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Today in White Sox History: February 15

The South Siders sign the Black Sox ringleader

Chick Gandil White Sox
Black Sox conspirator Chick Gandil poses for a photo before a game in 1919 at Comiskey Park.
Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images


The White Sox, badly needing a competent first baseman, got Arnold “Chick” Gandil from Cleveland for $3,500.

Gandil had a mediocre White Sox career, with a poor OPS+ and just 4.2 bWAR over three seasons and 455 games with the White Sox. He was paid $4,000 in both 1918 and 1919, equivalent to about $60,000 today.

Of course, we now know that wasn’t enough for Gandil. Off the field is where the first baseman would have a lasting and detrimental impact, going on to become the ringleader of the infamous “Black Sox” scandal in 1919.

In Gandil’s last regular season game for the Sox he’d go 3-for-4 in a loss to Detroit, and in the 1919 World Series hit .233 with a triple and five runs batted in (remarkably similar to his 1917 Fall Classic numbers).

Perhaps sensing what was coming, Gandil retired after that 1919 World Series loss to the Reds.