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Sox Century: Sept. 15, 1917

Another winning streak dies as nine games, but the White Sox come back to split a doubleheader

The Chicago Examiner sports page on Sept. 16, 1917.

For the second time in three weeks, the White Sox blew a chance to extend a winning streak to 10 games.

Among all the problems to have, that has to rank as one of the best.

And while the White Sox dropped the opener of a doubleheader to the Tigers by a score of 4-3, they came back and won the second game, 2-1. At the end of the day, the White Sox had won 21 of their last 23 games, which is a pretty good way to put it.

Granted, the Sox had a chance to get to double digits by taking a 3-1 lead in with a two-run seventh. Joe Jackson hit a sac fly, and Happy Felsch followed with an RBI single.

Alas, Swede Risberg’s deteriorating defense let Reb Russell down. Two of the three runs Russell allowed were unearned, and both on Risberg’s second error of the game.

Risberg got away with one mistake. In the fourth, he booted a sure 6-4-3, so the Tigers had runners on first and second with nobody out. Eddie Collins bailed out his double-play partner with the kind of double play that gave him the reputation of one of baseball’s brainiest players:

[George] Burns popped a little fly to Collins, who backed up and let it fall to the ground in front of him. [Bobby] Veach raced for third on it and was thrown out there by Collins. Burns, of coruse, was out automatically on the infield fly.

That’s the Chicago Tribune’s account, which called Collins’ ploy “the trapped ball bluff.” If it was indeed a fake, he fooled the Chicago Examiner:

Burns knocked an infield fly and was automatically out. E. Collins lost the fly in the sun, and when Veach, running at his own peril, attempted to move to third, Collins found the ball in time to heave it to [Fred] McMullin, who tagged Mr. Veach for the final out.

The Tigers tied it in the sixth with a sacrifice fly, and after the Sox pulled ahead, a second Risberg error gave the Tigers a second life. In the seventh, he fumbled away the third out on a grounder to short, which eventually led to a game-tying two-run single by Ossie Vitt.

The Tigers then peppered Dave Danforth in the eighth, with Pep Young’s go-ahead double turning into the game-winner that snapped the Sox’ streak.

No matter -- Red Faber stepped up and went the distance in Game 2, holding the Tigers to one run on six hits.

In some ways, George Cunningham was just as tough, limiting the Sox to just four hits over his nine innings. Fortunately for the Sox, his defense wasn’t as good as his pitching.

Chick Gandil led off the eighth with a dribbler to the left side. Cunningham came off the mound and fielded it, but his throw went into the grandstand. Gandil took third on the play, and after Risberg popped out, Ray Schalk came through with a squeeze bunt that scored the winning run.

The doubleheader split only allowed the Red Sox to gain a half game after their victory over the Yankees. Chicago led by 7½ games and by five in the loss column. It also marked the end of the season series with the Tigers, whom the White Sox dominated the tune of a 16-6 record.

Record: 93-48 | Game 1 box | Game 2 box