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Clark Griffith Pitching

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Today in White Sox History: November 20

Two items from the 19th Century? Sure!

On this day 153 years ago, the first pennant-winning skipper of the MLB White Sox, Clark Griffith, was born.

1869

Clark Griffith was born, in Clear Creek, Mo.

While his 63.8 WAR career was built mostly in the 1890s as a pitcher for the Chicago Colts (Cubs), Griffith was a key member of the first MLB pennant-winning White Sox team, in 1901. For that season, Griffith joined scores of National League players who jumped leagues to the American, and led the majors in winning percentage (.774, 24-7) and the AL in shutouts (five). His 5.7 WAR represented the last superstar season of his career.

In addition to leading the White Sox pitching staff, Griffith piloted the White Sox to the AL pennant, with an 83-53-1 record. Though the team fell to fourth place and a 74-60-4 record in 1902, Griffith’s .581 winning percentage managing the White Sox ranks second among all-time franchise managers.

The Old Fox was dealt to the New York Highlanders before the 1903 season, and went on to become a player/manager/owner with the Washington Senators. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a pioneer/executive in 1946.


1893

The Western League was formed. It was the direct forerunner to what would become the American League in 1900. The league started with seven franchises: Detroit, Sioux City, Toledo, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids and Minneapolis. The Minnesota franchise would eventually be moved to the South Side of Chicago by Charles Comiskey.

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