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Sox Century: Sept. 27, 1917

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Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver were off playing for a team of ringers in Boston, but the White Sox won anyway

The all-star lineup featuring Buck Weaver and Joe Jackson.
Via The National Pastime Museum.

The White Sox won their 99th game of the season, standing on the doorstep of Pants Rowland’s goal of 100.

They blew the doors off the Senators, 6-1. Joe Benz had a multiple-run lead before he took the mound, and ended up cruising to a complete game in his final start of the season. He limited the Senators to just six hits and a walk over his nine innings. The walk came around to score in the second inning and cut the White Sox’ lead to 3-1, but the Sox stormed back with three in the third, greeting Jim Shaw with four hits to open the frame.

Eddie Murphy had a big day in place of Joe Jackson, going 3-for-5. Swede Risberg came through with a couple of hits in place of Buck Weaver. The big lead also allowed Ted Jourdan to finish the game for Chick Gandil, and Ziggy Hasbrook to take over for Eddie Collins. Hasbrook failed to reach in his only plate appearance of the season — and the last of his career — but he did start a 4-6-3 double play.

Jackson and Weaver were absent because they were playing for an all-star team at Fenway Park.

An exhibition game was held to help the family of Tim Murnane, a Boston Globe sports columnist who died at 65 earlier in the year. SABR’s Jacob Pomrenke wrote about the game for The National Pastime Museum earlier this year. The game pitted a team of stars against the hometown Red Sox. Jackson played in an outfield with Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb, and that lineup faced Babe Ruth.

Sixteen years before Comiskey Park hosted the first official All-Star Game, Fenway crammed an entire All-Star break into an afternoon.

A crowd of 17,119 showed up to Fenway Park on a warm, hazy September afternoon. The game itself was just a sideshow to the many festivities that were organized. Before the game, a “field day” was held in the outfield—a skills competition among the talented athletes gathered there. Shoeless Joe Jackson stood in center field and heaved a baseball 396 feet, eight inches, toward home plate to claim the top distance throw, earning himself an engraved silver bowl that he kept for the rest of his life. Ray Chapman circled the bases in 14 seconds flat to win a speed race. Naturally, Babe Ruth won the long-distance fungo-batting contest with a towering blast of 402 feet. At age 22, he was still a full-time pitcher, with just nine career home runs in the Major Leagues.

It would have been fascinating to know how this would have been handled if either league had a competitive pennant race, but the White Sox and Giants had clinched comfortably by then.

The Red Sox won 2-0, with Duffy Lewis driving in both runs in the eighth inning off Walter Johnson. More importantly, those 17,119 at Fenway contributed $14,000 to the receipts.

Record: 99-52 | Box score