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In honor of actor Andy Garcia and his (unintentionally) hilarious reaction to Sofia (Mary Corleone) Coppola's death scene in "The Godfather, Part III."
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1916 City Series

Posted 03-04-2012 at 11:12 AM by TommyJohn
Updated 03-06-2012 at 06:44 AM by TommyJohn

Regular Season

White Sox 89-65, 2nd, 2 GB

The 1916 Sox were inching ever closer to the goal of an AL pennant. They finished four games off the pace from 1915, but it was good enough for 2nd place, only two games out. Pants Rowland put up with critics in the press and fan corps as the Sox lagged in 6th place at 26-28. After that, they caught fire and went on a hot streak.

The Sox went into September with a good shot at the flag. They were only a half game behind Boston on the 16th when the Red Sox came to town and won two out of three. Boston would go on to win the pennant and the Series.

Eddie Collins and Joe Jackson gave Commy his money's worth, hitting .308 and .341, respectively. Jackson's average included a .524 tear at midseason. Reb Russell was the big winner at 18-11. Rookie Claude "Lefty" Williams came from the PCL and went 13-7. And sadly, the great Ed Walsh pitched the final game of his White Sox career on June 13, losing to the Senators. It was his only start of the year. The next year he would attempt a comeback with the Boston Braves, but his career was over.

Team Leaders:

HR: Happy Felsch 7
RBI: Joe Jackson 78
Avg: Joe Jackson .341

Wins: Ewell Russell 18
ERA: Eddie Cicotte 1.78
Strikeouts: Lefty Williams 138

Cubs 67-86, 5th, 26.5 GB

The 1916 Cubs reached a turning point in their history, although it wasn't really felt at that time. The team went 67-86 and lagged in the 2nd division, but it was what happened off the field that had the biggest impact on the franchise.

First of all, the Federal League expired after two seasons. Chicago's third team, the Whales (who won the FL pennant in 1915), went down along with it. The league sued MLB for monopoly. As part of a settlement, Whales owner Charles Weeghman was allowed to buy majority interest in the Cubs. He put several Whales players on the Cubs and, most significantly, moved the team from West Side Park to the North Side park he had built for the Whales. He probably figured that it was a shame to let a shiny, new ballpark go to waste. The stadium was then called Weeghman Park, but would eventually be renamed Wrigley Field.

One immediate benefit was attendance. The team more than doubled its attendance from 1915, mainly because the Whales were gone. Joe Tinker was the manager, becoming the third and last of that famous trio of bear cubs to be handed the managerial reins, but the team was still stuck in the second division. The glory years of the Tinker-Evers-Chance era were long over.

One event worth noting-as the Sox were bidding farewell to the great Ed Walsh, the Cubs at the same time were seeing off Walsh's great west side rival from 1906 and City Series past, Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. He had jumped to the Feds in 1914, playing the 1915 season with the Whales. He was one of the Whales that Weeghman brought with him when he purchased the Cubs. Brown went 2-3 in his final season, and closed out his career on September 4 with a 10-8 win over his great NL rival Christy Mathewson, who also pitched his final game on that day.

Team Leaders:

HR: Cy Williams 12
RBI: Cy Williams 66
Avg: Heinie Zimmerman 91

Wins: Hippo Vaughn 17
ERA: Hippo Vaughn 220
Strikeouts: Hippo Vaughn 144

The Series

The White Sox made it six series in a row over the Cubs, and extended their City Series winning streak to 7 with a sweep. Shoeless Joe was the definite star of the series. Ken Burns' favorite tragic hero scorched Cub pitching for a .500 average and made beautiful catches afield. He hit three doubles in Game 3 and capped his performance with a home run and 3 RBI in Game 4. The Sox used only 12 players in the series-all 8 starters played every inning and all four pitchers went the distance.

Charles Comiskey was doubtless puffed with pride as his team once again outdrew, outgunned, and outplayed the Cubs. Little did he suspect that the next time the Cubs and White Sox took the field to fight for city supremacy, it would be five years later-and his life, his team, and the game of baseball would be changed forever.

(Note: For where the games are played, I will denote the Cubs' home field as "Wrigley" even though it was not known as such back then, inorder to avoid confusion.)

Game 1, October 4, 1916 at Comiskey Park

Cubs..........000 002 000-2 10 2
White Sox...001 000 52x-8 9 0

W-Russell L-Vaughn

Game 2, October 5, 1916 at Wrigley Field

White Sox...000 300 000-3 9 2
Cubs..........000 010 000-1 9 1

W-Faber L-Lavender

Game 3, October 6, 1916 at Comiskey Park

Cubs..........000 000 000-0 6 2
White Sox...011 001 00x-3 8 0

W-C. Williams L-Prendergast

Game 4, October 7, 1916 at Wrigley Field

White Sox...003 030 000-6 9 1
Cubs..........101 010 000-3 10 1


W-Cicotte L-Vaughn

Most Valuable Player-Shoeless Joe Jackson (.500 avg, 7 hits, 1 HR, 3 RBI in finale)

Booby Prize-Hippo Vaughn (0-2) Cub ace had 2-1 lead in 7th inning of Game 1, gave up 5 runs; lasted only 3 innings in Game 4, gave up 3 runs, saddled with loss.
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