by Harold Friend (not related to Judge Hugo Friend)
Miguel Tejada has been sentenced to one year probation for misleading Congress. Tejada admitted he withheld information about an ex-teammate's use of performance enhancing drugs when congressional investigators questioned him. He was not under oath, but he was advised that it was important to be truthful. Talking to reporters after he learned of the sentence, Miguel said he was looking forward to playing baseball in 2009.
Buck Weaver Thought Eddie Cicotte's Plan Was Crazy
Buck Weaver was the third baseman for the 1919 American League Champion White Sox. In the World Series, Weaver hit .324 and played errorless ball. Before the Series began, pitcher Eddie Cicotte asked Weaver if he "wanted to get into something good.-- fixing the World Series." Buck Weaver exploded. "You're crazy. That can't be done."
Buck Weaver, Like Miguel Tejada, Kept Quiet
Buck Weaver was not among those who fixed the 1919 World Series, but like Miguel Tejada, he withheld information. Weaver had knowledge of the fix and failed to report it to team or league officials. It has been documented that Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey had learned of a possible fix either just before the Series started or if not then, certainly after the first game. Mr. Comiskey said nothing. The White Sox team was confronted with rumors of a fix either before the second game, and certainly no later than the beginning of the third.
Buck Weaver Was Banned From Baseball Forever
Buck Weaver never received any money from those who fixed the World Series. He never agreed to be part of the plot. He played an outstanding Series. In 1921, Buck Weaver was banished from baseball for life. All his appeals for reinstatement were refused, and he was still banned when he passed away in 1956.
Gerald Gems, a Chicago sports historian, tried to explain Weaver's silence by claiming it was related to social class. Weaver had a working class background where the system of honor was (and still is) that an individual does NOT rat on his or her buddies. Weaver considered more honorable to remain silent than to turn in his teammates. It was similar to today's "don't snitch" philosophy.
Judge Hugo Friend Would NOT Allow a Weaver Conviction
Buck Weaver requested a separate trial, but his request was refused and he was one of the eight White Sox players tried before judge Hugo Friend, who said that he would NOT allow a conviction to stand against Buck if the jury ruled that way. All eight players were found not guilty, but recently appointed baseball commissioner Landis released a statement that included the following: "...no player who sits in conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed and does not promptly tell the club about it will ever play professional baseball."
Buck Weaver and Miguel Tejada
There is no question that Buck Weaver received a raw deal. He should have been suspended for a specified time period, but not banned from baseball for life. Miguel Tejada's case is similar to Weaver's and Tejada has received a deal that is beyond fair. What would have occurred if the Tejada case had occurred in 1919, and the Weaver case had happened today?
Fendrich, Howard, and Nedra Pickler. "Tejada Gets Year Probation for Misleading Congress." Associated Press. 26 March 2009.
Couch, Greg. "Buck Weaver Wrong Man Out." Baseball Digest. March, 2001.
By ARTHUR DALEY. (1956, February 19). Sports of The Times :Dusting Off an Old Scandal Haunting Conversation Without Logic Snarling Rejoinder. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. S2. Retrieved March 27, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 306297902).