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Sox Century: Sept. 22, 1917

Half the White Sox regulars get the day off after clinching the pennant

This poster appeared in the Sept. 23, 1917 edition of the Chicago Examiner.

American League clinched with authority, the White Sox could afford to take the foot off the gas and start lining up players and pitchers for their impending clash with the equally formidable New York Giants in the World Series.

The papers said Pants Rowland didn’t plan on mailing in the games via lineup card, but he intended to work his bench players and auxiliary pitchers into the mix. Then again, given the celebration the night before, Rowland could be forgiven for using a B-game lineup the first time around.

The top four of the lineup looked strong enough -- Nemo Leibold, Fred McMullin, Eddie Collins, Joe Jackson. That was more or less normal for the 1917 White Sox.

What came after, not so much:

  • Shano Collins made a rare start against a righty in place of Happy Felsch, who was nursing a leg injury.
  • Ted Jourdan played his first full game since May 17 in place of Chick Gandil at first.
  • Swede Risberg returned to shortstop, giving Buck Weaver a breather.
  • Byrd Lynn started in place of Ray Schalk.
  • Joe Benz made his first start since Aug. 9.

This being the case, it’s no surprise that the Red Sox won this one rather easily. Carl Mays threw a four-hitter for his 21st victory as Boston picked up a cheap 4-1 win.

The White Sox took a quick 1-0 lead when Leibold reached on an infield single and scored on a Jackson double, but Benz needed a few innings to knock off the rust ... or seafood, if you believe the Chicago Examiner:

Joe Benz ate a lot of clams and lobster last night and was a little overweight when he reported at Fenway Park to-day. Manager Rowland figured a good workout would help Joseph and ordered him to oppose the dethroned champions. Joe stuck by the ship, but the sea was a bit rocky at first. Before he could get his sea legs the Red Hose had enough runs to win. They made one in the first, two in the second and one in the third, after which Joe and his clams understood each other better.

The Sox probably had at least one more game like this in store when you look at the Chicago Tribune’s descriptions of the postgame activities.

After the game the Sox were given a banquet ordered by Owner Comiskey, and Manager Rowland spared no money to get the best Boston had. It was held at a downtown tavern, and besides the members of the team, the traveling scribes were also present and a number of the Boston baseball writers. The lid was off for the evening so the boys could make merry. Tomorrow training rules will be back in effect.

Record: 97-50 | Box score