Turning the Black Sox White

The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey

Foreword by Bob Hoie

About The Book

Charles Albert “The Old Roman” Comiskey was a larger-than-life figure—a man who had precision in his speech and who could work a room with handshakes and smiles. While he has been vilified in film as a rotund cheapskate and the driving force, albeit unknowingly, behind the actions of the 1919 White Sox, who threw the World Series (nicknamed the “Black Sox” scandal), that statement is far from the truth.

In his five decades involved in baseball, Comiskey loved the sport through and through. It was his passion, his life blood, and once he was able to combine his love for the game with his managerial skills, it was the complete package for him. There was no other alternative. He brought the White Sox to Chicago in 1900 and was a major influential force in running the American League from its inception.From changing the way the first base position was played, to spreading the concept of “small ball” as a manager, to incorporating the community in his team’s persona while he was an owner, Comiskey’s style and knowledge improved the overall standard for how baseball should be played.

Through rigorous research from the National Archives, newspapers, and various other publications, Tim Hornbaker not only tells the full story of Comiskey’s incredible life and the sport at the time, but also debunks the “Black Sox” controversy, showing that Comiskey was not the reason that the Sox threw the 1919 World Series.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

Whether you are a New York Yankees fan or hail from Red Sox nation; whether you are a die-hard Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys fan; whether you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, UCLA Bruins, or Kansas Jayhawks; whether you route for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, or Los Angeles Kings; we have a book for you. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

About The Author

Tim Hornbaker is a lifelong sports historian and enthusiast. His books Turning the Black Sox White: The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey and War on the Basepaths: The Definitive Biography of Ty Cobb were received with critical acclaim. He lives in Tamarac, Florida.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Sports Publishing (March 4, 2014)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781613216385

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Raves and Reviews

"Hornbaker makes a sound case for why Comiskey has long been an inappropriate fall guy for the [1919 'Black Sox'] scandal. . . . His depth of knowledge of this era of baseball history shines through."
Kirkus Reviews

“It is engrossing and provides a much-needed reassessment of the man and his impact on the sport. Verdict: A worthy read for Black Sox buffs and baseball history fans.”—Library Journal

“In Turning the Black Sox White, Tim Hornbaker reviews Comiskey’s entire career and restores his reputation to its former state, with clear eye, fair mind, and thorough study.”
—John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball and author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden

“I’ve always been a sucker for stories about Charles Comiskey and the 'Black Sox' scandal of 1919. Tim Hornbaker takes a new and different look at the situation. It’s a pleasure to come along for the ride.”
—Leigh Montville, New York Times bestselling author of Ted Williams and The Big Bam

“Charlie Comiskey is one of the giants of baseball history: a remarkable innovator as a player, manager, and mogul; a fierce competitor yet an extraordinarily charismatic fellow. In this richly detailed work, Tim Hornbaker makes an open-and-shut case that, contrary to modern depictions of Comiskey as a greedy villain, he deserves to be remembered as a good as well as a great man.”
—Edward Achorn, author of The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-nine in ’84

“As a portrait of a major league baseball mogul in the early 20th century and as a cutaway view of the game before World War II, ‘Turning the Black Sox White’ works well.”—Allen Barra, Chicago Tribune

“Those who revile Comiskey see this as a gross injustice. After reading this book, they just might change their minds.”—Paul Hagen, MLB.com

“Succeeds in humanizing an important-yet-oversimplified figure in baseball history.”—SB Nation

"Hornbaker makes a sound case for why Comiskey has long been an inappropriate fall guy for the [1919 'Black Sox'] scandal. . . . His depth of knowledge of this era of baseball history shines through."
—Kirkus Reviews

“It is engrossing and provides a much-needed reassessment of the man and his impact on the sport. Verdict: A worthy read for Black Sox buffs and baseball history fans.”—Library Journal

“In Turning the Black Sox White, Tim Hornbaker reviews Comiskey’s entire career and restores his reputation to its former state, with clear eye, fair mind, and thorough study.”
—John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball and author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden

“I’ve always been a sucker for stories about Charles Comiskey and the 'Black Sox' scandal of 1919. Tim Hornbaker takes a new and different look at the situation. It’s a pleasure to come along for the ride.”
—Leigh Montville, New York Times bestselling author of Ted Williams and The Big Bam

“Charlie Comiskey is one of the giants of baseball history: a remarkable innovator as a player, manager, and mogul; a fierce competitor yet an extraordinarily charismatic fellow. In this richly detailed work, Tim Hornbaker makes an open-and-shut case that, contrary to modern depictions of Comiskey as a greedy villain, he deserves to be remembered as a good as well as a great man.”
—Edward Achorn, author of The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-nine in ’84

“As a portrait of a major league baseball mogul in the early 20th century and as a cutaway view of the game before World War II, ‘Turning the Black Sox White’ works well.”—Allen Barra, Chicago Tribune

“Those who revile Comiskey see this as a gross injustice. After reading this book, they just might change their minds.”—Paul Hagen, MLB.com

“Succeeds in humanizing an important-yet-oversimplified figure in baseball history.”—SB Nation

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