Arnold "Chick" Gandil (January 19, 1887 – December 13, 1970) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball. He is best known as the ringleader of the players involved in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
In the fall of 1919, while with the Chicago White Sox, Gandil approached his friend Joseph Sullivan (a professional gambler), with the idea to fix the World Series. Sullivan, after consulting with his gambling acquaintances, assured Gandil that the fix was on, and that $100,000 in total would be paid to the players. In addition to serving as the contact for the gamblers, Gandil was also responsible for recruiting and paying the players involved in the fix.
Gandil received $35,000 for his role in throwing the World Series - nearly nine times his 1919 salary of $4,000. Gandil was the only one of the 8 "Black Sox" not to play in 1920 - blaming a salary dispute. In 1921, Gandil was banned for life from Major League Baseball by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, along with seven other White Sox players. By that time, however, Gandil had already left the Major Leagues and was playing semi-pro baseball, which he continued to do for several years.
After he retired, Gandil settled in California and worked as a plumber.
In 1956, Gandil told his version of the events of the 1919 World Series to sportswriter Melvin Durslag. Durslag's account of Gandil's story was published in Sports Illustrated magazine that year.
In the story, Gandil admitted to having been a ringleader in a plot the throw the Series and expressed guilt and remorse over having done so. However, he claimed the players actually abandoned the plan and had ultimately tried their best to win. According to Gandil's story, the rumors which had spread about the Series being fixed caused the players to conclude that their every move on the field would be highly scrutinized, and thus they could never get away with throwing the Series without being caught. So, instead they decided to betray the gamblers and keep the cash.
In his account, Gandil suggested that the pressure the players felt, because of what they'd conspired to do combined with the scrutiny they knew there were under from others' suspicions, may have contributed to their making poor plays at times. But he was firm in his insistence that all of the players were trying their best throughout all eight games of the Series. Gandil further claimed in his story that he never received his share of any of the money paid by the gamblers, and that he had no idea what happened to that money.