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Sox Century: June 26, 1917

The White Sox split a doubleheader with the Tigers

Joe Jackson and Swede Risberg, apparently.

The opener of the White Sox-Tigers series was rained out, forcing the first of two consecutive doubleheaders at Comiskey Park.

As Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Examiner said about the way it opened, “The least said about the opening clash the better. Urban (“Red”) Faber started, but some punk baseball in the second frame put him in Dutch and three men scored.”

If that wasn’t enough old-timey vernacular, it explains the “punk” description in the notes: “Faber’s troubles started in the second inning of the first game when [Joe] Jackson and [Swede] Risberg did an Alphonse and Gaston on [George] Burns’ pop up.” I hadn’t heard of Alphonse and Gaston -- pictured above — but the Wikipedia synopsis of the comic strip makes sense:

The strip's premise was that both were extremely polite, constantly bowing and deferring to each other. Neither could ever do anything or go anywhere because each insisted on letting the other precede him.

Faber was lifted after three innings, as the Sox gained back one run of Detroit’s 4-0 lead. Alas, none of the pitchers Pants Rowland tried were effective. Joe Benz gave up a run in his inning of work, and Albany’s Mellie Wolfgang finished it, having to wear three runs in the ninth.

The Tigers outhit the Sox 16-6, as the Sox couldn’t inflict any meaningful damage on Willie Mitchell, who went the distance for a 9-2 Detroit victory. The highlight on the Sox’ side might have been Bird Lynn winning a battle with Ty Cobb, according to the Chicago Tribune:

Cobb discovered that Bird Lynn is not the kind of a guardian of the home plate to be kicked out of the way. Ty tried to score from second in the sixth when [Chick] Gandil dropped a bad throw from Risberg at first base. Gandil recovered and shot home and Ty slid in his most desperate fashion but was completely blocked off by Lynn.

The White Sox were able to gain the game back. While Mitchell stifled them in the opener, they had no problems with Bill James in the second game, tagging him for four runs over the first three innings. Happy Felsch factored into the final two, swatting an RBI triple and scoring on Gandil’s single. James settled in afterward, but it was enough of a cushion for Lefty Williams, who carried the lead into the ninth before a Tiger threat forced Rowland to call on Dave Danforth.

Williams had given up two runs in the ninth on a sac fly, because Nemo Leibold made a wild attempt to get the runner at third. While costly, the error did clear the bases with one out, giving Williams a chance to reset. Instead, Oscar Stanage doubled and was replaced by the speedy Bob Jones, so Rowland went to the bullpen. Danforth did the job, getting Sam Crawford to pop out before freezing Donie Bush for strike three.

With the win, Williams improved to 9-0 on the season, which still stands as the franchise record for the most wins without a loss to start the season. Jose Contreras (2006) and Chris Sale (2016) grabbed a share of it in recent seasons.

Record: 40-21 | Game 1 box | Game 2 box