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Sox Century: After the World Series

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The White Sox get their full share, then go their separate ways

The wire story from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on Oct. 18, 1917.

Although the White Sox beat the Giants in Game 6 to win the World Series on Oct. 15, the teams weren’t done playing each other. The day after the title was settled, they played each other once at Camp Mills on Long Island for 10,000 soldiers.

Most of the players were there, although Joe Jackson and Chick Gandil were absent on the Sox’ side, and Heinie Zimmermann, Art Fletcher and Dave Robertson didn’t show for the Giants. The White Sox won that one, too, by a score of 6-3.

From there, most of the players took the train back to Chicago, which went upstate through Albany on its return. The exceptions: Eddie Collins went from New York to Philadelphia, while Shano Collins and Mellie Wolfgang split with the team at Albany.

There, the Albany native Wolfgang told reporters that Red Faber only showed the burden of his MVP-worthy effort in the World Series after it ended. From the New York Sun:

“It was a great strain, but all the boys had the nerve to go through with it,” said Wolfgang. “Faber, who pitched that last game for us, walked off the field as cool and composed as though he were going to church, but just as soon as he got in the clubhouse he collapsed. His jaw dropped, his knees sagged and he fell into the arms of some of the fellows. That showed how great the strain on some of the boys really was.”

The rest of the team headed to Chicago for a hero’s welcome at the La Salle Street station. Some 50,000 fans greeted the team at the depot, creating what the Chicago Tribune described as a chaotic scene:

When the rattler came to a stop both bands began simultaneously to spiel “Hail, Hail the Gang’s All Here” in different tempos and the bugs let loose a yell that threatened to blow off the glass dome of the station.

There was scarcely room for the White Sox and the other passengers on the train to disembark, and their passage from their sleepers to the exits was a rough one. In the crush only a few of the world’s champions were recognized, as it was impossible to form any regular passageway through the jam for them. They simply forced their way through as best they could.

The fans did find Pants Rowland, and the wire story says “some of the fans hoisted Rowland to their shoulders and carried him into the street.”

In the shuffle, the White Sox manager didn’t lose the check that he carried with him for $91,733.15 -- the winner’s share of the World Series. The full share was $3,666.33, and the Tribune gave the list of the 24 White Sox who received it: Ray Schalk, Bird Lynn, Joe Jenkins, Red Faber, Eddie Cicotte, Joe Benz, Reb Russell, Lefty Williams, Dave Danforth, Mellie Wolfgang, Jim Scott, Chick Gandil, Ted Jourdan, Eddie Collins, Buck Weaver, Swede Risberg, Fred McMullin, Joe Jackson, Happy Felsch, Shano Collins, Eddie Murphy, Pants Rowland and Kid Gleason. Ziggy Hasbrook received $1,000 for his two plate appearances, as well as serving as a base coach over the last six weeks of the season.

It didn’t take long for the members of the 1917 White Sox to head separate ways. Rowland, Gleason, Weaver, Benz and Jenkins were the only ones to stay in Chicago through the night.

The Omaha Daily Bee provided a rundown for the White Sox on Oct. 28, 1917. Joe Jenkins and Jim Scott reported to the army. Faber, Eddie Collins, Lefty Williams and Buck Weaver went on hunting trips, while Eddie Cicotte planned a nature retreat with his family. Ray Schalk and his wife were going on a road trip. Fred McMullin headed to Los Angeles for a winter of home repairs and road trips.

Others had winter jobs. Chick Gandil worked for a tire company in Cleveland, while Nemo Leibold owned a bowling alley in Detroit. Dave Danforth practiced dentistry, while Joe Benz worked in advertising.

As for Mellie Wolfgang, you may remember the Hall of Fame Library Player File post I wrote about him, which included the reception in his honor after the World Series. It took place at Keeler’s Hotel, just down the street from the state capitol. Shano Collins also took part before heading across the border to Pittsfield, Mass., but Wolfgang was the star of the show, even if he’d rather have been somewhere else.

Albany outdid itself last night in welcoming back Mellie Wolfgang, the North End boy, after an absence from the city of six months during which he achieved fame as a member of the Chicago White Sox, winners over the New York Giants in the recent series for the world’s baseball championship. In the past Albany always has honored her sons, but the demonstration given to Wolfgang last night easily excelled any other welcome received by an Albanian in some time.

Wolfgang, John “Shano” Collins, right fielder on the Chicago team, and roommate of Mellie’s all season, and “Skull” Devine, another Albany boy, were met at the Union depot early in the evening. They piled into a waiting automobile and rode at the head of a parade arranged in Wolfgang’s honor. Baseball enthusiasts and friends of Wolfgang marched over the following route: Broadway to Clinton Avenue, to Lark Street, to Washington Avenue, to Eagle Street, to State Street, to Broadway, to Keeler’s hotel, where a banquet was served. [....]

At the beginning of the dinner, Wolfgang was presented with a floral horseshoe and the little North Albany lad hid behind the piece throughout the banquet. Toastmaster Cooke paid his final tribute to Mellie in presenting a diamond fob to him. The diners yelled for a speech, and Mellie, in his unassuming and modest way, said simply, "I am happy. I’m glad. I certainly thank you all. I don’t deserve this. Thanks."