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Clark Griffith Pitching

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Today in White Sox History: October 27

The passing of a baseball legend — and first pennant-winning South Side pilot

He was a terrific pitcher, and later an owner — but the one pennant Clark Griffith ever attained was as player manager of the White Sox, in 1901.


Some 24 years before the White Sox were even founded, a key member of the later-1900s Pale Hose was born on this day.

Patrick “Patsy” Doughtery of Andover, N.Y. came to the White Sox during their 1906 World Series-winning season. The club purchased Doughterty from the New York Highlanders on June 6, when the White Sox sat at 19-21. With Doughtery on the roster (he’d play in 75 of 124 remaining games), the Hitless Wonders went 74-37-3 the rest of the way, storming to the AL pennant and an upset win over the vaunted Cubs in the 1906 World Series.

That’s not to say that Dougherty brought the oomph he showed in an earlier World Series, with Boston — Doughtery in fact helped put the Hitless in the Wonders, with a .607 OPS and 92 OPS+ with the White Sox in 1906. But in the final five seasons of his career from there (all with Chicago), Doughtery was never again a below-average hitter. He led the AL with 47 stolen bases in 1908, and put up an outstanding 3.4 rWAR in 1909.

In the 1906 World Series, Doughtery didn’t produce much, with just two hits and a .317 OPS. But he played every inning of the Series, and went 1-for-3 with a walk in the deciding home triumph of Game 6.

The left fielder accumulated 9.8 WAR over six seasons (703 games) on the South Side. While that doesn’t sound like much — and it isn’t, really — that’s a per-game production rate roughly equal to Eloy Jiménez or Josh Harrison in their careers, and double that of Adam Engel.


Clark Griffith, who had his first and most successful managing stint with the pennant-winning 1901 White Sox, died in Washington, D.C.

Griffith jumped from the Chicago Colts (Cubs) to the White Sox at the dawn of a new century, pocketing a $1,500 raise over his 1900 salary by pitching for and managing the White Sox starting in 1901. He hurled his club to a pennant in his first year, leading the majors in winning percentage with a 24-7 record and topping the American League with five shutouts, leading to a 5.7 WAR — still tied for 45th-best in team history, 12 decades later.

The White Sox took a step back in 1902, as Griffith slumped to 1.0 WAR and the team fell to fourth place, at 74-60. Owner Charles Comiskey then facilitated Griffith’s desire to eventually move into team ownership by trading him — likely for nothing, as a thank-you gesture — to the New York Highlanders before the 1903 season.

Griffith eventually did reach his ownership goal, with the Washington Senators, who he controlled from 1920 until his death. He managed an MLB team every year from 1901-20, but only once finished first — with the White Sox.

Griffith was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946.

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