White Sox-Giants World Tour: Dec. 18, 1913

Bilibid Prison - U.S. Department of Justice

Preison, showers in Manila. Please note the comma.

Dec. 18: White Sox 7, Giants 4 (7 innings)

On the second day of their stay in Manila, the tourists discovered that they were granted an unusual amount of freedom. They had the whole rainy morning to take an automobile and see whatever they wanted to see. Short notice was a problem -- since it was a foreign land in 1913, the players didn't exactly know what there was to see. Perhaps if they knew ahead of time, a few members of the parties could've found the trouble they were looking for in Shanghai.

Joe Farrell of The Sporting News poked fun at the players, saying, "McGraw and Cal are of the opinion that they will not be able to get the best efforts out of the world's tourists next year unless they are escorted to their positions by a committee."

So they toured a prison. An active prison.

Apparently this was a big deal. The Philippine prison director invited the travelers to check out "the retreat" at Bilibid Prison. Here's Farrell:

This is one of the sights of the Philippine Islands and the greatest sight of its kind in the world. There was no word of exaggeration in the description on the program of this wonderful institution. It is the largest, most modern and best governed penal institution on earth.

Spellbinding as was the work of the coal passers of Nagasaki, 20 times more so was the exhibition of how discipline can control over 3,000 men without any display of brute force. This institution has been lectured about, written about, and conversed about to such an extent that it probably is ancient history, but the tourists all agreed it one of the wonder sights of a lifetime.

"The retreat" was the sight of the prisoners returning to their cell silently, and without any apparent coercion. In "The Tour to End All Tours," James E. Elfers adds that this indeed impressed the players -- especially Mike Donlin, who had spent some time in jail.

As the rain continued to fall, the players headed to the Army and Navy Club for a luncheon at 12:30, then headed to the park at 2:45 p.m., where a crowd waited under a canopy of umbrellas.

The amount of rain that fell would have cancelled entire games earlier on the tour. But the teams were determined to get this one in, and while they had to sacrifice an exhibition game against an All-Star team of Filipino players and the actual game was shortened to seven innings, they did fulfill their duties.

According to Frank McGlynn in Baseball Magazine, it wasn't pretty:

This was possibly the most erratic game of baseball ever played. It was earnest, and the contest was sincere, but despite these facts the outcome was largely a matter of luck. When the players at critical moments were running or sliding, or when some strenuous feat was essential, they could only cut some comedy figure as they wallowed in mud to their ankles. However, the people of Manila appreciated the splendid spirit of the teams.

The White Sox' Walt Leverenz outpitched the Giants' Hooks Wiltse, I guess, and the Sox continued their hot streak in Asia. The game was called after seven innings to allow the tourists to catch their ship. Unlike the RMS Empress of Japan, the St. Albans was carrying a full load of non-ballplaying passengers, so punctuality was important.

The two teams reached the dock at Manila by 6 p.m., and they were escorted out by the same full-scale musical treatment that welcomed them. John McGraw wrote of Manila in the New York TImes:

Every one in the party is loud of praise of the inhabitants of the city. Manila will long be remembered by the tourists as the city which knows how to entertain. [...]

A great crowd was at the dock to bid us farewell, and we got a rousing send-off. It was a great visit all the way. Now for Australia!

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