Probably the biggest sports gambling debacle of all time, the 1919 Chicago White Sox not only threw the World Series, they threw away the best name in all of sports. In the fallout that followed their bribery-induced loss of the biggest sporting event in the United Staes at the time, the 1919 White Sox would go down in the annals of sports history as the Black Sox (because, you know, black = bad). It's an unfortunate event, because it would've been cooler if they just changed their team name for good. Instead, that was reserved by a team of Ninjas at Nintendo. Of course, gambling and sports dates back far longer than the 1919 World Series, but that's about as far back as you can go and still have video footage of it. Enter this remarkable specimen:
This archival footage of the 1919 World Series was reported to be among a trove of newsreels from the Canadian Yukon that were at one point used to fill in a swimming pool that was being converted into a hockey rink (recycling is the Canadian way after all). Archived with the rest of the reels in 1978, this footage was discovered by a White Sox fan (imagine the odds that one of 17 people found this) working on a documentary about the lost films.
Among the remarkable footage you can see players, coaches, Black Sox ace Eddie Cicotte infamously letting in five runs in the fourth inning of the opening tilt that chased him from the game (as Deadspin pointed out, he doesn't look to be playing his position all-too-well on most of these hits), and probably the coolest thing, footage of a huge crowd gathered in New York City to “watch” the action via a mechanical scoreboard whose operator received the results by telegraph from Cincinnati.
Despite all of that info, it remains cartain that the Black Sox was a far better team name.