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Sox Century: May 30, 1917

Rainout scuttles a doubleheader, but hey, new uniforms!

The flag patch on the 1917 uniforms.
Library of Congress

We’ve learned that doubleheaders had a big drawing effect for MLB clubs in 1917. When today’s doubleheader with the St. Louis Browns was washed out, here’s how I.E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune responded:

Attention of Hinton G. Clabaugh is called to the local weather bureau. Chicago was the only spot in the major leagues where they couldn’t play baseball yesterday. So far as known, President Comiskey is the only club owner donated 10 per cent of his receipts to the Red Cross fund, which was deprived of a considerable sum by local meteorological conditons. The fans would like Mr. Clabaugh to ascertain whether the head of the weather bureau is anti-Red Cross, or merely cross with Comiskey.

Earlier in the month, the Tribune described Clabaugh, a federal agent, as “the chief spy hunter in the middle west” in a story about the apprehension of a suspected German agent. Even writers from 100 years ago weren’t immune from the topical lede.

Besides spoiling the chance at a good gate, the weather also deprived the White Sox of a considerable advantage when it came to the teams’ fortunes. The White Sox extended their streak to 13-1-1 over their last 15 games with the 4-2 victory over St. Louis in the opener, whereas the Browns fell to 1-11-1 over their last 13 with the loss.

Alas, all the White Sox save Red Faber had to head to Philadelphia for a four-game series against Connie Mack’s Athletics. Faber had been dealing with a back muscle strain, which was originally described as lumbago. He hadn’t pitched since an abbreviated loss to the Tigers on April 29.

While previewing the start of the five-city road trip, the Chicago Examiner’s Irving Vaughan described a change in uniform design.

During the eastern trip the Sox will treat the seaboard fans to something entirely new in the uniform line. It was one of Comiskey’s teams that was first to get away from the long-endured blue road uniforms. Gray was substituted. A tan, something a few shades lighter than the olive drab of the army, is the newest thing. Decorating each left sleeve is an American flag and the battle insignia Sox is worked in red, white and blue on the shirts.