While turmoil swirled around him, young Dickey Kerr pitched brilliantly for the 1919 American League champion Chicago White Sox.
In the World Series, the fix was in and his older teammates, Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams decided to chase money instead of playing to win. Each lost two games in the Series against the Reds but Kerr, also a southpaw, won both his starts and was never part of the ‘Black Sox’ eight who were banned from baseball for conspiring with gamblers to throw the World Series.
This photo, which according to RMY Auctions, has never been seen until now, is our Vintage Photo of the Day and among the premier items in the company’s current auction.
Interestingly, Kerr is shown warming up, presumably before Game 3, while Williams looks on.
It was at this point in time that talk of the fix was heating up in the ballpark, in the newspapers and among fans.
“Honest” Dickey Kerr escaped trouble in 1919 but after winning 21 games in 1920, owner Charles Comiskey offered a $500 pay cut. Incensed, Williams quit. He was banned by Commissioner Landis but reinstated in 1925. His career, though, ended shortly thereafter and he became a college and minor league manager.
In fact, Kerr was managing Stan Musial in 1940 when he convinced the 19-year-old pitcher with a sore arm that he should try the outfield. A Hall of Fame career blossomed and in 1958, a grateful Stan the Man bought Kerr the home he eventually died in.
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