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Sox Century: Aug. 19, 1917

The White Sox also scored five runs in the first inning 100 years ago, but they won that one

Franklin Post Card Co. / University of Maryland Digital Collections, National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection

The Philadelphia A’s occupied the cellar of the American League, but they weren’t an awful team. They were an awful half a team, with a league average offense and a nonexistent pitching staff.

Games like this helped widen the chasm between the two. The White Sox pounced on Elmer Myers for five runs in the first inning, and unlike the White Sox 100 years later, they made the five-run first hold up for a 14-6 victory.

The White Sox delivered quantity and quality with their attack. They scored 14 runs on 14 hits, half of which went for extra bases. Joe Jackson had another big game, going 2-for-3 with two triples, two walks, two RBIs, two stolen bases and four runs scored.

He wasn’t alone. Every starter save Swede Risberg had two hits, and Ray Schalk reached base five times with a single and four walks.

The A’s did manage to make it interesting, which is not something you’d guess in a game they trailed 9-0 at one point. Reb Russell, who pitched with arm problems throughout the season, took a shutout into the fifth inning before everything caved in on him, starting with his defense.

Philadelphia put six runs on Russell’s tab during the inning, and all of them were unearned. Fred McMullin booted a roller and Nemo Leibold lost a flyball in the sun, making Russell record five outs. He could only get four before the A’s had the tying run at the plate, and so Pants Rowland called on Dave Danforth. Danforth stranded the runners with a flyout, then pitched the final four innings for the rare 13-out save.

The victory was well-timed, because Boston got spanked by the Indians, 7-2. The White Sox extended their lead to two games just in time for the Red Sox to visit for a doubleheader. No matter what happened, they wouldn’t lose a share of first place by the end of the following day.

Record: 72-44 | Box score