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Sox Century: July 1, 1917

Eddie Cicotte’s wildness on and off the mound cost him

The Chicago Examiner headline from July 2, 1917.

Eddie Cicotte was his own worst enemy today.

Cicotte gave up three runs in the eighth inning of what had been a 2-2 game against the Cleveland Indians, and while the box score says they’re unearned, they were all entirely within his control.

Or, as the Chicago Examiner put it:

Rowland’s White Sox suffered something that resembled a convulsion to-day, and the result was another trimming at the hands of the Indians. Eddie Cicotte was the chief invalid, two errors by him handing the home tribe three runs and a 5 to 4 game in the eighth.

The Chicago Tribune provided the details, under the heading “This Is Awful Stuff.”

Cicotte started that round by walking [Steve] O’Neil and [Ivan] Howard went out to run the bases. [Fritz] Coumbe dumped a bunt right down to Cicotte and there was an easy force play at second, but he shot the ball so wide and high it got away from [Swede] Risberg and both men were safe. [Jack] Graney then dumped a bunt toward third and Cicotte handled it and flung it clear over [Chick] Gandil’s head to the pavilion, letting Howard score, while Coumbe went to third and Graney to second.

With the infield drawn in, [Ray] Chapman poked a measly little Texas leaguer just over second base for a single and both Coumbe and Graney came home.

The White Sox rallied to threaten the Indians’ lead because Pants’ boys don’t quit. Two walks from Coumbe came around to score on a Buck Weaver double, and Eddie Collins had a chance to get the tying run home. He instead grounded out to second to end the game.

The Sox were only able to erase one of the times they fell behind due to shoddy defense. The Indians scored two runs in the first because Joe Jackson failed to keep a Roth single from turning into an RBI triple with two outs. Compounding problems, Roth then stole home, giving the Indians a 2-1 lead. The White Sox regained the run in the third when Weaver took advantage of a wild return throw, turning a foul popout into a sacrifice fly.

The Sox mounted enough of a threat to knock Guy Morton from the game. They only tagged the Cleveland starter for two runs over three innings, but it came on six hits and a walk. By that measure, Coumbe was twice as effective, scattering six hits over six innings and holding the Sox scoreless until the Indians built a lead too big to fail.

Record: 43-24 | Box score