Cold, damp weather depresses the turnout in the opener (2,500 fans), but Buck Weaver made it more than an exhibition by betting Christy Mathewson that he couldn't get his first pitch past his bat. Mathewson didn't bite, and it's good he didn't, because Weaver tripled. It was all Giants after that, as they beat up on Joe Benz, whose family made the trip from nearby Batesville, Ind.
A crowd triple the size of Cincinnati came out to a cold and snowy Comiskey Park to officially send the tourists on their way. They officially leave home that evening at the La Salle Street station.
Most fans thought that a light snow would cancel the game, so when Gov. Edward F. Dunne threw out the first pitch, only about 600 fans were in attendance to see it.
There's no snow, but it's still bitterly cold, so much so that some fans rip off parts of the wooden bleachers to start fires for warmth. Sam Crawford (playing for the White Sox this offseason) won it with a two-run triple.
The White Sox and Giants cross the Missisippi, but the Giants left their gloves on the other side. Sloppy fielding provides unintentional comedy to go along with Germany Schaefer's clowning
Somebody turned the thermostat up to 70 degrees, and so 5,000 fans packed Riverside Park to see the Giants bust open the game in the eighth inning to tag Jim Scott with the loss.
Due to its advantageous location along major train lines, a tiny town of 1,756 residents more than doubles in size to accommodate a game. It's the biggest day in the history of Blue Rapids, and still remembered fondly to this day.
Tris Speaker makes his debut during his winter-long engagement withthe White Sox, but they lose another star when Hal Chase injures his ankle in a collision with Fred Merkle.
With Charles Comiskey in attendance and 4,000 fans in tow, the ballclubs endure miserably, muddy conditions. White Sox pitcher Doc White tries to fill in for the slick-fielding Chase, but the conditions aren't conducive to on-the-job training.
The White Sox pick up a ringer in Walter Johnson in order to stage a duel against his Mathewson, his great National League counterpart. Mathewson opts out due to fatigue and more awful weather (four inches of snow fell in Joplin), and Johnson only throws three innings to preserve a possible match the next day. The performances of the bullpens and defenses prove Matty's hunch correct.
Johnson and Mathewson see their duel through, but it comes as a cost. An overflow crowd overwhelms South Main Street Park, as the bleachers in right field collapsed. Private Chester Taylor of Company L Ninth Infantry was passing underneath the stands when they broke down, and he was killed. Fifty others were injured, and half of them required hospitalization, but the game was only delayed 30 minutes. Johnson went the distance while Mathewson was knocked out after four innings, but the results seem rather inconsequential.
This game was originally scheduled for Fort Smith, Ark., but Fort Smith fans made the mistake of sending Charles Comiskey and John McGraw "charms" made out of nails from the federal gallows. The superstitious leaders reroute the tour to Muskogee, and a bunch of cowboys make a whole lot of noise on short notice.
White Sox pitcher Reb Russell gets a homecoming, but his defense lets him down while Jeff Tesreau pitches a gem for the Giants.
A circuitous train route to Dallas takes even longer when a local Elks Club at Texas train hub Denison bribed their way into hosting an impromptu feast. When they do reach the Texas State Fairgrounds, the White Sox rough up Mathewson for a second straight start.
Stuffed one day, starved the next. There's no food on the overnight train, but that doesn't prevent the tourists from playing a tight game that ends on a play at the plate.
The teams finally get to spend a night in a hotel after two weeks on a train, and umpire Bill Klem ejects his first player on the tour.
Marlin is the spring training home of the Giants, and John McGraw's club takes advantage of familiar ground. That's not much solace to McGraw, who learned that his mother-in-law died right before the start of the game.
The first cancellation of the tour means the players are open to other forms of entertainment, and it comes in the form of a staged badger fight (rigged by McGraw, to boot).
Drought-stricken fairgrounds and high winds make even routine plays difficult, but the hardpan makes an excellent landing spot for a Wright-style biplane in the first inning.
The tourists arrived at the copper mining town with great fanfate, then took automobiles across the border into Mexico in the morning. When it's time to play, Walt Leverenz is the unlucky pitcher who discovers that curve balls don't really curve in the desert air.
A short distance away in the Phelps Dodge Corporation's company town, it's Red Faber's turn to get pummeled in arid conditions. It takes place at Warren Ballpark, which is the only site from the world tour that remains in operation today.
Mathewson is roughed up once more, although it's possible that his arm is worn out from shaking hands for two whole hours before the game.
A crowd of 15,00 fans (3,000 more than the day before), end up seeing the first tie of the tour when a wacky game is called by darkness. White Sox manager Jimmy Callahan puts himself into the game after Weaver is ejected and goes 2-for-2 with the game-tying RBI.
Chief Meyers, the Giants catcher playing in front of his hometown fans, hits the walk-off homer. Funny thing he, he walked off just before coming to the plate, as Bill Klem confused the home and road teams and declared the game over after the top of the ninth. Meyers had to be called back the stadium.
New York's Fred Snodgrass is saluted by local fans, but Hans Lobert stole the show before the game started, when he raced a horse around the bases. The horse won by a nose.
A daylong downpour makes a game impossible, but the tourists welcome the rest.
A furious McGraw is ejected for the first time on the tour after exploding at Klem about balls and strikes. Weaver, who played for the San Francisco Seals a couple years earlier, is given a warm welcome.
Comiskey is in attendance for the first time since Kansas City, and he'll be along for the rest of the ride. He sees a game start with a hilarious shadowball display and end on a Ray Schalk walk-off double, capping off a comeback from a 2-0 hole in the ninth.
Mathewson's drawing power is evident when the attendance jump from 6,000 to 10,000. He finally had an easy day, which was aided by the ejection of Weaver.
The White Sox and Giants close out their stay in the Bay Area with a two-city doubleheader, and they complicate mattes when a sloppy morning game runs long. White Sox star and California native Ping Bodie makes a cameo appearance for the Pale Hose.
Mathewson left the tour in San Francisco, which disappointed an Oregon crowd that had anticipated his presence. The teams made up for it by playing in unplayable condiitions (Giants outfielder Lee Magee made a catch while holding an umbrella), but that wasn't good enough for Old Man Kilgore, an "aged man" who made a 14-mile hike through swollen creeks to see Mathewson and had nothing to show for his effort.
Jim Scott pitches a shutout on the tourists' last full day on American soil. The White Sox gave Old Man Kilgore a lift to Portland, a ticket to the game, and fare for the train ride home.
Both games in Washington are rained out, which is fine for the travelers since they're leaving the country that night. The Northern Pacific Railroad Company had a 125-pound fruitcake made for the occasion, though, and the tourists brought it with them around the world.
The White Sox and Giants sail to Japan on the RMS Empress of Japan, and the fears of the sea-weary are realized. They encounter rough seas from the get-go, and after a relatively peaceful Thanksgiving, they run into worse when a typhoon knocks them off course 200 miles.
Hours after arriving in Yokohama, the White Sox and Giants are back it on the diamond at Toyko's Keio University in front of a wildly appreciative crowd of 15,000.
The White Sox and Giants formed a team to play Keio University's team, which is the top ballclub in Japan. The wildly appreciative crowd goes bananas when Keio strikes for a quick 1-0 lead, but the talent of the Americans overwhelms the Japanese team. Afterwards, the Americans lead a practice for the Keio team between games. When it's time for the White Sox and Giants to play, their speed and power is on display in a 12-9 slugfest.
The typhoon forced the Americans to condense their schedule and cancel games in Kobe and Osaka, although they did stop at Osaka for a brief visit. They reached the other end of Japan for a refueling stop at the secretive port city of Nagasaki, and the stay took just long enough for the tourists to get in trouble at a billiards bar.
Another all-day rain cancels what could've easily been the largest crowd of the tours, but the White Sox and Giants are still able to explore the city. Some of the tourists tried to find Shanghai's underbelly, and it's unclear whether they were successful in doing so.
Still behind on the schedule, the tourists are forced to play for free because Hong Kong laws banned the staging of paid athletic contests on Sundays. They're also limited to five innings, because one of the passengers on the Empress of Japan had smallpox, forcing the ship to spend hours in quarantine.
A punctual first voyage on the St. Albans gets the trip back on track, and McGraw's former teammate -- along with a sizable American military presence -- welcomes the teams to the Philippines. They adjust to the tropical climate quickly, playing a tremendous pitcher's duel in front of 7,000 fans before retiring to the Manila Hotel for a ball on the rooftop garden.
The White Sox and Giants spend the morning getting a tour of the state-of-the-art prison, then give their best effort in ankle-deep mud. The game is shortened to allow the tourists enough time to get back to the St. Albans, but it could've been called on account of the rain just as well.
Minor nuisances -- substandard food, vaccination shots, bad barbers -- start to wear on the travelers, but the women of the party lift everybody's spirits by staging a traditional Christmas feast aboard the ship.
After a brush with death days before in Cairns, the tourists sail into Brisbane just as the clock is striking midnight. They party late, then have to rally early for a morning game. It's a major social event in Brisbane, even if the crowd doesn't quite know what it's watching.
The Americans once again take on a local nine over the next few days, but Australia's ballplayers aren't quite as proficient as the Japanese, and both the White Sox and Giants have an easy time of it. After handling the New South Wales club in an abbreviated game, Weaver wins the actual game with a two-run double in the ninth.
The players -- and a suit-wearing Comiskey -- give cricket a shot, and everybody loves hitting with the flat bats. The exhibition draws natural comparisons between the two sports in the Australian media.
Jim Thorpe belts a pair of homers and makes a couple of spectacular catches in an otherwise sloppy game. Coincidentally, he wasn't around for a lavish pregame feast at the Cricket Club before the game.
The Australian leg of the tour ends on a wild game, with the White Sox carrying a 3-0 lead in the ninth, only to see the Giants rally back with three of their own before a Magee triple ended it in the 11th. The Australians wish the clubs would stay longer, and the Americans echo the sentiment.
At least Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane got a ballgame or two. Adelaide felt left out, and some held it against the Americans.
The tourists make brief stops in the Western Australian cities of Fremantle and Perth before heading across the Indian Ocean on the RMS Orontes. Lots of horseplay commences to pass the time, including an initiation ceremony when the teams cross the equator.
The tourists are welcomed by Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous tea magnate and sportsman. A big fan of the United States and baseball, he takes a liking to the White Sox and Giants, who are able to stage a game for him and 5,000 others after a heat delay. Comiskey gives Lipton a lifetime pass to Comiskey Park, and Lipton puts 400 pounds of tea on the Orontes.
The Orontes successfully navigates the perilous Suez Canal to get the tourists to Egypt's largest city. They ride camels and donkeys to the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids before attending a luncheon with the last khedive of Egypt. Afterwards, they play a tooth-and-nail game to a draw.
After a morning visit to the Alabaster Mosque, the players suit up and return to Giza to play ball in front of the ancient wonders for Frank McGlynn's camera. Another hotly contested game follows, one so fierce that it's recalled when the teams meet in the World Series three years later. Weaver turns a triple play in the loss.
The tourists reach Naples after departing Egypt from Alexandria, and they did so without one of their umpires. Phil Sheridan, a mortician during the offseason, failed to get to the train on time because he was too wrapped up in a mummy exhibit. He doesn't miss any action immediately, because there's nowhere in Naples to play. The tourists settle for sightseeing instead.
On the train ride from Naples, Comiskey sufferes acute indigestion so severe that it seems like a heart attack at its onset. Nevertheless, he defies bedrest orders in order to visit the Vatican, where the teams meet Pope Pius X. That's the highlight of the day, as a persistent rain cancels the first of the games.
That rain canceled the second one, too, but a couple of ballplayers found an alternate form of activity when McGlynn stages a wrestling match at the Coliseum between Thorpe and Merkle. Thorpe wins easily.
Three days in Rome, and all the tourists have to show for it are pesky colds.
The White Sox and Giants finally play their first game in Europe ... after gambling at Monte Carlo and cocommandeer floats in the city's Mardi Gras carnival parade first. The 5,000 in attendance may not know what they're watching, but they see a helluva game that ends with Speaker cutting down Thorpe at the palte.
The weather in Rome caught up with the tourists in Paris, canceling the first of two highly anticipated games. The travelers have plenty of distractions -- museums, theater, shopping, nightlife (legal and possibly illegal), and then there's Ted Sullivan's weird obsession with Napoleon.
The Parisians could accept one rainout, but they lambaste the Americans after the White Sox and Giants cancel their second game on late notice. The locals have a case, because it seems like the teams played in worse weather earlier in the tour, and there's probably some truth to the claim that they were too tired (or hungover) to muster up the enthusiasm to play in inclement weather.
After an ugly end to their stay in Paris, the White Sox and Giants end their tour on a high note, playing an immaculate game in front of 25,000 to 35,000 fans -- one of them King George V. Tommy Daly brings the schedule to a close with a walk-off homer off Red Faber in the 11th.
The tourists spend one more day in London before heading to Liverpool, where they take the Lusitania home.
The White Sox and Giants return to the United States, where fans, baseball dignitaries and Federal League agents are waiting for them. The outlaw league engages in discussion and lucrative contract offers with numerous members of the tour, and the contentiousness casts a pall over the welcome-back dinner at the Biltmore Hotel.
The Giants head to spring training while most of the White Sox return to Chicago for a party of their own at the Congress Hotel. With the Federal League business out of their faces, the last call is a jovial one.