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Sox Century: May 13, 1917

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White Sox use Eddie Cicotte’s two-hitter to get split with Yankees

Eddie Cicotte
George Grantham Bain Collection / Library of Congress

Once again, the White Sox were able to salvage a split despite an offense that continued to be missing in action.

Credit Eddie Cicotte, who lowered his ERA to 0.88 with a two-hitter as he continued to build upon an already masterful May. He extended his scoreless innings streak to 22, and hadn’t allowed an earned run over his 27 innings this month. According to the Chicago Tribune’s I.E. Sanborn, Cicotte was so dominant that the Yankees suspected foul play.

So very good was Eddie that he whiffed nine of the chesty Broadwayites, which peeved them so deeply they accused him of inventing a new brand of emery ball. [Wild Bill] Donovan and his tribe kept demanding to look at the ball until Umpire [Silk] O’Laughlin, after repeated examinations and delays, refused to sanction any more farcical inspections.

Whereupon the Yankees tried to play horse with Silk by gumming up the ball when it was [Nick] Cullop’s turn to start an inning. The arbitrator retaliated by giving Cullop a brand new sphere, and when they continued the horse play until the new ball was as black as the back of a Pittsburgher’s neck, O’Laughlin slapped a fine of $5 on Cullop.

(The Chicago Examiner’s account said O’Loughlin inspected a Cicotte baseball “at least a dozen times.”)

Cicotte only allowed two singles and a walk. Two of those runners reached second, and nobody made it to third. The Chicago papers only noted one standout defensive play, when Shano Collins ran down a drive with two outs and a runner on second in the fifth.

Cullop was nearly as good, holding the Sox to just five singles and a pair of walks over eight innings. However, the White Sox were able to take advantage of a dreaded leadoff walk of Eddie Collins in the fourth. Joe Jackson bunted him to second and Happy Felsch singled him home to provide the game’s only run.

With the win, the White Sox eased back into second place in front of the Yankees by a half-game. They trailed Boston by 212 games, but the White Sox had played seven more games than the Red Sox at this point. As cold and damp as the weather had been around Chicago, the Northeast was getting it worse.

Two bench players made their 1917 debuts in this one. Ted Jourdan spelled Chick Gandil at first, as Gandil was fighting a cold. Bird Lynn caught Cicotte in place of Ray Schalk, whom the Tribune said was “nursing a sore finger on his throwing hand.” Up until that point, Schalk had caught the first 27 games of the season, including both ends of a pair of doubleheaders.

Both Jourdan and Lynn went 0-for-3.

Record: 16-12 | Box score