Eddie Cicotte

Memories of the Phonograph


Eddie Cicotte, baseball star of the Chicago White Sox who would later be called the leader of the "Black Sox" 1919 World Series Scandal in throwing the World Series apparently enjoyed good music.

The following was reported in the May 2, 1913 edition of the Lincoln Daily Star.

Whenever Cicotte was travelling with his team the story is that he would go into music stores where they sell phonograph records and ask to hear the latest records. He would listen for some time, often until the clerk might be getting tired from cranking the machine. When asked if he liked them he responded "Not very well. Good morning." and would leave.

But it wasn't that he didn't like the music. Instead, the article points out that on the contrary Cicotte liked good music but didn't like carrying his phonograph around with him when he traveled and therefore used music stores to listen to music.

That pseudo-shopping for records was said to be a routine he followed at every stop he made as part of the visiting team.

In 1915 Cicotte was a baseball celebrity with his own Cracker Jack Ball Players card and clearly a potential Hall of Famer. Sadly, in 1919 he was one of the eight who "sold out baseball."

Following the 1919 Black Sox scandal he was banned from organized baseball and, of course, never considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Likewise, he isn't an "honorary Friend of the Phonograph."

Cicotte's repetition of visiting music stores is a way at the time that the phonograph industry could have said that their records were appreciated.

Perhaps Cicotte's story was also a hint of his future. He felt entitled "using" music stores to get what he wanted at no cost to himself and he felt it was ok to throw a World Series if there would be financial benefit to himself. That may be a stretch, but "Say it ain't so, Eddie."