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A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.
Buck Weaver: You get out there, and the stands are full and everybody's cheerin'. It's like everybody in the world come to see you. And inside of that there's the players, they're yakkin' it up. The pitcher throws and you look for that pill... suddenly there's nothing else in the ballpark but you and it. Sometimes, when you feel right, there's a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it's going to go a long way. Damn, if you don't feel like you're going to live forever.
PeeWee: Say it ain't so, Joe. Say it ain't so.
Heckler: [yelling] Hey, Jackson! Can you spell "cat"? Shoeless Joe: [yelling back] Hey, Mister! Can you spell "shit"?
[about their opponents] 1st Cincinnati Reds Player: These guys don't look so tough. 2nd Cincinnati Reds Player: Yeah, that's what Custer said when the Indians took the field.
[the Sox have just won the AL penant and are in the clubhouse. A row of champagne bottles are sitting on a table] Eddie Cicotte: What's the scoop, Harry? Harry: Mr. Comiskey sent these down for you. His congratulations for a successful pennant race. Eddie Cicotte: He didn't happen to mention when we can expect that bonus he promised us if we took the flag, did he? Harry: This IS your bonus. Swede Risberg: Cheap bastard. Kid Gleason: Look, fellas, if it was up to me... Eddie Cicotte: Kid, we got no beef with you. [opens one of the champagne bottles - nothing happens] Eddie Cicotte: It's flat.
Sport Sullivan: You know what you feed a dray horse in the morning if you want a day's work out of him? Jimmy: What? Sport Sullivan: Just enough so he knows he's hungry.
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: Regardless of the verdict of juries... no player who throws a ball game... no player who undertakes, or promises to throw a game... no player who sits in conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing a ball game are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it... will ever play professional baseball again.
[Burns and Maharg are discussing Eddie Cicotte] Bill Burns: Eddie's gettin' too old for this. I know what it's like. You walk out there with your arm hangin. Billy Maharg: You couldn't pitch when you was young, Burnsie. Bill Burns: Eddie's the key. If we don't get him, we can forget about it.
Chick Gandil: You go back to Boston and turn seventy grand at the drop of a hat? I find that hard to believe. Sport Sullivan: You say you can find seven men on the best club that ever took the field willin' to throw the World Series? I find *that* hard to believe. Chick Gandil: You never played for Charlie Comiskey.
[Dickie Kerr is warming up before Game 3] Kid Gleason: How's it feel, Dickie? Dickie Kerr: My arm's great. It's my knees.
[Hap Felsch has run into the outfield wall to make a catch] Billy Maharg: He's gonna knock his brains out doin' that! Bill Burns: What brains? Shoeless Joe is ignorant; Hap Felsch is just dumb.
Ring Lardner: [serenading White Sox after game 5, to the tune of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"] I'm forever blowing ballgames, pretty ballgames in the air. I come from Chi, I hardly try, just go to bat and fade and die. Fortune's coming my way, that's why I hardly care. I'm forever blowing ballgames, and the gamblers treat us fair.
Eddie Cicotte: You said if I won 30 games this year there'd be a $10,000 bonus. Charles Comiskey: So? Eddie Cicotte: I think you owe it to me. Charles Comiskey: Harry, how many games did Mr. Cicotte win for us this year? Harry: 29, sir. Eddie Cicotte: You had Kid bench me for two whole weeks in August. I missed five starts. Charles Comiskey: We had to rest your arm for the series. Eddie Cicotte: I would have won at least two of those games. You knew that. Charles Comiskey: I have to keep the best interests of the club in mind, Eddie. Eddie Cicotte: I think you owe me that bonus. Charles Comiskey: 29 is not 30, Eddie. You will get only the money you deserve.
[Some New Jersey fans are arguing on whether a Hoboken outfielder is Joe Jackson (the outfielder is, in fact, Shoeless Joe)] New Jersey Fan #1: You ever see him play? New Jersey Fan #2: Yeah, I saw pictures. New Jersey Fan #1: Pictures [scoffs] Buck Weaver: I saw him play. New Jersey Fan #1: Yeah? What do you think? Buck Weaver: He was the best. Run, hit, throw... he was the best. New Jersey Fan #1: So what do you think? Is it him? Buck Weaver: Nah. Those fellas are all gone now.
[Weaver is getting ready for court] Buck Weaver: How do I look? Helen Weaver: You look just fine. Buck Weaver: I look like a future jailbird.
Eddie Cicotte: I always figured it was talent made a man big, you know, if I was the best at something. I mean, we're the guys they come to see. Without us, there ain't a ballgame. Yeah, but look at who's holding the money and look at who's facing a jail cell. Talent don't mean nothing. And where's Comiskey and Sullivan, Attell, Rothstein? Out in the back room cutting up profits, that's where. That's the damn conspiracy.
Freddie: [teasing surly catcher Ray Schalk] Hey, Ray, Swede and me have a bet. I told him that everyone smiles and is in a good mood sometimes; even you. Ray Schalk: Go piss up a rope.
Hap Felsch: I may be dumb, fellas, but I ain't stupid.
[Eddie Cicotte is warming up before Game 7] Kid Gleason: Put it away, Eddie. I'm going with Wilkinson today. Eddie Cicotte: Why? Kid Gleason: You haven't had your stuff lately, have you? Eddie Cicotte: But I feel right today, Kid. Kid Gleason: I can't take any chances, I'm sorry. Eddie Cicotte: Like I can't lose, that's how right I feel. Kid Gleason: Sure you do, Eddie. [He starts to walk away] Eddie Cicotte: Kid! I can't miss.
Sport Sullivan: Look at those hands, ladies. You should have been a pug, Chickie. Chick Gandil: I did some fighting in my time. Once I was fighting a guy, my eyes were all bloody but I landed a lucky punch. The next thing I know I'm steppin' on something and it's the other guy's teeth. The referee raised my hand and someone shoved fifty bucks in my shorts. "What does he get?" I asked. The referee says, "From the looks of this jaw, a liquid diet for six weeks." Now what we should have done is held each other up for thirteen rounds and split the fifty.
[Atell and Rothstein are discussing the plan to fix the series] Abe Atell: They say that six or seven guys. I find that hard to believe. Arnold Rothstein: Doesn't surprise me. Abe Atell: Yeah, but they're the champs. Arnold Rothstein: You were champ, Abe, you went down for the bucks. Abe Atell: This is different. Arnold Rothstein: Look, champ. I know guys like that. I grew up with them. I was the fat kid they wouldn't let play. "Sit down, fat boy'. That's what they'd say "Sit down, maybe you'll learn something." Well, I learned something alright. Pretty soon, I owned the game, and those guys I grew up with come to me with their hats in their hands. Tell me, champ, all those years of puggin', how much money did you make? Abe Atell: The honest fights or the ones I tanked? Arnold Rothstein: Altogether, I must've made ten times that amount betting on you and I never took a punch. Abe Atell: Yeah, but I was champ. Featherweight champeen of the world! Arnold Rothstein: Yesterday. That was yesterday. Abe Atell: No A.R. you're wrong. I was champ, and can't nothin take that away.
[Albert Austrian is introducing his law partners to the Sox] Austrian: Their names may not sound familiar, but I'd say that these men are the Ty Cobb, the Tris Speaker, and the Zack Wheat of the legal world. Buck Weaver: Who's the Babe Ruth? Austrian: That's me.
Ring Lardner: [referring to the owners] If Landis wants to clean up the game; he should start with those birds on the steps with him.
Ring Lardner: Sports writers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your bar privileges.
[about the 1919 White Sox] Ring Lardner: I think they're the best, Hughie. The best ever. Hugh Fullerton: Time will tell, Ring. Time will tell.
Hired Killer: You're gonna lose tomorrow. Lefty Williams: Oh, is that so? Hired Killer: I know it for a fact. That your wife? Lefty Williams: Yeah, what's it to you? Hired Killer: You don't lose tomorrow, she dies. Lefty Williams: Who sent you? Hired Killer: You made a promise to certain people. Lefty Williams: You son of a bitch! Hired Killer: You can't protect her. If I don't do it, somebody else will. First inning, Mister Williams.
Lefty Williams: [Lefty and Hap confronting Chick before game 7] I thought you were supposed to be in charge of this thing! What happened to Sullivan? Chick Gandil: He switched hotels, we can't track him down. Lefty Williams: And what happened to Attell? Chick Gandil: Shot his wad in the third game when Kerr won. Said he's busted. Hap Felsch: Hell with them then. Chick Gandil: Hey, you two made an agreement! Hap Felsch: Hey, we blow one more, it's over! I've dumped 4 games and I've been only paid for one! Chick Gandil: Hey, you don't know what these guys are like! [Lefty and Hap chuckle and walk away] Chick Gandil: Once you're in, you're in! You can't welch on these guys! [Throws his glove to the ground] Chick Gandil: Your funeral! Assholes!
Billy Maharg: [while scouting potential players for the fix] Eddie Collins? Bill Burns: Nah. Collins is the only one on the club getting paid what he's worth. Had it in his contract when he got traded. Billy Maharg: What about Chick Gandil? [Gandil fouls a pitch back] Bill Burns: He might do business. Chickie's a sport. Billy Maharg: Buck Weaver? Bill Burns: Bucky's one of the boys, but the thing about Bucky is he don't like to lose. [Weaver grounds out and kicks the ground in disgust] Bill Burns: Can't stand to lose. Put him on the "maybe" list. Billy Maharg: What about Ray Schalk? Bill Burns: Not a prayer.
Abe Atell: [When the players meet with him to accept the money before the first game] It's all out on bets. Chick Gandil: [Shoves him] That's not good enough! Abe Atell: Hey! Don't worry, you'll get the money soon enough. Chick Gandil: When? Swede Risberg: And how much? Abe Atell: 100 grand, like I said. 20 after each game. Hap Felsch: Wait a minute, that's 5 games. I thought we were just dumping a few. Abe Atell: No, you lose the first 3. Eddie Cicotte: Kerr's pitching the third, he's not with us. Swede Risberg: So what? We don't hit for him, he'll fold. He's a busher! Abe Atell: After that, we got to play it by the ear. We gotta make this look good, fellas! Eddie Cicotte: [Aside to Chick] Hey, Chick. Where's the money you promised me? Chick Gandil: Look under your pillow. Eddie Cicotte: What? Chick Gandil: Compliments of Sports Sullivan.
[the owners are discussing the commissioner's job with Judge Landis] Judge Friend: Well we're in search of someone uh... Charles Comiskey: We feel that we need a commissioner who will clean up baseball and give a new face to the sport. We're prepared to grant you certain powers... Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: Absolute powers Charles Comiskey: Absolute powers? Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: Won't work any other way. People won't believe it. Absolute powers Charles Comiskey: Well we're prepared to give you a 5 year contract... Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: Lifetime contract Judge Friend: Lifetime? Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: A man worried about his job is bound to play favorites. Now you gentlemen don't want that do you? Charles Comiskey: Well a lifetime contract sounds a little... Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: [slaps flyswatter down on the desk] I'm due back in the courtroom in 5 minutes gentlemen, let's talk salary.
[Shoeless Joe Jackson is talking to his bat] Shoeless Joe: Big whop now. Big whop, Betsy; you tell me when. Freddie: Does it ever answer you, Joe? Lefty Williams: Probably sleeps with it, too. Lefty Williams: Lay off, you guys. Hap Felsch: You crackers stick together, huh? Swede Risberg: Ask it for a triple, Joe. You hear me? Freddie: 60 years since the Civil War, Lefty. Ease up. Hap Felsch: Besides, you guys lost. It was in all the papers. Freddie: That wouldn't help Jackson none. [Players laugh] Lefty Williams: Just leave him be.
Eddie Collins: Everybody's got their own way of letting off steam, Ring. It's what you do on the field that counts.
Kid Gleason: People are human.
[Burns and Maharg approach Abe Attell at the racetrack] Abe Atell: They don't take nickle bets down here, fellas. [to Burns] Abe Atell: You, you were a ball player. Bill Burns: Bill Burns. Abe Atell: 'Sleepy' Bill Burns! Strictly bench material. Bill Burns: I won a few games. Abe Atell: You lost a few more. [to Maharg] Abe Atell: And you my friend did not get that nose bobbing for apples. Billy Maharg: I was a fighter; sort of. Abe Atell: Sort of. Let's see... Philly? Billy Maharg! Billy Maharg: You seen me fight? Abe Atell: Yeah, I seen you. You're a bum!
Ring Lardner: Three signed confessions, that's a tough hand to beat. Hugh Fullerton: This is Chicago, my friend. Anything can happen.
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