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Sox Century: April 20, 1917

White Sox take advantage of high winds for first home victory

Comiskey Park between 1908 and 1925.
Library of Congress / Bain Collection

Between the rain, the mud and the darkness, the White Sox didn’t fare so well in the conditions of their home opener.

A day later, it was the Browns who couldn’t handle Mother Nature, this time taking the form of high winds at Comiskey Park. The White Sox had no such complaints. Multiple St. Louis errors contributed to a four-run second, putting the White Sox on their way to stopping a losing streak before it began.

Eddie Cicotte’s dream of a second no-hitter died immediately, as Burt Shotton led off with a triple. He came around to score for a quick 1-0 lead, but the White Sox erased the deficit immediately with help from the Browns. Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Examiner described it thusly:

[St. Louis starter Allen] Sothoron dug his own grave in the second and the Browns threw in the dirt. The spitballer started the round by grazing [Joe] Jackson’s shirt with a pitched ball. [Happy] Felsch treid to sacrifice, but failed at that, so he cracked a single over Pratt’s dome. [Chick] Gandil bunted to Sothoron, who made a late and wild throw to thrid base, letting Jackson score. When [Jimmy] Austin recovered the pill he spotted Gandil far off first base. He threw just as “Chick” intended he should, and before [George] Sisler had retrieved the peg Felsch had scored. [Buck] Weaver’s pop fell safe in left and Shotton threw to catch Gandil at third, but this peg also went wild and “Chick” scored, while “Buck” raced around to third. He scored after Cicotte’s long fly.

All of those four runs were unearned. The box score says the same about the fifth run the White Sox scored in the sixth, but that’s less clear from the game accounts. They scratched together a run on a bloop single, a couple of infield hits and sac fly.

Cicotte, while mortal, held the Browns to two runs on seven hits while going the distance. He faced the biggest threat in the sixth, when St. Louis scored a run and had runners on second and third with one out, but Cicotte rallied for a strikeout and groundout, and he wasn’t threatened again.

Record: 6-2 | Box score