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White Sox-Giants World Tour: Oct. 18, 1913 - Oct. 20, 1913

The ambitious plan to take baseball around the globe begins in Cincinnati

On Oct. 15, 1913, the formal itinerary of the White Sox-Giants world tour was made public. Sam Weller of the Chicago Tribune took a gander:

"Never in the history of the national game as as tough a schedule been mapped out.

"Starting at Cincinnati on Saturday, the two teams will play thirty-five games of ball in the following thirty-three days, winding up with a morning and afternoon show at Tacoma and Seattle respectively on the day the boat sails for Japan. In those thirty-three days the boys will travel about 5,000 miles, playing a game every afternoon and on two days a game in the morning and afternoon."

Charles Comiskey didn't care much for paying for players, but he had no qualms about spending on the best transportation possible. He and John McGraw ponied up for a train with five Pullman cars, which the Tribune describes as three sleepers, an observational sleeper and a combination buffet and baggage car.

There might not have been that much sleeping in the sleepers, if you know what The Sporting News from Oct. 23, 1913, is talkin' 'bout:

The train carrying the tourists has already been designated the "Honeymoon Special," for it will have several newly-married couples aboard, including Louis Comiskey, Larry Doyle, Jeff Tesreau, Jim Thorpe, Clarence Russell and Jack Fournier and their brides.

The big send-off would take place in Chicago on Oct. 19, but they met the Giants in Cincinnati for the first exhibition game the day before.

Oct. 18 in Cincinnati: Giants 11, White Sox 2

The tour started unceremoniously, and not just because of the score. Only about 2,500 fans turned out, and the Tribune account says "a large portion of them came in when the gatekeeper wasn't looking, and the coin taken at the door wouldn't pay for what Comiskey, McGraw and [August] Herrmann ordered."

The weather also prevented a foot race between Jim Thorpe and Hans Lobert from taking place. "To give the crowd a little compensation, Mr. Thorpe offered to sclp any man in the house, but the offer was negatived, and a band wobbed a little music to fill in the time."

Many of the fans were fans of Batesville, Ind., native and White Sox starter Joe Benz, and they made the 45-mile trip to Cincinnati only to see Benz get pounded. His counterpart, Christy Mathewson, shut down the White Sox offense, although the Sox managed to strike one blow.

According to James E. Elfers' "The Tour To End All Tours: The Story of Major League Baseball's 1913-1914 World's Tour," Buck Weaver escalated the stakes before the game even began. He bet Mathewson a hundred dollars that he couldn't get his first pitch past his bat. Mathewson didn't take the wager, and it's a good thing he didn't. Weaver hammered the first strike he saw for a triple:

From his perch on third base, Weaver just smiled at the great Matty. The Giants did not appreciate anyone showing up Christy Mathewson. For the rest of the tour competition between the teams would be fierce, with neither team conceding anything to the other. These games would be exhibitions in name only.

Mathewson got the first last laugh of the tour -- and then it was time to eat. From Ted Sullivan's book.

The meeting of the players of both teams, Managers, Treasurers and Secretaries at Cincinatti, on October, 18, 1913, to begin the tour of the world will be ever remembered by those who participated in the social affair of that day, that was promoted by that social king, August Herrmann, Chairman of the National Commission. The great German Luncheon given by Mr. Hermann and the people of Cincinnati on that date was never duplicated in the entire tour, whether at the $10 a day hotel of Heliopolis, Egypt, or on the swift sailing palace ship Lusitania, that brought the party from Liverpool to New York.

Oct. 19 in Chicago: Giants 3, White Sox 1

A shivering crowd of 7,600 gathered at Comiskey Park, enduring a "cold and snowy wind" off Lake Michigan to send off the players, who were decked out in patriotically modified uniforms. The White Sox's home whites had American flags on each sleeve; their socks bore added stripes of red and blue; their caps were blue with red peaks and white seam stripes, and wore bright red coats in blue and white. They also had road blues with similar ornamentation, and the teams would alternate home and away with each game.

The game was tied 1-1 in the ninth before Sox starter Ewell Russell, better known now as "Reb" but referred to in the Tribune as "Tex," gave up two runs on four hits in the ninth inning. That might have been for the better, given the conditions.

After the game, a special private reception was held for Comiskey after the game to celebrate the start of the tour. Fans, meanwhile, followed the teams to the La Salle street station, where the White Sox and Giants departed on their "special train of palace cars" a little after 11 p.m.

Oct. 20 in Springfield, Ill.: Giants 6, White Sox 4

Those fancy sweaters came in handy on the first unfamiliar stop of the tour, as a light snow jeopardized the playing of the game. McGraw and White Sox manager Jimmy Callahan agreed to play in the unfavorable conditions, and they headed to League Park in automobiles. Gov. Edward F. Dunne showed up to throw out the first pitch, but only about 600 fans joined him, as the majority of fans had written off the game as unplayable.

The Sox took an immediate 2-0 lead, but a Jim Thorpe solo shot off Jim Scott cut their lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Scott got that run back in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, only to see it blown away when he served up a grand slam to Mickey Doolan, the Philadelphia Phillies shortstop who played for the Giants on the tour, but only after McGraw paid the premium for a $10,000 life insurance policy at the behest of the Phillies.

After the game, a reception was held for the players at a local theater. They departed the state capital at 11:30 p.m.