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White Sox-Giants World Tour: March 3, 1914

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With the baseball portion of the journey wrapped up, the tourists head to Liverpool and hop aboard the Lusitania for the voyage home

Aboard the Lusitania, as shown in Ted Sullivan's "History of World's Tour."
Aboard the Lusitania, as shown in Ted Sullivan's "History of World's Tour."

The diplomatic duties of the White Sox and Giants just about came to a close when they finished their last game, a thrilling, extra-inning 5-4 victory for the Americans. They had one more full day in London to hit the sights and the stores, or figure out how to get all their purchases from the journey home. In "The Tour to End All Tours,." James E. Elfers says some tourists thought ahead of time and mailed the most mailable stuff home; others had to buy extra luggage or figure out what was expendable.

Apparently 46 games was enough, if this note from the Chicago Tribune is true:

It has just leaked out that the historic game on Thursday nearly came to an abrupt end at the close of the ninth inning, owing to the lack of balls. The teams took out thirty-six new and fourteen old balls. Many of these were knocked over the foul lines, and the rest were gien away as souvenirs, so that when [Bill] Klem called the tenth inning he had only a single ball left. [Jimmy] Callahan, [Charles] Comiskey and [John] McGraw made the hustle of their lives to recover some of the other balls from those who had taken them, and succeeded in getting a few, but it was a close call.

Assuming there's any validity to this, it's probably a good thing the Sox and Giants didn't play either game in Paris. The Parisians, in turn, might say the tourists already displayed a shortage of balls.

On Feb. 28, the tourists headed to Liverpool, where they boarded the palacial steamship Lusitania for the final voyage home -- the same Lusitania that shifted American interests in World War I when a German U-boat sunk it a year later.

This cruise home is the smoothest of the trip, even though a storm will cost them a day. Everybody is avoiding seasickness, and furthermore, Comiskey finally shook his stomach ailment for good during the trip. Elfers describes the scene aboard the ship 100 years ago today:

Four days into their voyage the tourists put on a show. On 3 March the Lusitania held a benefit for the Mariners Charity, an aid organization for disabled sailors and the survivor of sailors killed in service to the Crown. The benefit brought the tourists together for the final time. Germany Schaefer played his tune, "Shoenus," the "Sextette" reassembled for the final time, and the women in the group entertained on their musical instruments. The benefit would mark the last harmonious notes of the tour.

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