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Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  6,653 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
The headlines proclaimed the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's l ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1963)
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Lee Schnitzer Yes. It tells the true story of the 1919 'Black Sox' scandal.
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Community Reviews

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Nancy Kennedy
Feb 03, 2012 Nancy Kennedy rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of nonfiction read I love, a book about an iconic incident you think you know something about. "Say it ain't so, Joe!" That's pretty much what I knew of the "Black Sox" baseball scandal.

Everything I thought I knew about the throwing of the 1919 World Series turns out to be wrong. Just about every fact Mr. Asinof unearthed surprised me: Why did they do it? Were they just bad apples? When did people start to suspect the fix was on? Who initiated the fix? Who really made money? Who
Jun 19, 2013 Franky rated it really liked it
As a baseball fan, I couldn’t help but read Eliot Asinof’s novel without thinking about the current state of baseball. Baseball, in recent years, has taken quite a hit (sorry for the pun) with its battle over steroids and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). As the sport probes further into this scandal to clean things up, baseball itself is reeling, the public often disenchanted with the grand old game. A proverbial witch hunt to find out who was “doping” has left us to question not only the mor ...more
Ryan Bramlett
Oct 29, 2012 Ryan Bramlett rated it really liked it
The Major League Baseball World Series has been a celebrated event for decades. Hundreds of thousands crowd around their TV to watch America’s pastime or if they are if they are lucky enough get to watch the game first hand. But the fans of the Chicago White Sox during the 1919 fix were not so lucky. The struggles and steps taken by the players and gamblers during the fix was packed into this intriguing book by Eliot Asinof. The story is about a New York gambler, Arnold Rothenstein that wanted t ...more
Sep 29, 2009 Tommy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baseball, non-fiction
This was a terrific book especially for anyone who enjoys baseball history.

Considering what sparse records exist about the events and the trials I think Asinof does a masterful job of constructing the story of all the involved parties including multiple gamblers, players, owners, commissioners, judges, etc. The list of people whose point of view is presented honestly in a nuanced and sensitive way is truly astounding. Even more astounding is that the entire account doesn't seem more muddled. Asi
Aug 19, 2015 Dan rated it it was amazing
A perfect book. Much more then a baseball book---a history of an amazing labor dispute that ended with the throwing of the 1919 World Series. Amazingly, the crooked players come off as the most sympathetic characters in the story. The baseball owners and the big time gamblers were the only "winners" here, much as the CEO's benefit regardless of the performance of the company. Arnold Rothstein, the NYC gambler who bankrolled the fix (immortalized in the Great Gatsby: No he's a gambler. Then Gatsb ...more
Kara Neal
Is there anyone honest out there?

I read this book as part of a reading challenge. The category for which I read it was 'a book published the year you were born'. As a long-time lover of history and more recent baseball fan, I was intrigued by this title. Frankly, there were so many people involved in this scandal that it was at times difficult to keep the names and roles straight, especially since some used aliases and others, in some fashion or another, changed sides or Their self-defense tacti
Dec 18, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it
Very detailed, but incredibly interesting for this historian and baseball enthusiast.
Matt Agami
May 31, 2016 Matt Agami rated it liked it
Eight Men out it a story of the shady events that took place during The 1919 World Series, and what the consequences were following the series in which multiple players on the black sox threw the game. The author conveys the story from several perspectives, from betters to players to managers. As other reviews have stated, this book wonderfully portrays some of the wonderful aspects of baseball as well as the low, underground like aspects of the sport as well.
However, with so many names and ev
Stuart Ayris
Jul 09, 2013 Stuart Ayris rated it it was amazing
As a huge cricket fan I guess that at some time in my life it would be inevitable that I would fall in love with Baseball. I read WP Kinsella's Shoeless Joe and the lesser known, but far superior in my opinion, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy some time back but I could never really get into the game. This season though, the penny has dropped and not a night goes by when I'm not glued at some stage to the baseball on ESPN America. If this is middle-age, then, well, I love it.

So, to the book.

Eight M
Cole Hamilton
Oct 03, 2012 Cole Hamilton rated it really liked it
I think that the purpose of the author to write this book was to inform sports readers or anyone about the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and how eight of the players tried to fix the World Series for 100,000 dollars. Its a biography about the team so you know he wrote it to inform everyone who has heard about it on what actually happened.
The theme of the story is that the pressures of baseball in 1919 was very high that it turned very talented men to betray the game of baseball. So don't fall under t
Jun 21, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it
The author of Eight Men Out died last week and I heard of him and the book on a public radio show, Its only a game. I seem to have good luck with books I hear about in this manner.

The book is wonderful - there is a wonderful flavor of 1919, of sitting in the ballpark, of gamblers and the obsession that I've come to recognize in the blues guitarist and the baseball fan. The book has the right mix of history, personality and reporting on a black mark in baseball history. I am not a baseball fan b
Ryan Arnold
Apr 21, 2013 Ryan Arnold rated it liked it
This is a book that was written and made for a person who truly understands the concepts of baseball and money as one. Professional baseball is a business and the quicker people understand that, the quicker they can use that to their advantage. The men of this time knew that the game was new and wanted to make the most money off of it. So when they payed the players to lose the games, it was for the maximum profit from bets placed on the games.
This book gives great detailed descriptions of the
Mar 19, 2013 Kevin rated it liked it
Eight Men Out (the movie) was one of my favorite baseball movies, so I thought I'd listen to the audio book. There is A LOT more to the story in the book than there was in the movie. It is interesting how gambling really controlled baseball back in the beginning of the sports. For example, people would toss rocks at the outfielders trying to catch a fly ball if they had a bet on the game. And the weird thing is, there was no rule against it!

After reading the book, you can understand more why Bar
Jan 17, 2010 Diane rated it liked it
An interesting book – I never saw the movie and only sort of knew the full story of the Black Sox. I had a couple of interesting and competing reactions. The first was how different the world is today – the second was how much the world today is the same. First, I was struck by how today when there are accusations of drugging in sports, the principles are millionaire players who immediately point the finger at other people. In 1918, the principles were basically poor kids who did wrong and who t ...more
Apr 12, 2013 Gerald rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: baseball fans
Recommended to Gerald by: Bought it because of the subject,
A inside, thorough look at the most serious scandel in baseball, with the 1919 Chicago White Sox accepting bribes from professional gamblers to throw the World Series. It also shows the odious nature of the reserve clause. The reserve clause bound a player to one team for life. They could not play anywhere else, unless the owner allowed it. The reserve clause treated players like indentured servants, with greedy owners paying them nowhere near what they were worth. In an atmosphere of disrespect ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Originally published in 1963, rereleased in 1987 to coincide with the "Major Motion Picture" trumpeted on the cover.

The story of the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, when eight members of the Chicago Sox team of another stripe conspired to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, a heavy on-paper underdog. The eight Sox were charged, tried, and acquitted, but immediately banned from organized baseball for life by new baseball commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, hired specifically for thi
Max Newman
Sep 02, 2012 Max Newman rated it it was ok
Eight Men Out was not the best sports book I've read, but it's a fair book to read. The book details the 1919 Chicago White Sox baseball team, as eight of the players on the team are involved in a scandal. The eight players have struck a deal with gamblers, so the gamblers can win money, as the gamblers have surprisingly bet for the Cincinatti Reds to win. In the end, the Reds do win the World Series, but because the eight Sox players involved in the "Black Sox scandal" intentionally played bad, ...more
Susan Olesen
Aug 16, 2013 Susan Olesen rated it it was ok
The material was interesting, the book slightly blah. In short, Comiskey deserved it, for being such a cheap capitalist bastard he was paying his # 1 team one quarter of what the lesser teams got, the equivalent of paying the Yankees on minor league scale compared to the rest of Pro ball. I felt sorry for Shoeless Joe, a simple country bumpkin who just happened to be the best hitter in the country and was constantly taken advantage of because he was illiterate and easy to confuse and mislead. I ...more
George Hancock
Oct 03, 2015 George Hancock rated it it was amazing
Incredible story!
Jan 24, 2016 Carter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It's late and I was absorbed by this book.
• Took me about three nights to read (had to take notes to keep up; there's a large cast of strangers and baseball is not exactly my forte).
• First half covers the Series, and the second covers the trial and fallout.
• These "eight men out" are unsophisticated, talented ballplayers, stuck in terrible contracts, lured by big money and circumstance into losing games they'd easily rather win.
• I like reading about scams gone awry, but these guys wer
Griffin Tebrugge
Oct 05, 2015 Griffin Tebrugge rated it really liked it
I think that the purpose of the author to write this book was to inform anyone interested about the 1919 Chicago White Sox and how eight of the players tried to fix the World Series for bribes from gamblers. Its a biography about the team so he wrote it to inform everyone who has heard about it on what actually happened.

The theme of the story is that the pressure on baseball players in 1919 were very high and that it turned men who were just starting out to betray the game of baseball. So don't
May 21, 2015 Pierce rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rickie Bellamy
Nov 20, 2014 Rickie Bellamy rated it really liked it
Eight Men Out starts off with many people crowding to see the 1919 World Series. But, a word soon got out that the 1919 World Series "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America." Eliot Asinof was the most effective person in the whole fix in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the United States leading gamblers to throw the series in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eliot moving behind the scenes, he carefully examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the condit ...more
Lawrence Perez
Mar 06, 2014 Lawrence Perez rated it it was amazing

I felt that Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series, is probably one of the best baseball books that I have read. It is a nonfictional book about the 1919 World Series, where the Chicago White Sox, ultimately the best team in baseball during this time period, decided to "throw" the Series. It was one of the worst scandal's in the history of sports as the 8 players of the White Sox were ultimately thrown out of baseball for life. As I have read many books over the l
Sep 25, 2015 Sam added it
I thought it was a good book overall. Sometimes it got a little hard to follow all of the different people involved in the huge scandal. But it did give a lot of good information about players and why they did it and the setting at that time and how it was different than today.
Paul Haspel
Apr 06, 2014 Paul Haspel rated it it was amazing
Eight members of major league baseball’s Chicago White Sox colluded with gamblers, arranged to lose a 1919 World Series that they were heavily favored to win, and were banned from organized baseball for life as a result. Yet the corrupt actions of these players were only part of a system that had itself grown corrupt. Such, at any rate, is part of the message of Eliot Asinof’s book Eight Men Out.

Asinof, himself a former minor-league baseball player, spends a good deal of his time tearing away at
Max Acri
May 13, 2016 Max Acri is currently reading it
In the past semester I experienced reading Eight Men Out.The headlines in 1919 fix of the world series and they also attempted to cover up as the most gigantic sporting scandal in the history of America.The Black Sox Scandal took place during the play of the 1919 World Series. The Chicago White Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds, and eight White Sox players were later accused of intentionally losing games in exchange for money from gamblers. Which this is known as a big no no for the gam ...more
Mar 04, 2014 T.J. rated it liked it
The purpose of this story is to give you an understanding of what can happen if people get corrupt. It also tells you about how baseball has evolved in the past 95 years.

The theme of the story is that if corruption finds you, things are downhill from then on. In the story, they decide to loose the world series in order to get more money.

The story is a narration because it has the events that happen in the order that they happen. The narration was effective. He made the story seem like you were
Jul 07, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing
A lot of people that don't pay much attention to baseball might think the modern steroids scandals are one of the worst things that ever hit the game. Although people that argue this point might not know it, but the Black Sox Scandal of 1919 went so far as to nearly destroy the game in its professional, organized form.

The book Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series is a meticulously researched volume, and is probably one of the finest pieces of what is now known as "narrative non
C. Patrick
Jun 09, 2014 C. Patrick rated it really liked it
This review is for the Kindle edition. I found distracting the spelling and grammatical errors sprinkled throughout the narrative, but aside from that, this was a very readable survey of the 1919 World Series scandal and it's aftermath. I was surprised Mr. Asinof originally published in 1963, and really wished the book were footnoted to explain how the author fairly effectively captured the motivations of so many actors involved in every stage of the events.

If one accepts the accuracy of the aut
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“To Replogle, the players were victims. The owners poured out a stream of pious, pompous verbiage about how pure they were. The gamblers said nothing, kept themselves hidden, protected themselves —and when they said anything, it was strictly for cash, with immunity, no less. But the ballplayers didn’t even know enough to call a lawyer. They only knew how to play baseball.” 1 likes
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