White Sox-Giants World Tour: Jan. 3, 1914

Australian leg of tour rolls along with two victories in Sydney

Jan. 3 in Sydney, Australia: White Sox 5, Giants 4
Jan. 3 in Sydney, Australia: White Sox 10, New South Wales 1 (5 innings)

Australia kept the good times rolling for the tourists in the new year. After a stay in Brisbane that was successful and well-received, if a little too hasty, the White Sox and Giants headed south to Sydney in New South Wales. After a 1½-day sail on the St. Albans, they arrived in the harbor at daybreak to enormous fanfare. A company from the California National Guard and its big brass band played American standards like "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" as the ship steamed in.

After their arrival, they headed to a luncheon organized by the trustees of the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Sydney Morning Herald's roll call shows the country's top men in attendance -- the prime minister, the minister of defense, home affairs, and other prominent government officials greeted the teams at the stadium.

For the second time on the tour, the Sox and Giants put together a nine between them to play a local team. Unlike Keio University's team, nobody seems to suggest that the Americans had any kind of challenge on their hand from the New South Wales squad. From the Morning Herald:

Short of practice, and with little opportunity of working up the combination so essential to success, the local players, as was only to be expected, were completely outclassed, and in a short game of five innings only crossed the plate once, and then by means of a home run, with the circuit unoccupied, by Wiltse, the borrowed pitcher.

Rarely did our men connect with the ball, and in fielding they fell down, too, although several smart plays were produced, revealing an intimate knowledge of the requirements of the sport.

(Wish I saw this before writing a number of 2013 White Sox recaps.)

When the Americans took over, the Morning Herald noticed the difference:

The teams were evenly matched. Notwithstanding, there was nothing thrillingly spectacular, principally perhaps because each combination was  mechanically so highly efficient, and executed plays as if they could not help it. Still, many attractive features were produced that served to keep the onlookers continuously interested. There was plenty of hitting, smashing drives, lofty slogging, line hits, bunts, and infield smashes, all of which were cleverly handled whenever possible. The control of the pitchers, the pace of the base-runners, the speed and accuracy of the throwing, the vigour and impetus of the foot-sliding, and the wonderful work of the outfielders, all contributed to a brilliant exposition of baseball.

As was the case in Brisbane, the Sydney crowd applauded every catch enthusiastically, which still confused the players (it's what the crowd does in cricket, the paper explained). As was the case elsewhere internationally, the fans were enamored with Bill Klem's announcing.

The other umpire, Phil Sheridan, also drew some attention when he called out Tris Speaker for interference on the basepaths, which led to some bench jockeying from the Chicago side.

Otherwise, it was a taut game, which Buck Weaver won with a two-run double down the left-field line in the bottom of the ninth, which gave Jim Scott the victory. Scott gave up two runs in both the second and third innings, but he settled down to shut out the Giants over the last six frames.

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