Charles Arnold “Chick” Gandil
Born: January 19, 1888 - St. Paul, MN
Died: December 13, 1970 - Calistoga, CA
Career BA: .277
Chicago White Sox AL (1910, 1917–1919)
Washington Senators AL (1912–1915)
Cleveland Indians AL (1916)
An excellent defensive first baseman and a solid overall ballplayer, “Chick” Gandil is best known for tarnishing the game of baseball, along with his own reputation. Considered the ringleader of the infamous Black Sox scandal, Gandil wisely retired before he could be banned from baseball. This early retirement was made possible by the $35,000 in cash payoff that was the result of fixing the 1919 World Series. As a matter of fact, while playing in the Pacific Coast League in 1909, Gandil was accused of stealing money from his Minor League team.
Early in his Major League career, Gandil had the reputation of a hard-working and talented first baseman. In 1913 he batted .318 and banged out 175 hits for the Senators. Following the 1915 season, he made a brief one-season stop in Cleveland, and then proceeded to the White Sox. After a couple of fairly good years with the Sox, Gandil became irate when salaries were cut by management.
It is believed that Gandil came up with the idea to fix the 1919 World Series and that he got notorious gambler Sport Sullivan involved. Gandil was also the middleman between his old teammate Sleepy Bill Burns and Abe Attell, who represented another group of gamblers. Evidently, Gandil kept the bulk of the payoff money. He retired the next season, went on to play for various semi-pro teams, and later worked as a plumber in Calistoga, California. Over the years, Gandil consistently denied any involvement in throwing games. He died at the age of 82, always professing his innocence. Although he was solid with the bat, and led the league in fielding percentage and assists on several occasions, Chick Gandil, like Hal Chase, almost ruined the game.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html