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Sox Century: June 4, 1917

Another exhibition, another Happy Felsch hit, another win against the Philadelphia A’s

The headline from the Chicago Examiner.

It was weird enough that the White Sox spent an off day playing an exhibition game against minor leaguers in Waterloo, Iowa. At least that was between series.

This time, in the day between the series opener against Philadelphia and today’s tilt, the White Sox played against the Newark Bears of the International League. They thrashed them 9-3 even without the services of Joe Jackson, Eddie Collins and Ray Schalk, but still, it’s hard to fathom how this ended up being a regular thing.

As SABR’s Jacob Pomrenke pointed out to me after the last one:

Anyway, the real series against the A’s resumed today, and the White Sox resumed dispatching them with relative ease, this time winning 4-2. Once again, Happy Felsch provided the winning margin in the first inning. This time, he cleared the wall to do so.

The White Sox were already up 1-0 thanks to a throwing error and a Jackson RBI single. Then Felsch came to the plate and brought the thunder, according to the Chicago Tribune’s James Cruisinberry:

Some Drive, Believe Us.
Felsch’s blow today was a screamer. It was awful high and awful far. It was so high both center field and left fielder had time to race to the wall directly under the spot where it went over. The left field made what looked to be a four foot leap straight up and yet couldn’t block the ball.

Trying to get an image of what this might look like, this is the best angle I can find of Shibe Park from the 1910s.

Shibe Park, 1913
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

Felsch’s blast gave the White Sox a 3-0 lead against Philadelphia starter Win Noyes (“His first name seemed to mean nothing to the White Sox and they had him in the shower after three rounds,” wrote Irving Vaughan of the Chicago Examiner).

Reb Russell was able to nurse it the distance. He gave a run back in the second inning due to what the Tribune described as “two hits, both scratchy, and a bad throw by E. Collins.” The Sox stretched the lead back to three in the top of the third with a scratched run of their own — walk, infield hit, sac bunt, walk, groundout -- and Philadelphia never really posed much of a threat afterward. The White Sox ran their record against Connie Mack to 6-0 on the season.

Record: 29-13 | Box score