Charlie Comiskey is often blamed for the revolt that led to the 1919 Black Sox scandal. His niece, now 82, has a different story to tell–and the personal letters she says back her up.
Grace Patricia Ryan Samfillippo has fond memories of her great-uncle Charley and their family vacations at their compound in Eagle River, Wisconsin. She bristles when she hears criticism of him and the widely-accepted theory that his low player wages was the primary cause of the Black Sox scandal.
"My uncle Charley was a generous man. He paid mortgages for an entire city block of fans around the ballpark. He paid for the neighbor kids to go to school and sent many of my family members to college at Notre Dame."
She has original letters and papers documenting her uncle’s philanthropy.
"He talked about the Black Sox investigation. It was really hard on him. He loved the game of baseball and felt betrayed by his players."