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Sox Century: May 24, 1917

Reb Russell goes the distance and then some in his shutout

Ewell “Reb” Russell.
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

There are pitchers’ duels, and there’s what the White Sox’ Reb Russell and Washington’s George Dumont found themselves locked in on this day.

Russell and Dumont, with the help of fantastic defense behind them, kept the opponents off the board into extra innings. Only in the 12th did the White Sox walk it off, but it required Joe Jackson to run like hell. From the Chicago Examiner:

The ‘General’ opened the twelfth with a single to right, and [Happy] Felsch moved him to second with a sacrifice. [Chick] Gandil was up with two strikes when Du Mont [sic] heaved a wide, low ball to the plate. It shot past [John] Henry and rolled to the stand, and although the pill was back at the pan about the time Jackson arrived the latter hooked his way to safety and sent the bugs scattering homeward to late supper.

Yup, some classic two-base #wildpitchoffense allowed Russell to take home a well-deserved victory. He only tossed 12 scoreless innings, scattering 11 hits. He might not have received much in the way of offense, but both teams brought their gloves, according to the Chicago Tribune:

It was one of those pitchers’ combats which are not dull, for there was action in almost every inning, and anywhere along the route a slip was good for the game. But the fatal slip was a long time arriving.

Both pitchers were excellent at pitching out of trouble. The Senators turned three double plays to the White Sox’ two — including twice on Eddie Collins — but Russell was able to induce one to end a seventh inning that started with runners on the corners and nobody out after a pair of singles.

One strange thing about this box score: though the teams combined for 19 hits, nobody had a one-hit game. Both teams have five hitters apiece who wore the collar, with the other racking up two or more hits. In fact, the White Sox’ 9-1-2 hitters combined to go 6-for-12, yet they couldn’t score a run among them.

Russell, a great hitter for a pitcher and batting ninth, tried to win the game himself. In the third, he tripled with one out, but was stranded with a strikeout and a flyout. He was also robbed of another potential triple on a great running catch by Clyde Milan in center in the sixth, and ended up on third with another single, too. He raised his batting line to .333/.375/.467 while lowering his ERA to 1.18.

Record: 24-13 | Box score