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The Original Curse: Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth's Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal?
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The Original Curse: Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth's Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal?

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF EIGHT MEN OUT . . .
the untold story of baseball's ORIGINAL SCANDAL


Did the Chicago Cubs throw the World Series in 1918--and get away with it?

Who were the players involved--and why did they do it?

Were gambling and corruption more widespread across the leagues than previously believed?

Were the players and teams "cursed" by their actions?

Finally, is
...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 2nd 2009 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published September 9th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Chris Witt
I was initially annoyed with the forward by Ken Rosenthal (who I have pretty much zero respect for as a baseball journalist), who praised the book for disputing the widely held notion that the 1919 World Series was the first occurrence of baseball games being "fixed" by gamblers.

Granted, I may take a larger interest in the formative years of organized baseball than the average fan, but I would dispute his claim that it's a "widely held notion". I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that 1919 was the
...more
MacK
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, baseball
In the wake of reading Down to the Last Pitch I was surprised at just how easily you can get more of a personal connection to the game of baseball from a book that focuses on a season almost 100 years gone by (rather than one merely 20 years in our rearview mirror).

The Original Curse purports to offer the case for the Chicago Cubs to be the first team to throw a world series in exchange for payment from gamblers (rather than the infamous Chicago White Sox--aka the "Black Sox"). But rather than d
...more
Joy Wilson
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book interested me primarily because of my undying love for the Cubs. I am giving it a 4 because Deveney really paints a detailed picture of what baseball was Ike during the early 19th century and particularly during the war years. He has done a tremendous amount of research and his arguments are cogent; however, he does admit that his case is mainly circumstantial. I appreciate his honesty on this point as he really has nothing solid other than anecdotal evidence. It is an interesting case ...more
Lance
I'm being generous here because the author did his research and I did finish it so I will give it at least a passing grade. But I just could not get into this story or the writing style, so I will not give a detailed review.
Barney
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I come from a long line of Cubs fans. Stout, broad-shouldered midwestern people who love a team that has not been to the World Series since 1945. My grandmother died in 1993 at the age of 80. The last time the Cubs won a World Series, their best pitcher was Mordecai Peter Centennial "Three Finger" Brown and my grandmother would not be born for another 53 months. I rejected this maudlin loyalty and became a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. The Pirates have not posted a winning record since 1992, so maybe ...more
Bob
May 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1918 wasn't a great time for baseball. The U.S. government threatened to shut down the sport as the sport was deemed nonessential to the war effort. All able-bodied men either had to "work or fight." And baseball wasn't considered work. In a compromise, baseball owners convinced the War Department to let the season end on September 1 and then hold a quick World Series. The Red Sox would win this low-scoring affair in six games over the Cubs. The Red Sox would not win the World Series again until ...more
Tony Gleeson
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating, fun book for any "student of the game." There have been a lot of badly-written baseball books of late but this one is, finally, a joy to read. Deveney tells a great tale about a misbegotten, star-crossed season as the US geared up to jump into the World War, depleting the player base and seriously considering canceling the season outright. There are numerous characterizations of the players, managers and owners (definitely warts and all) as well as side journeys into conte ...more
Rebecca
This is a very good account of the 1918 baseball season and the unique circumstances - namely, WWI - that consistently threatened it, since most baseball players were constantly being drafted and called up. Although the US involvement in WWI wasn't very long, the war did irreparably change the careers of some players, including Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Unfortunately, that said, I'm not quite sure Deveney proves his argument. Certainly he makes a case that it was plausible that the Cubs threw t
...more
Noah
I read a few chapters before I had to stop for my own sanity. Maybe it's written for new baseball fans, but it acts like news that Ken Burns "broke" in "Baseball" decades ago had never been discovered and for the first time after exhaustive research the author uncovered smoking guns about the corruption in baseball during the first quarter of the 1900s. None of this news is new and unfortunately because the author acts like it is we don't get any new perspectives about what is probably the mos ...more
Nathan
Jun 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: franklin-library
A drag. The titular question isn't really answered, and I hated slogging through this only to learn nothing more than I already knew. Deveny writes with that sort of oblivious blandness and ingratiating "imaginative retelling" that plagues a lot of sports writing. The connection between the Black Sox scandal and the supposed throwing of the 1918 World Series isn't clearly examined, but that was ostensibly the point of the entire book. Frustrating and boring.
Big League Manager
The title is a bit misleading. There is no real scandal here, just the story of the 1918 post-season which is interesting. If the author found some link between the 1918 and 1919 World Series, I missed it. Well, there is one link... the players wanted more money.
Will Hunter
Excellent baseball history and historical account. Now if only the Cubs can win a World Series.
Anthony Murphy
Not as much as a hatchet job as I thought. Interesting insight on baseball during WWI. Book sorta drags on at the end. Lost interest, but does have some great stories.
Andy
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
beastly but you have to know a lot about baseball history to read this
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