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Sox Century: Oct. 1, 1917

The White Sox drop the regular season finale as they prepare for the World Series

The Chicago Examiner headline on Oct. 2, 1917.

After winning their 100th game in the season’s penultimate game, the White Sox had nothing to play for on the final day of the season.

With New York Giants manager John McGraw in the crowd at the Polo Grounds getting a read on the team he’d face in the World Series, Pants Rowland rolled out a half-powered lineup. Happy Felsch got the day off to nurse a leg injury, and Buck Weaver and Chick Gandil sat, too. Ray Schalk played a partial game, and Lefty Williams got the start.

The White Sox dropped the season finale, 4-2, and Red Faber was the one to take the loss. He stepped in for Williams in the sixth with the game tied at 2 and once again struggled with his control, issuing three walks on top of three hits, leading to two runs (one earned). Larry Woltz of the Chicago Examiner downplayed concerns:

When Williams turned the mound over to Faber the game was tied up at two runs apiece, so credit for the defeat must rest upon the manly shoulders of Mr. Faber. But Red is a good, strong, healthy Iowa boy and well able to stand up under the load. Faber showed very little of his pitching skill; in fact, he was not out there to show his wares. It was the limbering up that he wanted and got it.

While Urban Faber took the loss, Urban Shocker went the distance for the win. They’re the only two Urban pitchers in baseball history, and the length of Faber’s career (1914 through 1933) contains Shocker’s career (1916 through 1927, with one appearance in 1928).

This was the first time they both appeared in the same game. Over the next decade, they’d face each other more than a dozen times. While Faber held the edge in career quality, Shocker came away victorious more often than not in Urban-Urban matchups, picking up seven wins to Faber’s three when they were the pitchers of record.

In more significant trivia, Joe Jackson went 1-for-4 and finished the year batting .301. 1917 was the worst full season of his career, hampered at the start by illness and an ankle injury, but he rediscovered his form by season’s end. Jackson hit .438/.526/.613 over the final month, and that rally allowed him to say he hit .300 in each and every full season of his abbreviated career.

With the regular season wrapped up, the White Sox headed back to Chicago for a few days of rest and preparation for the Giants. Game 1 of the World Series was scheduled for Oct. 6.

Record: 100-54 | Box score