Shoeless Joe Jackson, a major star in the league, was on that legendary team, and I think this is where the phrase “Say it ain’t so, Joe” came from. It was said by a seven-year old fan hugging Jackson’s pant leg after the news reports came out. He was pleading for his hero not to have been one of the cheaters that took the bribe. He was desperately trying to hold on to the illusion that excellence on the playing field implies excellence of character.
“Corey Nachman and Dashiell Bennett; The 16 Most Legendary Stories of Gambling in sports; from Businessinsider.com)
The fixing of the 1919 World Series is still the most infamous sports gambling moment of all time.
Eight White Sox players were paid a total of $100,000 to purposely lose the Fall Classic, so gamblers could clean up betting on Cincinnati. The players were easily convinced due to their hatred of owner Charles Comiskey, who was notorious for underpaying his players.
Although the “Black Sox” — including the legendary “Shoeless Joe” Jackson — were found innocent of any crimes by a grand jury, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned them from baseball for life, a ban that stand to this day.