Time capsule in Tribute Tower wall reveals sports memorabilia from infamous 1919 'Black Sox' scandal

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Saturday, September 10, 2022
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Treasures from a legendary moment in baseball history that bruised White Sox franchise have been found buried within the walls of a Chicago landmark.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Treasures from a legendary moment in baseball history that bruised the White Sox franchise have been found buried within the walls of a Chicago landmark.

The 1919 World Series gambling scandal led to eight White Sox players, including star Shoeless Joe Jackson, being banned from baseball.

Now, this discovery made deep inside the Tribune Tower is shining the spotlight back on the story of the so-called "Black Sox".

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"They put tobacco juice on it to make it darker," explained baseball historian Grant DePorter.

The baseball has seen better days, but then, it is more than 100 years old.

It was last used in the 1919 World Series, which is the one best known for the Black Sox scandal in which eight players were later banned from the sport for taking bribes to throw the series.

It was also depicted in the 1988 movie "Eight Men Out."

ALSO SEE: MLB won't reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson

"The story behind it is, it could be worth a million dollars," DePorter said.

Construction crews found the ball, as well as a letter from the former Tribune Sports Editor Harvey Woodruff explaining the significance of the ball. It was used to strike out six White Sox batters in a row - which is still a World Series record.

It was hidden with other artifacts in a time capsule in the walls of the Tribune Tower.

"It's a unique piece and it's got a great story," said White Sox ambassador, Ron Kittle.

The newspaper has moved and the Tribune Tower has now been converted into luxury condos. But the artifacts left behind recall a significant time in White Sox history.

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"I think it's an incredible piece of history for Chicago," Kittle said. "There was a lot of providence with the scandal, the players, the commissioner of baseball."

DePorter connected the history of the ball. He has a history with famous baseballs, getting worldwide attention for blowing up the so-called "Bartman Ball" that many believe cost the Cubs a World Series appearance in 2003.

He has no intention of blowing up this ball.

"No one knew how valuable it was," DePorter said.

The ball is headed for display at the Chicago Sports Museum in Water Tower Place temporarily. It's the property of the new owners of the tribune tower and it's unclear what they plan to do with it.