The Black Sox Scandalwas a Major League Baseball game fixing incident in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of intentionally losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate led Arnold Rothstein. The fallout from the scandal resulted in the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first Commissioner of Baseball, granting him absolute control over the sport in order to restore its integrity.
Despite acquittals in a public trial in 1921, Judge Landis permanently banned all eight men from professional baseball. The punishment was eventually defined to also include banishment from post-career honors such as consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Despite requests for reinstatement in the decades that followed….particularly in the case of Shoeless Joe Jackson….but the ban remains in force today in 2019.
Murderers’ Row were the baseball teams of the New York Yankees in the late 1920’s….which is widely considered one of the best teams in MLB history. The nickname is in particular describing the first six hitters in the 1927 team lineup….including Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri.
The 1927 Yankees batted .307, slugged .489, scored 975 runs….while outscoring their opponents by a record 376 runs. Center fielder Earle Combs had a career best year in batting .356 with 231 hits….with left fielder Bob Meusel batted .337 with 103 RBIs….and second baseman Tony Lazzeri drove in 102 runs. Gehrig batted .373, with 218 hits, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs….and a then record 175 RBIs, slugged at .765, and was voted A.L. MVP….while Babe Ruth amassed a .356 batting average, 164 RBIs, 158 runs scored, walked 137 times, and slugged .772….when most notably, his 60 home runs that year broke his own record and remained the Major League mark for the next 34 years….until Yankees OF Roger Maris broke it by one with 61….however, just like the 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners, this was done in a 162-game schedule….a fact that Commissioner Ford Frick wanted noted when the single-season home run record was to be referenced.
Any way you cut the pie….this video seen herewith….is a rare piece of MLB history….which we here at ImaSportsphile consider to be nothing less than “pure gold” in our treasure chest of vintage video memories.