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“Sleepy Bill” Burns is an historical figure mentioned in "Nights in Ballygran". Arnold Rothstein is concerned that having dinner with Burns, a former Chicago White Sox pitcher, could be used to link him to fixing the Baseball World Series. Burns later testified for the prosecution that he acted as a messenger between a group of gamblers and White Sox players (the defendants) to organise the fix. The players were eventually acquitted of the charges but were banned from baseball.