. Unfortunately FOX and ESPN have no clue how to feature her.

  21. I think it was perfectly justified to do what they did. They were not getting paid by playing honest ball, so they did what they could do to live by. Frankly, the owner of white sox should have been stabbed a couple of thousands time to death!

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