Museum is high bidder for Black Sox documents

The Chicago History Museum won a collection of rare documents, letters and memos detailing the Black Sox scandal at a Mastro Auctions sale auction that ended Dec. 13. The museum offered about $100,000 for the collection, topping 35 other bids, according to Mastro officials.

Experts say the papers offer valuable insights about the Chicago White Sox and their notorious alleged actions in a betting scandal during the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds that was one of the darkest events in baseball history. The documents shed light on the White Sox players, then-owner Charles Comiskey and the formative years of professional baseball, said Peter Alter, a curator at the Chicago History Museum. “What we really need to do is dig through it and start organizing it,” he said.

The museum will eventually display some of the documents and make the collection available for inspection by researchers, officials said.

The existence of the thousands of pages of material was previously unknown. Experts aren’t sure how they ended up packaged together or where they might have been over the past eight decades. Mastro Auctions declined to reveal the identity of the two sellers and said they likely purchased the box without knowing exactly what was inside.

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