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Sox Century: May 2, 1917

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Shano Collins helps White Sox bust out of slump in rout of Cleveland

Shano Collins.
Library of Congress / Bain News Service

Thanks to a pair of rainouts at Comiskey Park, the scuffling White Sox had an opportunity to regroup before heading to Cleveland.

It worked.

After scoring four runs over their previous five games, the White Sox exploded in an 8-3 victory over the Indians at Dunn Field. As the Chicago Examiner’s Irving Vaughan put it:

Nothing could stop the White Sox to-day — not Fritz Coumbe, knock-kneed jinx. The Chicagoans were out with fire in their eyes, and they hammered the pill in a way that made it hard to believe they were recent victims of a batting slump.

Shano Collins led the way, going 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs, two runs and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot. He also shifted from right field to left field after Joe Jackson departed the game with an illness, where the Chicago Tribune’s I.E. Sanborn said he “made some miraculous catches of long drives.” No details are given in either account.

The game was a pitching duel through four innings. Collins scored in the first for the Sox, but only because two errors helped him cover 180 of the 270 feet he needed to score after his leadoff single. Otherwise, Coumbe had stifled the Sox. Likewise, Lefty Williams struck out five through the first three innings before running into some trouble in the fourth.

The White Sox finally broke through for their sorely needed crooked number in the fifth. Williams walked with one out, and Coumbe paid for walking the pitcher when Collins and Buck Weaver tripled back-to-back. That gave the Sox a 3-1 lead, and a sac fly by Eddie Collins added a run. A similar extra-base barrage in the sixth put the game out of reach.

Jackson’s midgame departure was the only sour note, as it added to the difficult start to his 1917. He went 0-for-2, dragging his season line down to .222/.310/.317 in what was the toughest stretch of his worst full season.

He wasn’t alone. In fact, Eddie Collins struggled even more, finishing April with a .164 average. The future Hall of famer began dusting himself off on his 30th birthday, going going 2-for-3 with a double and the sac fly. That raised his average to .190, and while he wouldn’t find his stride until the last month or so of the season, this was the last day he spent under the Mendoza Line, even if it didn’t exist under that name back then.

Record: 11-6 | Box score