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Sox Century: July 2, 1917

Getaway day used to mean something

The headline in the Chicago Examiner on July 3, 1917.

The White Sox hadn’t lost three games in a row since the first week of May, but a third consecutive sloppy game made such a skid a distinct possibility.

Red Faber stepped up and earned the save, but maybe it should have gone to bell instead. The White Sox held off a late-rallying Indians team through seven innings, after which both teams had to catch trains. The White Sox led 4-3 at the time, and so it was a 4-3 White Sox winner.

Weather didn’t seem to play a factor in it — it’s more that teams couldn’t charter trains, and instead had to abide by hard schedules set by others. The first seven innings took two hours thanks to 11 walks between the two clubs, and the White Sox had a 5:55 p.m. Detroit-bound train to catch. Getaway day used to have consequences.

The Indians had a couple chances to escape with a tie or better. The White Sox took a 4-2 lead into the sixth, and Cleveland whittled a run off the lead with a Hank DeBerry RBI single that put runners on corners with one out. Jack Graney followed with a hard liner to center, but Happy Felsch was able to make a great catch coming in. He froze Joe Evans at third, as Evans had drifted off the bag, perhaps expecting it to drop. Dave Danforth was able to get Ray Chapman to foul out to end that threat.

When the seventh inning rolled around, Danforth found himself in another jam immediately. Part of it wasn’t his fault, as he walked Tris Speaker only after Bird Lynn failed to catch a pop-up. But when he started Bobby Roth with ball one, Pants Rowland went to Faber. It worked -- Roth bunted, and Joe Harris and Bill Wambsganss both grounded out.

Thanks to Faber’s effort and the train schedules, the White Sox were able to win based solely on the strength of their second inning. Danforth fell behind 2-0 in the first thanks to Speaker, who contributed an RBI double and scored on a Roth single.

The White Sox roared right back with a four-run second, and the Chicago Tribune has the play-by-play:

[Joe] Boehling didn’t last long when the second round began. [Chick] Gandil got the ball of three and two and tripled to right center. [Swede] Risberg got the call of three and two and singled, sending Gandil home, then Bowling was yanked and [Otis] Lambeth came forth. He hit Lynn with the first ball pitched, then Danforth dumped a bunt toward first base. Harris scooped it and fired to third for a force play, but he was an instant late, for Risberg slid in safely, and the bases were filled.

[Nemo] Leibold replaced [Shano] Collins and walked, forcing Risberg home, then [Buck] Weaver came up and slashed a single to right, sending in Lynn and Danforth. It looked like the stampede was just started, but Weaver tried to steal and was killed, after which [Eddie] Collins and [Joe] Jackson died meekly.

That was about it for the White Sox afterward. As the Chicago Examiner put it, “Outside of this inning the Chicagoans did not look like a hitting aggregation.”

Record: 44-24 | Box score