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White Sox-Giants World Tour: March 10, 1914

A spectacular journey comes to its official end at the Congress Hotel in Chicago

The headline in Sporting Life, March 21, 1914.
The headline in Sporting Life, March 21, 1914.

For the first time in 141 days, the Chicago White Sox traveled without the company of the New York Giants. After the reception at the Biltmore Hotel in Manhattan, the two globetrotting ballclubs went their separate ways. John McGraw's team returned to Marlin, Texas (where they trounced the Sox on Nov. 3, 1913) for spring training. By March 11, Muggsy was back to preparing his real Giants for the 1914 season.

Charles Comiskey's club returned to Chicago for one more reception, although some members of the team had to leave before the rest. Sam Crawford split away from his adopted club in New York to rejoin the Detroit Tigers, and, in "The Tour to End All Tours," James E. Elfers says a couple of White Sox also had to leave immediately.

Jim Scott and Joe Benz were the first to leave. Scott's departure was by far the saddest. While partying at the Biltmore, Scott received the news that his brother had passed away in Landers, Wyoming. He departed immediately for home.

Joe Benz did not hang around for either party. Spurred on, no doubt, by the awful Pacific crossing and by example of all the happy honeymooners on the world tour, Benz made his way to Chicago on the first available train. He planned to wed immediately; nothing would be allowed to get in his way. The Chicago Inter-Ocean had a reporter waiting for the butcher's boy. Here is his account of Joe Benz's return to Chicago.

As soon as Joe stepped off the train he stuck out his head and said, "Aint I the kid?"

"You bet you are," replied Miss Alicia Leddy of 4924 Indiana Avenue and planted a smacking kiss right upon Joe's map right before everyone in the depot. Joe couldn't stop long enough to tell of his trip, because he said he had to make arrangements for his marriage which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

But most of the White Sox stuck it through to the very end of the world tour, which came to an official end 100 years ago today at the Congress Hotel. The magazine Sporting Life said the following players occupied one table in the corner of the Gold Room: Buck Weaver, Germany Schaefer, Steve Evans, Jack Bliss, Andy Slight, Walt Leverenz, Red Faber, and even Scott, who probably wasn't in the mood for celebrating.

(Benz, having just married Miss Alicia Leddy of 4924 Indiana Avenue that morning, sent a telegram to make up for his absence: "No place like home. Have just started one of my own.")

Charles Comiskey received a large chunk of the acclaim, and he was in better shape to receive it. Schaefer started the festivities by leading Faber, Evans and Tris Speaker in a gut-busting version of "Shoenus," and Elfers says the sap and maudlin levels increased exponentially afterwards. That said, hey now:

One of the evening's highlights, however, would be in the form of a spectacular grand entrance. Beautiful (and quite possibly scantily clad) Doris Reber was carried through the assembly on a platform astride the giant albino stag that had been shot by Comiskey himself. The singer's platform was deposited at the front of the ballroom. From her perch, she led the assembled crowd of seven hundred in singing "The Star-spangled Banner."

Speeches by the usual suspects followed, but without the tension of the cutthroat negotiations between the players and the American, National and Federal leagues, the Chicago banquet closed out in a much smoother and more jovial fashion than its New York predecessor.

One day later, Comiskey returned to his vacation retreat in Mercer, Wisc., to attend to his still-bothersome stomach. Faber got permission from his bosses to make a brief homecoming stop in Dubuque, Iowa. For manager Jimmy Callahan, he had to hop aboard a train the next day to California. The White Sox started spring training in Paso Robles on Feb. 26, so Callahan was running more than two weeks late to his own show.

He had an incredible excuse.

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