Black Sox and Their Jury Celebrate at Banquet Board

Washington Times/August 4, 1921

In a little Italian restaurant on Chicago’s West Side, the former White Sox players, indicted in the baseball scandal accidentally met the twelve jurors who found them not guilty of the charges brought by the State, and the twelve judges of fact in the case joined with the men whose fate had been in their hands for five weeks in a celebration which did not end until sunrise.

The jurors went to the restaurant for a farewell dinner before returning to their homes. The players and their attorneys went for the same purpose. The two parties soon discovered each other in adjoining rooms, the doors were thrown open and the parties became one.

If this jury could decide whether the acquitted players will be allowed to return to organized baseball there would be no doubt of a favorable verdict, for each of the twelve went to each of the ball players as they separated and expressed a desire to see him on a major league team again.

Eddie Cicotte drew particular attention from the jurors, for it was Cicotte who caught most of the State’s fire in the trial.

They talked of games they had seen the pitcher hurl, and one of them, grasping him by the hand, said:

“Eddie, we were talking the other night about you, and I want you to know that every man on this jury hopes that the next time he sees you you’ll be in the center of the diamond putting over strikes.”

The jurors and the recent defendants left the restaurant together singing “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here.”

State’s Attorney Robert E. Crowe announced that there would be no further prosecution of the players.

“The State’s through,” he said. But he refused to comment on the action of the jury.

President Johnson’s statement reads: “The trial of the indicted players, which closed yesterday, uncovered the greatest crime that it was possible to commit in baseball. The fact that the outfit was freed by the Cook County jury does not alter the conditions one iota, or minimize the magnitude of the offense.

“The players are as odious to a clean, right thinking public as the crooks and the thieves they dealt with. The energetic prosecution by the State clearly indicates that crimes of this character will not be permitted to go unchallenged.

“Failure to obtain convictions is disappointing, but a lesson has been taught.”

Says Cicotte Confessed.

Comiskey said: “I have no comment to offer on the outcome of the baseball trial. However, Cicotte confessed to me that he helped ‘throw’ the world’s series of 1919 and also implicated the other seven players. Until such time as Cicotte can explain to me that confession I will have nothing to do with him or with them.

“I do not believe the White Sox fans want to see the players back. It is my duty to do what they want. That’s the way I make my living.

“I have nothing against the players and would like to see them back into the game. They might get with another team in the league. I am glad they were freed.”

Alfred S. Austrian, vice president of the White Sox and the legal adviser of Comiskey, expressed disappointment over the verdict.

(Source: Chronicling America,