Summary: Here's a sermon to preach at baseball's World Series time.
You Never Win By Cheating
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
2Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
3For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5For each one shall bear his own load.
6Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
The 2015 World Series is underway.
The New York Mets are facing the Kansas City Royals.
So many people are focused in on the World Series.
I'm sure the players for both teams are trying hard to win it.
That wasn't true back in 1919.
It resulted in what is known today as "The Black Sox Scandal".
The Chicago White Sox were facing the Cincinnati Reds.
Even before the Series started on October 2,
there were rumors among gamblers that the series was fixed.
A sudden flood of money being bet on the Cincinnati Reds
caused the odds against them to fall rapidly.
Hugh Fullerton of the Chicago Herald and Examiner
and ex-player and manager Christy Mathewson,
decided to compare notes on any plays and players
that they felt were questionable.
The conspiracy was the idea
of White Sox first baseman Arnold "Chick" Gandil,
who had longstanding ties to underworld figures.
He believed that the White Sox could intentionally lose the series.
He persuaded Joseph "Sport" Sullivan, a professional gambler,
that the fix could be pulled off.
New York gangster Arnold Rothstein supplied the money
To pay the players a bribe to lose the games..
Gamblers continued to bet heavily against the White Sox.
However, most fans and observers were ignoring the rumors.
Chick Gandil enlisted several of his teammates,
motivated by a dislike of club owner Charles Comiskey
whom they perceived as a tightwad, to implement the fix;
Comiskey had developed a reputation for underpaying his players.
Starting pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude "Lefty" Williams,
outfielder Oscar "Happy" Felsch,
and shortstop Charles "Swede" Risberg were with Gandil.
Third baseman Buck Weaver was asked to participate, but refused.
Utility infielder Fred McMullin got word of the fix
and threatened to report the others unless he was in on the payoff.
Outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson was also named as a participant,
though his involvement is disputed.
What would you do if someone like Chick Gandil came to you?
Each day of our lives we are faced with ethical decisions.
We ask ourselves "What is the right thing to do?
The world is full of deceit, evil, lies, and cheating.
We feel the pressures of the world each and every day.
To make the honor roll, a student cheats on examinations.
To lower a tax bill, an businessman pads business expenses.
To be the best in a sport, an athlete takes steroids.
Cheating on your taxes to get a bigger return
or cheating on your taxes to lower what you owe
can be a temptation for some.
We say, "What I did hurts no one.
Nobody will find out what I did"
So, was there cheating in the 1919 World Series?
On the second pitch of the World Series,
Eddie Cicotte hit Cincinnati leadoff hitter Morrie Rath in the back,
delivering a pre-arranged signal
confirming the players' willingness to go through with the fix.
Lefty Williams lost three games, a Series record.
Cicotte bore down and won Game 7 of the best-of-9 Series
because he was angry that the gamblers
were now reneging on their promises to pay.
They claimed that all the money was in the hands of bookies.
In September 1920, a grand jury was convened to investigate.
Eddie Cicotte and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson,
confessed their participation in the scheme
to the Chicago grand jury.
Jackson confessed to accepting $5,000 cash from the gamblers.
He later recanted his confession and protested his innocence
to no effect until his death on December 5, 1951, at age 64.
Years later, all of the implicated players
said that Jackson was never present
at any of the meetings they had with the gamblers.
Prior to the trial,
key evidence went missing from the Cook County Courthouse,
including the signed confessions of Cicotte and Jackson,
who subsequently recanted their confessions.
The players were acquitted.
So, did those cheaters get away with it?
More of that story a little later!
Point #1. God sees it when we Our Cheat!
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap