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Max Flack

  • Series: Jim Dandie Feds
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: Whales
  • League: Federal League

Max John Flack (1890-1975) was a left-handed outfielder who played a dozen seasons in the majors in Chicago and St. Louis. He compiled a career average of .278 with little power but considerable speed, stealing 200 bases over his tenure. In recent years a shadow has been cast over this journeyman's reputation as his status as the “goat” of the 1918 World Series has been looked at in more sinister terms with the uncovering in 2007 of documents pertaining to the Black Sox scandal. An affidavit by Ed Cicotte indicates he and his wayward teammates felt “inspired” by the Cubs' loss to Boston the year before. Flack's dubious performance in the Series made him an object of suspicion. He remains the only player to be picked-off twice in a World Series game. His throwing error in game six provided the margin of victory to Babe Ruth's Sox. However, a review of the box scores for the '18 Series shows the Cubs were charged with six errors and Flack committed only the one that led to Boston's only scores in the finale (in the third inning). There were a number of noteworthy aspects to that Series beyond speculation of misconduct. Due to the war, it became the only Fall Classic to be played entirely in September. The Cubs eschewed their home park (later to be named Wrigley Field) in favor of vaunted Comiskey Park (“The Baseball Palace of the World”). Although it would not be named the national anthem until 1931, game one was graced with the first performance of the Star Spangled Banner at a major league game. And, of course, it would be mourned by Boston fans for another 86 years as the last championship as the Curse of the Bambino took hold. So, if Max did engage in mischief, he did so on a grand stage, but there is nothing but unfortunate circumstance to implicate him.

  • Flack had debuted with the Federal League's Chicago “Chi-Feds” (later the Whales) in 1914
  • He remained in town with the Cubs following the demise of the upstart league the next year, playing regularly for six seasons before moving to the Cardinals as a reserve for four more

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