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Sox Century: June 21, 1917

Eddie Cicotte outdueled by Jim Bagby

Jim Bagby
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

Eddie Cicotte’s up-and-down June found some momentum in the right direction when he threw a complete game against the Indians. He held them to just a run on five hits and a couple walks.

Unfortunately, Cleveland’s Jim Bagby managed to be even tougher.

The Indians struck for a quick run in the first inning on three soft batted balls -- an infield single, a chopper over the head of Cicotte, and a fielder’s choice that was an eyelash from being a 4-6-3 double play. The White Sox ace settled down after that, but his offense never unsettled Bagby.

Babgy held the Sox to just three hits and two walks while going the distance, and the Chicago Tribune gave the Cleveland starter most of the credit for the shutout.

Bagby hasn’t a world of speed, neither has he a tremendous curve. He doesn’ tbother with the spitter or the knuckle ball, nor has he ever been accused of using the emery or the shine ball. All he seems to do is deliver the ball over the plate, sometimes with a deal of speed, sometimes slowly, sometimes high and sometimes low.

One thing Bagby possessed was a world of control. He seemed able to mix up an assortment of stuff in such a manner that he had the Sox batters fooled most of the time. Then Mr. Bagby had splendid luck. Several times some one of the south siders hit the ball squarely on the nose in a vicious manner, but generally right at some fielder.

The Chicago Examiner said some of the wounds were self-inflicted:

Much of Bagby’s effectiveness was due to a flawless defense and the Sox’ inability to bunt. This shortcoming precipitated two double plays. In the first [Buck] Weaver couldn’t advance [Nemo] Liebold [sic; the Examiner usually flipped the vowels] who had opened with a pass. He finished by whiffing and Liebold was nipped trying to steal on the third strike. Eddie Collins then doubled and [Joe] Jackson singled, but Eddie took the long way home and [Jack] Graney’s perfect throw to the plate cut him down. In the third [Ray] Schalk started with a pass, but Cicotte didn’t have a bunt in his system and smashed into a twin-killing. After this [Chick] Gandil was the only man to reach base. He singled in the fifth and would have scored if [Tommy] Connolly had watched [Swede] Risberg’s drive just a bit closer.

Tommy Connolly was the first base umpire, and Irving Vaughan said he blew a call on a blooper down the right-field line that supposedly dotted the chalk. The Tribune’s James Cruisinberry didn’t make mention of it, but he did cite Connolly when discussing the usual array of accusations lobbed at Cicotte.

There was a lot of squabbling again over the condition of the ball. Ump. Connolly threw out one ball being used by Cicotte and the Indians were kicking about others, all of which seems useless and unnecessary. It certainly is most uninteresting.

Record: 36-20 | Box score