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White Sox-Giants World Tour: Feb. 7, 1914

The tourists cut across the Mediterranean, see a volcano erupt, and lose an umpire to mummies

Photomechanical print of the harbor in Naples around 1900
Photomechanical print of the harbor in Naples around 1900
Library of Congress
Feb. 7 in Naples, Italy: No game

After their second game in Cairo, the White Sox and Giants spent one more day around Egypt's capital. Then they had to board a train to Alexandria in order to catch their fourth ship of the tour. As you know, the teams didn't have chartered transportation after leaving the states -- they had to catch trains and ships that were on their own schedules.

The circumstances were such that if they knew somebody from the party was missing, they couldn't let that prevent the group as a whole from making it to the port or station on time. That's why, when the ship pulled away from Alexandria on Feb. 5, they knew they were going to be short one umpire for a while.

Why did Jack Sheridan literally miss the boat? James E. Elfers explains in "A Tour to End All Tours" that "Sheridan's off-season occupation got the best of him. "The mortician had become so wrapped up in the mummies and their associated funerary relics at the Cairo State Museum that he lost track of time and missed the train."

While the tourists lacked an umpire, they did score an almost literal boatload of cigarettes, which would be a fair trade for some. In Alexandria, they discovered that the price of cigarettes was too low to resist, and all smokers stocked up. It was a fitting way to end their time in Egypt, as they spent the extra day in Cairo shopping it up.

Besides the cigarette spree, Sheridan also missed fine food on the Prinz Heinrich, and a close-up float-by of Mount Stromboli as it erupted. They sailed into Naples at 8 p.m., and to an enthusiastic welcome. In "History of World's Tour," organizer Ted Sullivan, happy to be back among people he'd perceive to be non-heathens, describes the scene:

This grand Bay of Naples is second only to Sydney Harbor in its picturesque beauty. As the boat was pulling up to the dock at Naples, we were serenaded with all kinds of music by the vaudeville talent of Naples that do their performance on flatboats, from a tango dance to the warblings of an a la Caruso. These performers, of course, expect money to be thrown to them by the passengers. When pieces of silver or gold thrown to them miss their hands and fall into the water, they dive for it, and after a certain time under the water they appear on the surface with the money in their hands.

From the dock, the tourists were shuttled via automobiles to Bertolini's Palace Hotel, a treacherous drive up to the highest part of the city. It was there that they found out what exactly happened to Sheridan. They also found out that they wouldn't be playing any games in Naples.

From Joe Farrell's account in the Chicago Tribune:

The Naples committee on arrangements mixed matters in some way and scheduled the game for a day when the party was to be in Rome, which necessitated the cancellation of the demonstration in Naples, disappointing the managers, but allowing all more time to visit the historic spots.

Elfers writes that Naples was too crowded to carve out enough room to stage a highly attended game in the city, so no alternate arrangements could be drawn up in a hurry. This will be the first of many unplanned off days during the European leg.

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