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Sox Century: July 21, 1917

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The White Sox and Red Sox wrestle to a 15-inning tie

The Chicago Examiner headline from July 22, 1917.

In the third game of a key midsummer series against the Boston Red Sox, the White Sox refused to lose.

Technically, so did the Red Sox. The game ended in a 5-5 tie, but the White Sox probably came away with the moral victory. For one, they held the 2½-game lead in the standings. More to the point, they found ways to answer every time Boston scored.

When the Red Sox scored one in the second, the White Sox scored one in the fourth.

When the White Sox defense botched its way into allowing three runs in the sixth, the offense answered with three runs off Dutch Leonard in the bottom of the inning.

And when Boston finally got to Dave Danforth in his eighth inning of a relief appearance, the White Sox responded with a run off Babe Ruth in the sixth inning of his.

So when the three-hour, 55-minute game in front of 22,000 fans at Comiskey Park was called on account of darkness, the White Sox probably came away feeling better about the result.

If the home team had one regret, its defense was awful. The White Sox committed a whopping six errors to Boston’s zero. An Eddie Collins error led to Boston’s first run, and three White Sox errors in the sixth led to the Red Sox’ crooked number. In fact, none of the four runs Faber allowed were unearned (although Faber committed one of the three sixth-inning errors with a wild throw).

Despite the mistakes, the Sox did find ways to step up. With two outs in the sixth, Joe Jackson lined a triple to left center for two runs, and Happy Felsch drove in him with an infield single to tie the game. Jackson almost scored the winning run in the 13th, too, but he was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second, turning an attempted 4-6-3 double play into a longer-but-successful 4-6-3-2 one.

The Chicago Examiner singled out Swede Risberg for his effort. In the 10th, he made a difficult stop and throw to retire Harry Hooper to strand runners on second and third. After Boston took the lead in the 14th, he started the home half with a triple, scoring two batters later on a Bird Lynn grounder thanks to a huge secondary lead.

Buck Weaver had an eventful game for reasons that didn’t affect the score. He mixed it up with Boston’s Jimmy Walsh after Walsh bumped him during a tag, causing the Comiskey crowd to heckle Walsh the rest of the game. Later on, Weaver contributed to the advancing darkness, according to the Tribune.

Buck Weaver possibly established a baseball record in the fifteenth inning when he fouled off seventeen balls before he finally flied out. It got so bad that they ran out of balls and had to stop play. Buck sat down on the ground to rest and Eddie Collins, who was following Buck, went back and sat on the bench. For a time it looked as if darkness would stop the game before Buck could get out.

The Tribune also said that it looked unlikely that Weaver would serve in World War I, even with an early draft number, as he could claim exemption due to being married and supporting his father.

Record: 56-32 | Box score