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Sox Century: Aug. 15, 1917

Eddie Collins and Joe Jackson lead comeback as White Sox secure winning record on massive road trip

Eddie Collins
Ernie Harwell Collection / Detroit Public Library

It wouldn’t be the end of a six-city, 23-game road trip if it didn’t go into extra innings.

At least it was the good kind of extras. The White Sox trailed the Indians 4-2 late in the game, but they tied it with two in the eighth, and Eddie Collins put the Sox ahead for good with an RBI single in the 10th.

As a result, the White Sox headed back to Chicago with a 12-11 record on the journey. Considering they lost Buck Weaver to a broken finger, it could’ve been worse.

The late rally took Eddie Cicotte off the hook, although he might not have deserved to be on it. He cruised through the five innings and took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but Ray Schalk dropped a pop-up to start the inning, and by the time the dominoes fell, the Indians had taken a 3-2 lead. Cleveland then made it 4-2 in the seventh thanks to a triple the Chicago Tribune said Nemo Leibold lost in the sun.

But the Sox were able to come back thanks to their stars, who were just starting to turn it on at the right time.

Eddie Collins and Joe Jackson were both in the middle of career-worst seasons at this point. Collins was a career .334 hitter entering the 1917 season, but he stumbled into August with an average in the .260s. As for Joe Jackson, on Aug. 11, his .261 average was 100 points below his career average. Jackson had injuries and illnesses over the first couple of months, but there isn't a distinct reason for Collins' slump.

However it happened, both players were finally starting to snap out of it, and both made this White Sox comeback possible. In the eighth, Collins singled to load the bases, followed by a Jackson two-run double that tied the game.

Two innings later, Leibold singled to open the inning, Fred McMullin bunted him over, and Collins lined a single to center to put the Sox ahead. Jim Scott, who had picked up after Cicotte and contributed two scoreless innings, added a third to close out his own victory.

Collins had his second consecutive three-hit game, raising his average nine points over two days. Jackson went 2-for-4 for his fourth consecutive two-hit, and more were on the way.

The White Sox returned to Chicago leading Boston by 1½ games. And while we know that the 1917 American League pennant chase was a two-team affair, a series like this helped make it so. The Indians had a good club this year, but losing three of four to the Sox at home knocked them down to 10 games back.

Record: 70-43 | Box score