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Sox Century: July 13, 1917

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Compare the accounts describing the game’s decisive play

The headline from the New York Tribune on July 14, 1917.

If there’s one thing that’s remarkable to me about following the everyday news cycle of the 1917 White Sox, it’s that reporters couldn’t watch plays twice. So when a crazy sequence decides the game in, say, the 11th inning, witnesses only had once chance to sort out the truth.

Here are three accounts of the way the Yankees scored the winning run in a 6-5 victory. I’ll provide the setup: Roger Peckinpaugh reached on a single off Red Faber’s stomach, took second on a sacrifice bunt, and then Wally Pipp singled to center.

Now, the Chicago Tribune:

Hap Felsch dashed in, came up with the ball, and made a beauty of a peg to [Ray] Schalk. The ball hit in Ray’s glove just as [Roger] Peckinpaugh slid into him, and the collision occurred about three feet to the third base side of the plate. Schalk had Peckinpaugh blocked off the plate by more than a food, but the ball bounced out of his glove and fell in front of him. While still piled on top of Peckinpaugh and necessarily holding him immovable upon the ground, Schalk reached out, picked up the ball, and slapped it on the runner’s toe, which was still more than a foot from the plate.

Umpire [Billy] Evans shook his head and pronounced Roger safe at home and declared Schalk had deliberately held him after dropping the ball. There was quite an argument from the Sox players and Peckinpaugh showed an inclination to punch Schalk with his fist, but that did no good. The run was over. [...]

It looked as if Schalk made the play the only way he could have made it, for he was in the midst of the collision when the ball got away from him and he didn’t scramble off the player to recover the ball because the ball was right htere a few inches from his hand where he simply grabbed it and slapped it on the man.

The Chicago Examiner:

Felsch hustled the pill back to the plate, but Schalk was so engrossed in his task of blocking the runner that he neglected to hold the pill. It rolled from him, but meanwhile he squatted on Peck, kept him from reaching the plate, recovered and tagged his man, but Ump Evans decreed him safe. The Sox protested, but accomplished nothing.

And the New York Tribune:

Felsch made just that kind of stop and throw. The ball had Peckinpaugh beaten by a couple of yards. Ray Schalk dropped on Roger. But he also dropped the ball. Peck was pinned down fully a foot from his goal Schalk had a strangle hold on the runner, and while he held him recovered the ball and tagged his man. Umpire Billy Evans, however, allowed the shortstop to score, claiming Schalk had illegally held the runner while he recovered the dropped throw.

A.J. Pierzynski would have gotten away with it.

Update:

Record: 50-30 | Box score