White Sox Hit Hard and Win

Damon Runyon

Washington Herald/October 8, 1917

Beat Giants, 7 to 2, in Second Game of World Series Classic.

“They knocked us cockeyed,” was the terse summing up by a member of the New York Giants of the second game of the world’s series here this afternoon.

Writers of renown were groping for words to describe the defeat of his club by the Chicago White Sox when the Giants came along.

They were thinking of “overwhelming” as a good, strong word, and lingering lovingly over “crushing,” but the athlete, who knows what a 7-to-2 score really means in a championship game, covered the situation in one swift lingual stroke.

“Yes,” he repeated, “they just knocked us cockeyed.”

Pound Three Giant Pitchers.

Then he hurried away to catch the train which is bearing him and his teammates back to New York, the Polo Grounds, and the third game of the series which now stands very much in favor of the American League with two straight victories over their National League opponents.

In one inning, and after the Giants had a two run lead, the Sox tore through the pitching of “Ferdy” Schupp, the overnight southpaw “phenom” of the National League; belted the careful curving of Fred Anderson, who stands first among the pitchers in the old organization in the matter of allowing few earned runs, and wound up on “Pol” Perritt, crack right-hander of the big town club.

After that one inning, which was the fourth, the result was never in doubt. Customers were walking out on the pastime by the seventh inning, though most of the 32,000 people remained to rejoice over the downfall of the Giants.

The ease with which the Sox smashed the pitching of the Manhattan Islanders was astonishing. It was believed by the Giant followers that Schupp was almost a certain winner, but he was least effective of all.

The line of heroes and “goats” which usually marches through a series paused abruptly today, leaving only “Happy” Felsch still standing out beneath the calcium of the flare of yesterday, because there was no chance for anyone to do any heroing, or any goating either this afternoon. It was just a sort of general slaughter of the New Yorkers to make a Chicago holiday, and all the White Sox participated.

It upset all the dope, and left the experts practically speechless. It is impossible to expert a 7-to-2 score to any extent.

This was the first world’s series game played on a Sunday since 1910, when the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Athletics met in the autumn struggle. After that until today, the series stuck to the East, where baseball on Sunday is not permitted.

It was a new experience for the Broadway contingent in Chicago, as most of them have heretofore regarded Sunday as just a day to be devoted to intensive slumber, especially from noon on. They came out gummy-eyed and yawning to find a bright sun-shiny afternoon.

Thousands of people again waited in the lee of Comiskey’s walls all night long, hoping to get one of the comparatively few seats which were thrown on the open market. There were a number of women in the line. Sunday is the favorable baseball day in Chicago, just as Saturday is the favorite baseball day in New York, and for about the same reason.

Chicago people do not work on Sunday. New York people do not work on Saturday. New York people do not work on any other day if they can help it, of course, but they specialize on workless Saturdays, which they devote to the Polo Grounds. Some people regard watching Benny Kauff chase fly balls as a form of labor, but that is entirely a matter of opinion.

Benny changed his clothes three times Friday, when it rained all day, thus equaling the big league record established by Mike Donlin when Mike was at the top of his sartorial form. It is believed that Benny’s last scenic outburst produced the hail storm which followed the rain.

Today Benny changed his clothes but twice, not counting his baseball “monkey suit,” as the pastimers call it.

The solid square of olive-drab, representing young candidates from the Officers’ Training Camp at Fort Sheridan, which filled the right field pavilion yesterday, was missing this afternoon. The soldiers had to go back to the task of readying themselves to protect the civilians who occupied their seats today.

The band found a sunny spot on the field back of third base today, and kept up a musical barrage fire for the phalanx of song pluggers, who annoyed the inoffensive atmosphere with noises before the game. When they began jazzing up “America,” with many variations, the Chicagoans stood with heads bared.

The band was playing it for one-stepping purposes, but the citizenry labored under the impression that it emanated from patriotic motives. The error is surprising, in view of the fact that Chicago is the home of jazz. In New York the boys would have intuitively grabbed themselves partners and started reeling up and down the field.

Afterward the band, in all sincerity, played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and again the crowd stood at attention. This time the musicians thoughtfully left off the jazz notes.

Clarence Rowland, the White Sox manager, attempted a little camouflage before the game by warming up both “Tex” Russell, the robust left-hander, and Urban Faber, while McGraw countered by displaying both Schupp and Pol Perritt in the preliminaries. Neither deceived the other, however.

Faber is a spitball pitcher. Some years ago when he was on trial with the White Sox as a recruit, Jimmy Callahan, then manager of the Chicago club, decided he would not do for big league service. He had asked for waivers on Faber, intending to send him to a minor league for further development when McGraw and Comiskey decided on their tour of the world with mixed aggregations of ball players called, respectively, the Giants and White Sox.

McGraw could get no pitchers to accompany him except George “Hooks” Wiltsea and Bunny Hearn, both left-handers. Comiskey told him he could have Faber for the trip, if Faber wanted to go, and Urban went. He pitched nice ball for the so-called Giants on the trip, and developed rapidly.

In the game in London before King George, he worked for the Giants against Scott and Benz. McGraw and Comiskey were sitting in the grandstand with Lord Lonsdale, and the Giant leader called Comiskey’s attention to the fact that the Sox were not hitting Faber hard.

“He’s got as good a curve ball as I ever saw,” said McGraw, “and he ought to make you a good pitcher.”

Faber tired toward the end of that game, and in the eleventh inning a home run by Tommy Daly defeated him, but “the old Roman” never forgot the form Urban showed that day. He withdrew the player from the waiver route and the following season Faber had a good year with the Sox.

The crowd gave Schupp a hand as he walked to the bench after striking out McMullen and Eddie Collins in the Sox batting side of the first. The young southpaw’s great curve ball was breaking across the plate in the form of an arc against left-handed bitters.

The Sox came tearing right back at the Giants in their end of the second, after McGraw’s men had scored twice. Suddenly aroused, Jackson, the first man up, smashed a single to center. “Happy” Felsch smashed past Herzog, sending Jackson to third. Gandil smashed a hopper to Schupp, which the left-hander knocked down behind him with his gloved hand. Had he let it go, Herzog might have been able to start a double play.

Jackson scored and Felsch took second. Buck Weaver singled to second, scoring Felsch with the tying run. Gandill took second. Schalk hit to Schupp, who threw to third, getting Gandil on a close play.

Fred Anderson began warming up in right field with Jack Onslow. Anderson is McGraw’s relief pitcher. Schupp pitched to Faber, who rarely if ever makes a hit, until the count was three balls and two strikes. Then he passed the light-hitting pitcher, filling the bases.

At this belated stage the star southpaw of the National League was motioned from the box by McGraw. Anderson, called the Precise by his teammates, came in.

When Anderson pitchers, he arranges himself just so on the ground. His feet are just so. He holds the ball just so. He is as precise as a New England schoolmarm. That’s where he got his nickname.

When Anderson came in, John Collins was removed from the batting order by Rowland, and little “Nemo” Leibold, one of the smallest players in the big leagues, sent to bat. Collins is a right-handed hitter, and is used only against left-handed pitchers, while Leibold plays against the right-handed hurlers.

Anderson got two strikes on Leibold, and then came two fouls, both of which were slow, lingering, lobby rollers close to fair territory, and on both of which Weaver crossed the plate.

Faber, who has many of the mannerisms of the veteran Leon Ames, and resembles old “Kalamity” in the box, seemed to suddenly improve in form. Anderson fanned both “Happy” Felsch and Gandil in the third with Joe Jackson on the bases, through Gandil almost wrecked the nerves of the New York fans with a foul into the right field pavilion.

“Andy” did not thrive quite so well in the fourth, however. After two runs had been scored off him McGraw sent Anderson to the bench, and “Pol” Perritt, the lank Louisianan, went to the mound. Perritt is a right hander with a great fastball, but Eddie Collins hit the first pitch into right field for a single. Leibold scored.

Robertson retrieved the ball and threw to the plate. Little Leibold upset the bulky McCarty as he flung himself at the plate, and McCarty hurt his elbow in the fall. The game was held up for a few moments, and McCarty went to the bench.

“Wa’al Bill” Rariden, the Indiana farmer, took his place. They call Rariden “Wa’al Bill” because he generally opens his end of all debates with a Hoosier accented “wa’al.”

McMullen reached third and Collins second on the play at the plate. Jackson singled to right, scoring both.

The big squad of Giant recruits, utility-men, and extra pitchers, were all sitting out in front of their bench back of first base, watching the slaughter in silence. Over on the other side of the field the White Sox were similarly lined up in front of their coop, but they were all laughing.

Herzog finally ended the inning by catching Felsch’s line drive, and doubling up Jackson, who had started for third.

The pastime was enlivened to some extent in the fifth by Urban Faber’s steal of third base when third was duly occupied, which play will probably be historic in the annals of baseball.

Weaver was safe when Fletcher fumbled his drive. He took second on Schalk’s out, and third on Faber’s single to right. Robertson threw to the plate and Faber moved up under the throw to second, Weaver remaining at third.

As Perritt pitched a ball at Leibold, Faber suddenly tore out for third and made a mad slide into the bag almost spiking the astonished Weaver. A Chicago fan explained the marvelous play as follows:

“Well Urban wanted to get it over as quickly as possible.”

(Source: Chronicling America, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045433/1917-10-08/ed-1/seq-1/)