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Sox Century: June 13, 1917

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White Sox drop a second consecutive combative extra-inning affair to the Yankees

Wild Bill Donovan and the nose the White Sox ridiculed.
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

This time, the White Sox turned the tables on the Yankees by coming through int he ninth inning and shoving the game into extra innings.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t get the second part done. Roger Peckenpaugh doubled off Joe Benz with one out, then scored on Les Nunamaker’s shot down the line for a 7-6 winner, and the Yankees’ second consecutive extra-inning victory over the White Sox at the Polo Grounds.

More personal insults inflamed the tension, according to the New York Tribune:

Clarence Pants Rowland irritated the Yankees by making certain personal references to the nose, beak or proboscis of Wild William Donovan. This beak has been a more or less ornamental landmark of the Yankee bench, and the Yanks resented the slurs cast in its direction. The repartee flew thick and fast, with the Yanks having a shade.

The White Sox outhit the Yankees 19-14, including a whopping 18 off Nick Cullop. Fifteen of those hits came over the first eight innings, but the Sox only scored three runs from it. As the Chicago Examiner’s Irving Vaughan put it:

Just how a team can make base hit after base hit and avoid scoring is something beyond us. The Sox did it, however. They did worse, including some soft brain work and bum pitching. They all had a brain fag or a dozen more runs might have counted.

(That is transcribed correctly.)

Cullop “not only had a horseshoe about his person to-day, he had the entire blacksmith shop,” and that luck encouraged Donovan to coax a complete game out of him. However, disaster finally struck Cullop after he spent the day courting it. The White Sox tied the game with a three-spot, and all after two outs.

Trailing 6-3, it looked like Home Run Baker had stalled a potential rally by starting a 5-3 double play for the first two outs of the ninth. That left Cullop with a runner on second, two outs and two runs to work with. Swede Risberg kept the inning alive with an infield single, and a walk to Ray Schalk loaded the bases.

Up came Joe Jenkins to pinch-hit for Albany’s Mellie Wolfgang, and he singled to drive in two and cut the New York lead to one. It was only after the White Sox’ 18th hit off Cullop that Donovan finally went to the bullpen for Ray Caldwell ...

... whose first pitch was a wild one, tying the game. Cue more trash talk:

This lease of life filled the Sox with hope and eloquence. They began to make even more caustic remarks concerning the beak, proboscis or nose of Wild Williams Donovan. This further excited the yanks to deeds of daring and violence, and they centred [sic] all their wrath in a tenth inning drive that smashed the Sox for fair.

Alas, all of Rowland’s work went for naught. And he did work harder. One day after Eddie Cicotte pitched 1123 innings, Pants Rowland emptied out the pitching staff by 1910s standards. Reb Russell saw a 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 deficit on his watch in the fourth, and when gave up a run-scoring triple in the fifth, Dave Danforth came in to freeze the game.

The Sox had runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the inning, so Rowland decided to pinch-hit Bird Lynn for Danforth. But Danforth bounced back to the mound and Shano Collins popped out to end the threat, and Rowland had to get through the final four innings without his best reliever.

Wolfgang, making only his second appearance of the year, pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh, with the White Sox cutting the lead to 4-3 on three singles in the top of the seventh. When Wolfgang came out to work the eighth, the bottom of the Yankee order was able to punch across two more runs, which seemingly put the game out of reach until the White Sox rallied.

The Yankees had the last laugh, though, and the New York Tribune sounded fairly confident about the Yankees’ chance in the Flag Day doubleheader.

The White Sox will have a chance to lose two games and their lead today. They will meet the embattled Yanks in a double-header, the first game of which will start at 1:45. It being Flag Day, the Yankee management will provide miniature American flags for all patriots who choose to celebrate by watching the Pallid Sox suffer and grow more pale.

Record: 33-17 | Box score