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Sox Century: April 18, 1917

A rainout in Detroit allows White Sox to rest up for home opener

With a rainout postponing the fourth and final game of the series in Detroit, the White Sox effectively headed home to Chicago for their opener fresh off a sweep.

Unlike the season’s first rainout in St. Louis, the weather couldn’t be waited out. Instead, the thunderstorms were definitive enough to allow the White Sox to rush to the train station and get home for a good night’s sleep, rather than taking an overnight train like usual. From the Chicago Tribune:

There was nothing phoney about the rain, for it arrived in chunks just before time for opening the gates and continued until the White Sox left town. The railroad people kindly held a rattler for half an hour to enable the Rowland party to catch it and obtain at least part of a night’s rest in Chicago before opening the championship season on the south side tomorrow with a battle against St. Louis.

The papers thus turned their attention to Opening Day, and with President Woodrow Wilson announced the establishment of a draft for World War I on this very day, plans called for a heavy display of patriotism at Comiskey Park for the opener. The Tribune provided some advance details, including:

  • The potential of army recruiters attempting to enlist men at the park.
  • A pregame drill for the White Sox “clad in army regalia and carrying regulation Springfield rifles,” after which they “will have to do a quick-changing act after to get into their monkey suits in time for the game to start at 3 o’clock.”
  • Red, white and blue abound, including a “regimental” flag presented to the White Sox from city traders.

Eddie Cicotte was slated to make his second consecutive start against the Browns, with hopes of providing a worthy encore for the first.