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Sox Century: June 30, 1917

A five-error effort undermines the pitching in Cleveland

The Chicago Tribune headline from July 1, 1917.

After winning seven of nine, the White Sox were due for a slip-up.

They slipped up in this one to the tune of five errors and three pitchers. The White Sox peaked with a run in the top of the first, and the Indians scored the final 11.

The pitching was divided rather evenly between Lefty Williams (three innings), Jim Scott (three) and Joe Benz (two), none of whom were that effective. Then again, it was difficult to separate their effort from the defense played around them.

The Chicago Tribune summed it up:

On defensive playing the Sox simply were awful. They made five errors. Even Hap Felsch dropped a fly ball, incredible as that may seem. Buck Weaver heaved one to the pavilion, something he was supposed to have forgotten how to do.

And then there was the almost unbelievable showing of Ray Schalk as a catcher. It always has been a pleasure to see him peg ‘em out at second. Well, Ray probably is glad the folks at home didn’t see him today, but we must tell ‘em about it just the same. Five fellows stole second on Ray, and there was a bad peg every time. No one else tried to steal second or there might have been more stolen bases.

Both Felsch and Schalk suffered additional insults. Tris Speaker scored from second on a sacrifice fly to deep center field. It’s unclear based on the reports how casually Felsch threw the ball in, but he hit the cutoff man Swede Risberg, who couldn’t get it home in time.

Schalk, meanwhile, added to the baserunning deficit with a TOOTBLAN. With the Sox trailing 5-1 in the fifth, Schalk, tried to get back in it by leading off with a double, then taking third on an out. When Nemo Leibold hit a grounder to third that Joe Evans couldn’t handle, Schalk neither broke for home nor returned to the bag. His vapor lock resulted in the second out and the loss of any chance to pose a threat, fleeting as it was.

Record: 43-23 | Box score