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Sox Century: June 24, 1917

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White Sox take four out of five from Cleveland after the best start of Dave Danforth’s career

Dave Danforth
Charles M. Conlon / Detroit Public Library

After a hard-fought 15-inning victory that required three relief pitchers, the entire bench and starting pitcher Reb Russell in left field, the White Sox could’ve used a good start.

As luck would have it, Dave Danforth turned in the best start of his career.

Usually confined to the fireman role, Danforth started this one and turned heads with his effort. The Sox needed every bit of Danforth’s three-hitter, squeezing out a run in the eighth inning to beat the Indians by a 1-0 score and take four out of five in the series.

Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Examiner described Danforth’s outing:

Danforth’s work was nothing short of a revelation. He started out in a businesslike fashion and finished that way. Three times he was nicked for singles, three times [Swede] Risberg committed fielding blunders, and twice batters were walked. With this collection of opportunities the Indians could get only one man as far as third base. That was Bobby Roth, who singled to open the second, and died in a brazen attempt to steal home.

Risberg had missed the previous two games with a hip injury, and he didn’t look 100 percent in the field, committing two poor throws and booting a grounder. Nevertheless, Danforth found ways to escape and outlasted Cleveland’s Joe Boehling, who only allowed three hits himself.

In fact, Boehling kept the Sox hitless through six innings. Risberg broke up the no-hitter with a double in the seventh, and two hits in the eighth were enough to push a run across, although it required a mental lapse by Boehling in between, according to the Examiner:

[Buck] Weaver opened that session with a clean single over short. On a hit and run Eddie Collins bounced to the pitcher, who threw to second. Weaver was already there, so both men were safe with none down. [Joe] Jackson bunted, Boehling pounced on the pill and shot it to third in time to force Buck. This put matters up to John Collins, and after following off a couple he looped the pill over [shortstop Ray] Chapman’s dome, and E. Collins scored.

The victory allowed the White Sox to gain a half-game on idle Boston, with Ty Cobb’s Detroit Tigers coming to town next.

Record: 39-20 | Box score