In October 1919, the Chicago White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds, in what many major league baseball fans and spectators considered suspicious circumstances. Soon enough the rumours of corruption and bribery emerged, involving large sums of money exchanging hands between members of a gambling syndicate and several White Sox players, who were paid to intentionally lose the world series. In September 1920, a Grand Jury was convened to investigate these claims, and White Sox pitcher Eddie Cicotte confessed his participation in the scheme. The subsequent fallout resulted in the suspension of Cicotte and seven other players, and meant the scandal would cost the White Sox any chance of winning that year's American pennant against the Cleveland Indians. The eight players eventually went on trial in 1921, and although the court heard damning testimony from fellow players and White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, the accused would all be found not guilty. Despite the acquittals of all defendants in the public trial, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the newly appointed Commissioner of Baseball declared his intention to restore the integrity of the game, and imposed a lifetime ban on all eight players, ensuring they would never again play professional baseball.
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