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Sox Century: April 25, 1917

Winning streak comes to an end in a steady rain

Eddie Cicotte
Eddie Cicotte

The White Sox’ four-game winning streak came to an end on this day, although the Chicago Tribune’s I.E. Sanborn wondered why they and the Indians even played.

There was no perceptible reason for playing the game. It rained before, during and after the battle, and there wasn’t even any crowd on hand to see it.

Indeed, the box score lists Comiskey’s parks estimated attendance at 1,000. The rain starting letting up around the scheduled start time, so the teams bet on a better forecast that never materialized.

Irving Vaughn of the Chicago Examiner wasn’t as sympathetic, instead loading up his story with military metaphors as Congress was mobilizing to vote for a draft in World War I.

Pants Rowland’s light infantry was shy on ammunition yesterday and the Cleveland Indians atoned for what happened in the first game of the series. Where the Sox were weak the Tribe showed plenty of strength, slamming out enough hits to win a clean-cut 4 to 1 affair.

The weather didn’t have any effect on the play as described by the papers. In fact, it was tied at 1 after five. Eddie Cicotte allowed a quick run in the first when Tris Speaker doubled home a leadoff walk, but Happy Felsch knotted it up by tripling and scoring on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman was a thorn in Cicotte’s side all day, and he started the fateful rally with an infield single in the sixth. Speaker executed a hit-and-run that resulted in a RBI double, and Chapman took the last 90 feet when seeing the throw come into second.

Cicotte briefly stabilized by catching Speaker in a rundown after fielding a comebacker, and he retired Lou Guisto for a second out. Braggo Roth kept the inning alive with a shank RBI double behind first base, and Joe Evans singled him home to give the Indians a 4-1 lead. Reb Russell relieved Cicotte afterward, and he and Dave Danforth kept Cleveland scoreless over the last three innings.

That was more than enough for Fritz Coumbe, who went the distance. He couldn’t retire Felsch, who went 3-for-3 with the triple and a double as well. Eddie Collins and Buck Weaver were the only other Sox with hits, as the non-Felsch part of the lineup went 2-for-27.

Record: 9-3 | Box score