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White Sox-Giants World Tour: Pacific Ocean update

Rough seas greet the tourists immediately upon departure from British Columbia

The RMS Empress of Japan.
The RMS Empress of Japan.

While waiting for the White Sox and Giants to reach Yokohama, Japan, we can at least take a look at the brave souls who decided to tag along with Charles Comiskey and John McGraw and take the game of baseball around the world.

The White Sox' roster was largely intact. Hal Chase dropped off the tour and settled in Northern California for the winter, although his odds didn't look great after injuring his ankle in Missouri. Ray Schalk, 21 years old and still trying to establish himself in the big leagues, chose to play winter ball instead, and Morrie Rath declined the opportunity. The Sox added a couple of minor-league catchers to their ranks, but otherwise, they brought almost all of their stateside roster with them.

The Giants took a bigger hit, because they lost most of their pitching staff. We know Christy Mathewson couldn't will himself into making the journey, but Jeff Tesreau and Art Fromme also opted out, along with position players Chief Meyers and Fred Snodgrass. That's why Red Faber, who had yet to pitch a game for the White Sox in the big leagues, switched from the Sox to the Giants as the teams traveled from the West to the East.

The two teams set off for four other continents with a 25-man roster between them. The Sox carried the odd man, as manager Jimmy Callahan could fill in when needed.

White Sox

For those members of the traveling party who swallowed fears of taking a ship across the Pacific Ocean, those fears may have repeated on them over the first five days. As tour organizer Ted Sullivan wrote in his account of the trip, "History of World's Tour," the R.M.S. Empress of Japan hit rough seas after leaving British Columbia.

The dawn of the next morning found many of the party in their state rooms, who had to pay their first tribute to Neptune before taking any of the excellent food of the sip. Neptune was on "a tear" for six or seven days of the first part of the voyage, and showed his mean disposition more than once by exacting more than one tribute off some of the passengers in the way of a disagreeable stomach.

I haven't yet found hard dates attached to the portions of the trip on the ship, but chances are 100 years ago, most of these players were spending a lot of time in the bathroom. If somebody asked Matty if he regretted making the trip, he'd probably say, "I don't think so!"

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