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Today in White Sox History: February 17

Urban hangs ’em up

Red Faber Rookie 1914
Rookie Red Faber as White Sox “closer” in 1914, sporting some sweet duds and a frighteningly-unpadded fielding glove.
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

1934

Urban “Red” Faber retires after 20 seasons with the White Sox.

Somewhat overlooked in White Sox annals given he pitched in the immediate aftermath of the legendary Ed Walsh, Faber stakes claim as the greatest hurler in White Sox history, with 67.7 WAR. That makes him their third-best player ever, behind Luke Appling and Frank Thomas.

But don’t feel guilty if you undervalue Faber, as it took him 17 tries to make the Hall of Fame despite ranking 11th all-time in pitching WAR at the time of his retirement (and still ranks 38th all-time, 90 seasons later). Faber never received more than 30.9% BBWAA voting support over 16 (!) different votes — and 10 times failed to poll at as much as 5%.

Faber’s 254 wins (254-212) fell just six short of Ted Lyons’ all-time White Sox mark.

Faber also authored the second-best two-season span in White Sox pitching history, with 21.0 WAR (11.4 in 1921, still tied for third in team history, and 9.6 in 1922, tied for eighth). Exactly 50 seasons later, Wilbur Wood topped Faber’s feat, with a 22.5 WAR two-season span in 1971-72.

For more on Faber, read KP’s terrific piece from 2018.