With flurries in the air, baseball’s third World Series (and first-ever intracity Series in baseball) kicked off at West Side Park. The 116-win Chicago Cubs were huge favorites, but get dealt a sobering blow with the Hitless Wonders outpaced them in Game 1, 2-1. Nick Altrock got the win, throwing a four-hitter and striking out three.
The White Sox never trailed in the game, scoring first in the fifth inning after a leadoff triple by George Rohe, who scored one out later when Patsy Dougherty grounded to back to pitcher Mordecai Brown and Frank Chance dropped his throw to first.
What would be the deciding run came in the sixth, when Altrock led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second, but was thrown out at home by Solly Hofman on a Fielder Jones single. A passed ball moved Jones to third (he had advanced to second on the out at home), and Frank Isbell singled Jones home for a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs would get one run back in the bottom of the sixth, but Altrock held the Cubs to two hits over the final three frames to earn the win.
This was not only the first intracity Series in history, it was the only one of the first 17 World Series to feature teams from the same city. It goes without saying, the White Sox and Cubs haven’t faced off in a Fall Classic since 1906.
Lefty Williams, who was in on the fix, retired just one batter in a 10-5 Reds rout. With Dickey Kerr scheduled to start a potential deciding Game 9 — Kerr was 2-0 in the Series and the only White Sox starter not in on the fix — gamblers felt it was urgent that Chicago lose Game 8. To that end, Williams allegedly was threatened by the syndicate that the White Sox would need to be losing badly by the time the lefthander was removed from the game.
The questions surrounding this Series, one of the greatest upsets in baseball history, would linger for a year before exploding into the Black Sox scandal — eight players put on trial for attempting to deliberately lose games and defraud the public.
The hiring was an open secret, but on this day it was officially confirmed by 22-year-old Chuck Comiskey, grandson of Charles: Frank “Trader” Lane had been recruited out of the American Association (as president of the Triple-A, minor league) to take over as the new general manager of the White Sox. The front office situation was a bit chaotic in the interim, as outgoing GM Les O’Connor was just waiting out his contract expiration and new manager Jack Onslow (replacing Ted Lyons) was hired by Comiskey.
Lane would go on to become one of the greatest GMs in team history. Among the players acquired by the famously-active GM — making more than 230 trades in his Sox tenure — were such future All-Stars as Nellie Fox, Sherm Lollar, Billy Pierce, Dick Donovan, Chico Carrasquel and Minnie Miñoso. Lane built the club that would go on to win the pennant in 1959.
In Game 4 of the ALCS the White Sox squared the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, with a 7-4 win in Toronto. Tim Belcher (acquired in a July trade) got the win in relief of Jason Bere. Unfortunately, this was the last great moment for the “Good Guys Wear Black” White Sox, as Toronto closed out the series by winning Game 5 in Toronto and Game 6 at Comiskey Park.
A few years later, Toronto manager Cito Gaston revealed that the Jays knew exactly what pitches were coming from both Sox aces, Jack McDowell and Alex Fernandez — something the Sox coaching staff and players never picked up on. In fact, Toronto beat those pitchers four times, while losing all the other games.