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Scandals in Baseball Sex Drugs and Gambling Scandal is in the eye of the beholder When considering scandals what comes to the minds of most Americans are events such the Black Sox scandal of 1919 or Pete Roses gambling on baseball Seldom do you hear someone talk about the racism that tormented African-Americans in baseball in the post World War II era as a scandal even though it is and is probably a far worse one Though important this paper will mainly focus on the scandals that were centered on sex drugs and gambling the scandals that were often buried in deceit and greed Drink drugs crimes and other vices have ruined many more lives but baseball long ago decided that gambling is the most dangerous sin a person can commit Gambling moved in on baseball early as soon as the game changed from a gentlemans leisure activity to a professional sport in the 1860s At that time wagering was a common occurrence Fixing games called hippodroming was frequent Sporting men would roam the crowds at games giving odds and taking bets In 1872 the New York Times actually wrote that the purpose of baseball was to employ professional players to perspire in public for the benefit of gamblers In the book Eight Men Out Eliot Asinof wrote An outfielder settling under a crucial fly ball would find himself stoned by a nearby spectator who might win a few hundred dollars if the ball was dropped On one occasion a gambler actually ran out onto the field and tackled a ballplayers On another an marksman prevented a fielder from chasing a long hit by peppering the ground around his feet with bullets Asinof 26 Today baseball has had to push against societys shove Gambling has become more acceptable than ever Americans spend 278 billion a year doing it You
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