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Sox Century: April 13, 1917

The recipe for success in the opener fails the White Sox in their second game

Jack Fournier made his only appearance of the season.
George Grantham Bain Collection / Library of Congress

For the second time in as many games, the White Sox dug an early hole against the St. Louis Browns.

This time, their late-inning rally fell short.

The Chicago Tribune said the Sox only had themselves to blame thanks to “loose pitching and blind stagger defense.” Or, as Irving Vaughn of the Chicago Examiner put it:

Some of the bonedust of the Browns blew into the White Sox machine to-day and a defeat in the second game of the season was the result.

Eddie Collins had a particularly tough game in the field. In the first inning, he got his feet crossed up at second base on a feed from Red Faber, and his failure to get the force eventually resulted in a run. In the sixth, he and Shano Collins didn’t communicate on a shallow fly that dropped in between them, allowing the decisive run to score.

In between, Faber allowed a two-run homer to fellow future Hall of Famer George Sisler, which, y’know, fair enough.

The Sox trailed 3-0 by the time the offense could get rolling against St. Louis starter Ernie Koob in the fifth inning. Ray Schalk reached on a double and came around to score on some #wildpitchoffense, although the hashtag didn’t exist yet.

One frame later, Joe Jackson cut the lead down to one on a single, then went to first to third on Happy Felsch’s hit. He tried to get home on a Chick Gandil grounder, but the ball beat him home by plenty. From the Examiner:

[Jackson] tried to score from third on Gandil’s roller and was an easy out. The general mde his slide even though the ball was waiting for him. Hale, the catcher, interpreted this as a deliberate attempt to spike him, and in an oration delivered at the plate he challenged the world in general and Jackson in particular. He soon cooled off, however, to the temperature of the frozen atmosphere that froze most of the fans present.

Speaking of which, the Baseball-Reference.com box score says only 1,000 fans were in attendance, down from 18,000 on Opening Day. Perhaps the Browns had their reasons for postponing the previous day’s game as soon as possible.

Eddie Murphy kept the game alive in the ninth inning, delivering an RBI single in a pinch-hit appearance, but Jack Fournier, pinch-hitting for pitcher Dave Danforth, couldn’t follow suit. He struck out to end the game in his only plate appearance of the season.

Record: 1-1 | Box score