Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PTWSW #14: The 1917 Chicago White Sox

Manager: Pants Rowland
Record: 100-54
Ballpark: Comiskey Park
Owner: Charles Comiskey
GM: Harry Grabiner
Coaches: Kid Gleason

Future Hall of Famers: Eddie Collins, Red Faber, Ray Schalk

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Happy Felsch, .308
OBP: Eddie Collins, .389
SLG: Joe Jackson, .429
OPS: Joe Jackson, .805
2B: Joe Jackson, Swede Risberg, 20
3B: Joe Jackson, 17
HR: Happy Felsch, 6
RBI: Happy Felsch, 102
BB: Eddie Collins, 89
SB: Eddie Collins, 53

Team Leaders, Pitching

Eddie Cicotte, 28 (AL leader)
SO: Eddie Cicotte, 150
ERA: Eddie Cicotte, 1.53 (AL leader)
IP: Eddie Cicotte, 346.2 (AL leader)
CG: Eddie Cicotte, 29
SHO: Eddie Cicotte, 7
K/BB: Eddie Cicotte, 2.14
SV: Dave Danforth, 9 (AL leader)


Oldest Player: Eddie Cicotte (b. June 19, 1884)

Youngest Player: Ted Jourdan (b. September 5, 1895)

First to Leave Us: Byrd Lynn (d. February 5, 1940)

Last Survivor: Zeb Terry (d. March 14, 1988). Interesting fact: excepting Lynn and Terry, everyone who played for this team died between 1947 and 1977.

First in Majors: Eddie Cicotte (debut September 3, 1905)

Last in Majors: Red Faber (final game September 20, 1933). Cicotte was the veteran ace and Faber the up-and-coming ace. Between them their careers covered the Major League service time of every man to play for this team. Interestingly, Cicotte was only four years older than Faber.

First to Play For the Franchise: Jim Scott (April 25, 1909). "Death Valley Jim" had the most tenure on the Sox, but he wasn't part of the World Series celebration, as he enlisted in the military before the end of the season.

Last to Play For the Franchise: Red Faber (September 20, 1933)

Pre-union Team: The 1912 Philadelphia Athletics (Eddie Collins, Dave Danforth, Eddie Murphy). Like the Red Sox of the era, the White Sox recognized the value of Connie Mack's players.

Reunion Team: Since eight of these players were banned for life three years later, the only reunion team you can find is the 1921-23 Red Sox, who had Shano Collins and Nemo Leibold.


Eddie Cicotte, no-hitter on April 14

Season Summary

After a close second-place finish the year before, the White Sox upgraded their infield with the acquisition of first baseman Chick Gandil and the introduction of rookie shortstop Swede Risberg. Third baseman Buck Weaver also emerged as an offensive force that year and second baseman Eddie Collins remained his Hall-of-Fame self. Throw in outfield stars "Shoeless Joe" Jackson and Happy Felsch, a league-leading on-base percentage and a league-leading stolen base total and you have a team that scored the most runs in the American League. Pitching-wise, they led the AL with a 123 ERA+, and their fielding percentage and defensive efficiency were both second only to Boston.

The White Sox didn't start the season storming out the gate. In fact, they were no-hit by the St. Louis Browns on consecutive days in early May. Things really got started when the Sox went on a 16-1 run a week later. The pennant race was fairly close. While the White Sox were in first place most of the way, the Red Sox were always right behind them. It wasn't until the White Sox went on an 18-1 run between August 23 and September 14 that they effectively put the Red Sox' pennant hopes out of reach.

There was little drama in the Sox' World Series victory over the New York Giants. The only moment most people remember from that Series is the botched rundown by the Giants in Game 6 which allowed Collins to score. That would also be the game where the Sox clinched the world championship. Red Faber appeared in four of the six games, posting a 3-1 record for the Series. This team would end up hovering over White Sox fans' heads for a long time, as it'd be their last World Series champion for 88 years.


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