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Sox Century: May 14, 1917

Ping Bodie receives roses in return to Chicago, but White Sox end up on top

Ping Bodie
Ping Bodie, shown with the Sox in 1914.
Library of Congress

The White Sox survived two consecutive series with an offense that could best be described as invisible, but with the cellar-dwelling Philadelphia Athletics rolling into town, Pants Rowland’s crew had a chance to shake off another “hitless” label.

The Sox took the season series opener against the A’s with hits in bunches -- or more specifically, a bunch. The White Sox beat Philadelphia 6-2 despite being outhit 5-4 thanks to some splendid sequencing.

Philadelphia led 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but Connie Mack had to go to his bullpen earlier than anticipated. Walter Anderson held the Sox hitless through three, but he issued five walks, including a pair to start the fourth inning. When third baseman Ray Bates booted Joe Jackson’s sac bunt to load the bases, Connie Mack went to his bullpen for Socks Seibold, who limited the damage to a run-scoring fielder’s choice.

When Seibold came out for the fifth, the White Sox emptied their bag of hits. Swede Risberg doubled to end the no-hit bid, then moved to third on Ray Schalk’s bunt single and scored on Reb Russell’s fly, tying the game at 2. Seibold then allowed the Sox to form a second wave by issuing a pair of walks to load the bases. Eddie Collins brought home Schalk with an infield single, and after Jackson struck out, Happy Felsch delivered a two-run single to cap off a four-run assault.

The Sox were held hitless before and after, although they still managed to score a run in the sixth on a double steal after a walk, productive out and stolen base. That provided more than enough support for Russell, who went the distance. He held the A’s to the two runs on five hits and a pair of walks.

The first meeting between the A’s and Sox also produced the return of Ping Bodie to the South Side. Bodie spent the first four years in Chicago, where he became a fan favorite for his personality as much as his production (he set a home run record that lasted seven years). After spending all of 1915 and 1916 in the minors, Bodie resurfaced with the A’s. Never modest, Bodie said of his one season on Connie Mack’s team, “I and the Liberty Bell are the only attractions in Philadelphia.” He had a point.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the fans didn’t forget him.

Ping Bodie’s comeback was a feature of the scrap. The former fence buster was welcomed to his first major league home by relays of roses. He had to stop swinging his bat the first two times up to doff his lid and read the cards on two bouquets from local admirers. The first time Ping popped out, then next time he whiffed, so his friends refrained from jinxing him any more. The third time up [Nemo] Leibold robbbed Ping of a long drive close to the right field barrier, and Ping went hitless, taking all the perfume out of the roses.

Record: 17-12 | Box score