Eight Men Out is our final flick for the winter. Spring training is in full swing, so I don't need movies to watch some baseball. I'll soon be able to see the real thing!
Based on the book by Eliot Asinof, Eight Men Out tells the story of the infamous 1919 Chicago Black Sox throwing the World Series. No, it's not because I'm a Cub fan, but the movie just never grabbed me. It was hard for me to connect with any of the characters. They just didn't seem that compelling.
The film tries to portray the Sox in a sympathetic way, as players being taken advantage of by the greed owner, Charles Comiskey. That's why the sold out to the gamblers. But especially in that era, all the players on all the teams were being taken advantage of. According to this source, the 1919 White Sox had the highest payroll in baseball.
The best thing about the movie for me was the companion set of 110 cards that Pacific put out in 1988, the year the film was released. The cards featured pictures of the actual players in addition to others that showed the actors. I didn't get the entire set, but I did pick up several for today's post:
Chicago boy John Cusak plays Buck Weaver, though he never took a penny, was banned because he knew about the fix and didn't report it.
Jackson is portrayed as a country rube who was taken advantage of. But at least the movie correctly shows his as a left-handed batter, as opposed to the righty Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams
For 60 years, Williams was the only lefty to lose three World Series games. The record was tied by an ex-Cub, George Frazier, in 1981.
Liked him better as Wild Thing.
Liked him better in A League of Their Own.
Another Chicago guy with a role in the movie, I liked the way he played the Sox skipper.
No much at all here.
- The 1919 World Series was the second consecutive series to be played at Comiskey Park. But it wasn't the Sox who played in 1918; it was the Cubs. They moved their games to Comiskey because of its larger capacity.
- This one is more controversial, but its been rumored that the Sox weren't the first team to throw a series. The 1918 Cubs are also alleged to have done the deed. You can read this more more on that possibility.
Next Friday it will be time to vote for your favorite flick from this winter.