On October 28, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, and on November 2, at the Spertus Institute in Chicago, the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission (ISCHPC) sponsored a play and panel discussion entitled the “Black Sox on Trial.” Adjunct Professor Scott Szala, Associate Member of the ISCHPC, was the Chair and Dramaturg of the “Black Sox” production and moderator of the panel discussion. The production involved the 1919 Baseball World Series in which gamblers and eight Chicago White Sox (the “Black Sox”) “fixed" the series by paying/accepting bribes, respectively, resulting in the Sox losing to the Cincinnati Reds.
Nevertheless, the Black Sox and gamblers were all acquitted by a 1921 Cook County jury, but then, the players were administratively banned for life from Major League Baseball by MLB Commissioner and then-federal district court judge, Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The “Black Sox” play and panel discussion was Professor Szala’s fifth historical play that he has worked on for the ISCHPC’s “History on Trial” series. The other plays were: (1) the criminal trial of President Lincoln's assassination co-conspirator, Mary Surratt; (2) the subsequent insanity trial of President Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln; (3) the habeas corpus proceeding of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith; and (3) the segregation trials and appeals of the Alton, Illinois schools and officials.