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Today in White Sox History: June 17

The Bambino gets a spanking

Babe Ruth Warms Up for Boston
Babe Ruth was Boston’s ace in 1916, finishing with a 1.75 ERA and 8.8 WAR as a pitcher. But on this day 106 years ago, in front of 12,000 fans at Comiskey Park, the White Sox had his number.

1916

Paced by three singles from Joe Jackson, the White Sox stymie Babe Ruth and the Red Sox at Comiskey Park, 5-0. The Pale Hose slapped out 12 hits in Ruth’s eight innings, saddling the Baby Bambino with five earned runs and swelling his ERA from 2.13 to 2.36.

Joe Benz pitched five innings for the win, and Dave Danforth came on in relief with four innings for his first save of the season.

The win pulled the White Sox even at 25-25 for the year, tied with the Red Sox for fifth in the American League. The South Siders had been as bad as 12-18 and in the AL cellar as recently as May 19, but had started a steady march upward in the standings. Between May 19 and August 4, Chicago reeled off 47 wins in 71 games to surge into first place outright.

The club would ultimately settle for second place in the AL, 2 12 games behind the Red Sox, but the surge set up what would become the greatest season in franchise history, 1917’s 100 wins, .649 winning percentage and World Series victory.