The Chicago White Sox began as the minor league Sioux City Cornhuskers and played in the Western League. The WL reorganized itself in November 1893, with Ban Johnson as President. Johnson, a Cincinnati-based reporter, had been recommended by his friend Charles Comiskey, former major league star with the St. Louis Browns in the 1880s, who was then managing the Cincinnati Reds. After the 1894 season, when Comiskey’s contract with the Reds was up, he decided to take his chances at ownership. He bought the Sioux City team and transferred it to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where it enjoyed some success over the next five seasons.
In 1900, the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, subject to the governing National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The NL actually gave permission to the AL to put a team in Chicago.
Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the Near South Side. It has been said that the contract provided they not use the city name in the team’s branding, however, there seems to be no documentation to back this up. The team used the letter “C” on their jerseys and the newspapers called the team the “Chicago White Stockings” immediately. “CHICAGO” was emblazoned on their uniforms in 1902. The White Stockings won the 1900 American League pennant led by player-manager Dick Padden, the final WL/AL championship season as a minor league. After the season, the AL declined to renew its membership in the National Agreement and declared itself a major league.
The Inter Ocean, March 7, 1900
Comiskey’s aggregation of ambitious tossers, who are expected to make a strong bid for the championship of the American league this season, will be known as the “Chicago white stockings.” In the good old days when Adrian Constantine Anson was putting in his golden summers is winning baseball pennants for Chicago his team was known from one end of the circuit to the other as the “white stockings.” The old team turned out more stars, earned more money, and gained a bigger reputation than any other club in the country. If Comiskey and the men who make up the new “white stockings” can duplicate this record, they will literally own the town before the end of September.
Ban Johnson, the president of the American league, and Charley Comiskey, the owner and manager of Chicago’s new ball team, returned from Milwaukee yesterday morning. During their brief sojourn in the metropolis of Wisconsin, they held a long conference with Matt Kililen, the owner of the Milwaukee club, and incidentally examined the architect’s drawings of the great stand of the Milwaukee ball club.
An hour after their arrival in Chicago Comiskey was hobnobbing with the architect who prepared the plans and specifications of the baseball plant which Adrian Constantine Anson expected to build on the South Side this spring. Comiskey’s South Side plant will, in all probability, be built on the same general lines, although to a certain extent the new grand stand will resemble the structure now standing in Milwaukee.
Will Go to West Baden.
The “Old Roman” said:
I intend to get my players in condition at Champaign, where we expect to put in at least twenty days of practice with the ball team of the Illinois university. Before going to Champaign we will put in a week or ten days at West Baden springs. My idea of taking the men to this resort is to get them into physical condition for a season of hard training. Yes, I intend to call the team the white stockings, and it is more than likely that our grounds will be known as White Stockings park. I don’t care at this time to spring any press-agent yarn about the strength of the team I intend to place in Chicago, but I will say this much: I mean to give the patrons of the game in this city the best team that money can buy. We will stand of fall on our merits as ball players. If the players I have picked fail to make good we will buy other men, for I realize that the people who support the game in town are tired of listening to excuses and hard-luck stories. What they want is a winning ball club, and I certainly will try to give them what they want.
Ban Johnson was in the very best of spirits when he greeted the ever-faithful reporters at his office in the Fisher building late in the afternoon.
“We certainly have no cause to complain over the outlook,” he said. “It is looking bright to say the least. That Detroit muddle has been finally settled. Jim Burns, who is a very popular politician and stands well with everybody in Detroit, is now in control of the club and franchise. George Stallings will manage the team, and from what I know of their plans they intend to make a big bid for the pennant and they intend to at once begin to strengthen the team..
“George Vanderbeck has sold out his interest in the club, and now has no connection either directly or indirectly with the American league.
Chicago Tribune, March 21, 1900
An agreement will be signed today between the American league and President Hart, representing the National league club, which will permit the former organization to place a baseball club in Chicago, on certain conditions, which as yet have not been given out, but will probably be made public in a few days. There is considerable manifested as to what concessions the American league has made to obtain the privilege of entering league territory. So far as is known the purchase of the Cleveland National league property is the only condition. This, however, is no small matter, as it is figured it will entail an expense amounting to nearly $15,000 upon the American league. The present Cleveland magnates, in addition to the purchase price of the Cleveland park, will have some difficulty in having leases set aside in order to allow them freedom to secure the National league park.
The Cleveland end of the matter will be settled up by tomorrow. President (Ban) Johnson will, in all likelihood, make a trip to Ohio to attend to settling the details of the transfer.
President Hart and President Johnson exchanged visits yesterday and discussed the details yet to be arranged in the baseball deal. The consent of the National league has been secured and now all that remains to be done is the signing of the papers.
The American league will in a short time sign papers which will bind it more closely in the national agreement than the present conditions. This is said to be one of the concessions exacted by the National league for the privilege of locating in Chicago. It is said this new agreement which the American leaguers will sign will tie them up securely with the National league until the expiration of the National league ten-year agreement, which has two years yet to run.
President Johnson was non-commital as to what the terms of agreement with the National league were. He declares that the Chicago club has neither asked nor been offered any monetary compensation, nor will it have a dollar’s worth of interest in Comiskey’s club. Nor, he declared, will the American league be a farm for surplus Chicago players.
Chicago Tribune April 3, 1900
Champaign, Ill., April 2—The baseball season at the University of Illinois opened today, the Chicago American league team defeating the varsity of a fairly well played game of seven innings, by a score of 10 to 9.
The fine day and warm weather brought out a good crowd and the professionals opened up in a surprisingly brisk style, their hard hitting being a feature. Both Patterson and Denzer warmed up in a lively manner for the first day out and seemed to have excellent control.
The collegians at times showed considerable nervousness, nut Coach Huff was well pleased on the whole. The hitting was first-class, nine clean ones being made, Fulton and Wilder leading with two each. Lotz in center field took the fielding honors for the home team, accepting four chances without an error.
Comiskey’s men bunched their hits in the second inning and the college boys’ four errors, which resulted in four runs, practically was the game for the Chicago team. Aside from this inning, the game was even and well played for a starter all through the only fault found by the visitors being stiff joints and glass arms which did not show, however, when it came to a pinch. Only ten of their team reported today, but Motz, Shugart, and Hartmann are expected tomorrow.
The diamond is in excellent shape for so early in the season and some interesting games are promised during the remainder of the series.
Isbell will be in the box for Chicago tomorrow and Miller and Falkenberg will do the twirling for the home team.
The Inter Ocean, April 5, 1900
Comiskey of Chicago put in a busy day yesterday. He began the serious work of the day by selecting the uniforms to be worn by the Chicago white stockings during the coming season. After a careful inspection of the goods in stock at Spalding’s, Comiskey picked out two sets of uniforms. Chicago’s new ball team will be in all white when it plays on the home ground. The only bit of color in its make-up will be a crimson “C” on the breast of each shirt. The traveling uniform will be of blue-grey flannel with white stockings and caps and red trimmings.
First Baseman Motz and Shortstop Shugart reported to Comiskey yesterday and started for the training grounds at Champaign on the afternoon train. Both men are apparenytly in good condition. Dick Pdden , who will play second base and captain of the team, is due in Chicago tonight, while Third Baseman Hartman is expected to land here some time this afternoon.
1900 American League Champions
Upper Row, left to right: Fisher, Dillard, Isbell, Denzer, Patterson.
Middle Row: Brain, Hartman, Padden, Comiskey, Shearon, Sugden, Wood.
Lower Row: O’Leary, Shugart, Hoy, H. McFarland.
Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1900
The White Stockings are champions of the American league.
They needed only one game of the double header with Cleveland yesterday to make that a certainty, but they made it doubly certain by taking both games.
Comiskey’s men can all drop dead this morning, can forfeit the rest of their scheduled games, and still come out on top of the heap when the American league season closes next Tuesday, even if Milwaukee should win every of its remaining games.
President Comiskey sent Roy Patterson in to pitch the first game in order to haqve the thing clinched, and after the White Stockings had walloped the Lake Shores to the tune of 12 to 4, Comiskey’s smile extended from one end of the players’ bench to the other, but that expansive smile wasn’t a marker to the one that spread over the entire Thirty-ninth street plant at the conclusion of the second game after the home team had buried Cleveland again by a score of 9 to 1. Even the patent leather whites on Comiskey’s shoes reflected the smile, for that second victory not only drove the last nail into the coffin of Milwaukee’s pennant aspirations, but it broke the “fifth pitcher” hoodoo under which the White Stockings have been laboring all season.
Not since Willie McGill kicked over the traces back in early May has Comiskey’s fifth pitcher been able to win a game until yesterday. His original quartet, Patterson, Fisher, Katoll, and Denzer, could be counted on to win their games, but every time the fifth wheel of the staff has attempted to pitch a defeat has resulted. It was with expectation of losing, therefore that Comiskey sent Thomas to the rubber in the second game, but there is no lane so long that it has no turning, and it was Thomas’ turn to give an imitation of the worm yesterday.
Chicago Tribune April 25, 1901
Under the fairest skies the, weather clerk could select from his varied, stock of April goods: with a championship pennant floating high above them from the proudest pine of all Michigan’s forests; with 9,000 fans to cheer them from a pent-up enthusiasm that burst forth at every possible opportunity, the White Stockings opened the American league baseball season on the South Side grounds yesterday with a clean-cut victory over the aggregation from Cleveland. The score was 8 runs to 2
It was the most auspicious beginning imaginable, without a thing to mar the occasion. The only thing the fans could have asked for, to add to their delight, was a little more warmth In the atmosphere, and even that was supplied by the spectators when the real root- ing began. It was a splendid crowd, both in its proportions and in the elements of which it was composed, and it was a magnificent welcome it gave the players who fought for, won, and hoisted that pennant and the new men who bave joined the champions to help them retain that emblem.
There were cheers for everybody, from Hoy, who couldn’t hear them, to Patterson, the hero of many a hard-earned victory last year. There was so much enthusiasm on tap, that the visitors came in for a generous share of It, especially Bradley and McCarthy, the two ex-Orphans, who, by the way, cut the greatest figure in the game for the losers, and Wood, who helped the champions so much last season. There were flowers for Brain, the youngest of the White Soxs, and a cane and umbrella for McCarthy from the friends he made at the West Side grounds. And at the end there was so much surplus exuberance that the bleacherites Indulged in a merry cushion fight all through the con- cluding inning by way of celebration.
Hoffer’s Costly Bases on Balls.
It would have been most discourteous for Cleveland to won in the face of all that good-natured enthusiasm. It would have been cruelty to have put the slightest damper upon it. But the visitors tried hard enough to be discourteous, and if Bill Hoffer had been able to locate the plate at all in the first two innings it would have been an uncomfortably closer rub at the best. It was fast, clean baseball. Nine innings were played in an hour and a half, and each team made a single error, on difficult chances in both cases. Dashing base-running gave the White Stockings so wide a margain of scores in comparison to the slight difference in the batting figures, and it was that base-running that made Hoffer’s bases on balls so costly to his team in the main.
The crowd began to gather long before 3 o clock. and the early arrivals were amused by a concert by the First Regiment Rough Riders’ band. The visiting team was the first to make its appearance and went through its preliminary practice amid the good-natured guying of the bleacherites, while the champions kept modestly out of sight down by the clubhouse. Fifteen minutes later the White Stockings marched out and across the field in a long line of dazzling white, and the spectators arose as if one man to cheer. There was one preliminary burst and then a hush until the advancing line reached the edge of the diamond, then there was another cheer which might have been heard in South Chicago if the wind had been stronger.
Not since 1886 have Chicago fans had such an opportunity as that, not in fifteen years a chance to applaud and feel proud of a team of champions. In that time a new generation of fans has sprung up, and those who can recall Chicago’s last previous pennant are in the veteran class of rooters. But old and young seemed bound to make the most of their opportunities on this occasion-and they did.
Greeting the Champions.
There was a cheer when the White Stockings took their positions for practice, another when Manager Griffith went out to drive hot liners and grounders to the infield, still another for big Jack, Katoll when he began to push long fungoes to the outfielders, and more cheers for each individual player as he handled the ball; for Jones and Hoy and Mertes when they came in under short pop flies; for Hartman, Shugart, and Brain as they scooped up fast bounders with almost mid-season accuracy and shot them over to first; for Isbell when he pulled In the wide throws, and for Billy Sullivan, who stood at the plate and snapped the ball around the -different bases with an arm which he says is lame but which showed no signs of it In practice or play.
Then the rival teams congregated at the plate and- with the band to lead them marched in two long lines down to the tall flagpole In deepest center field. There was the briefest of delays and then the members of last season s team, to whom belonged the honor of hoisting the pennant, grasped the rope. and, tugging lustily, slowly raised it aloft. The big crowd arose and let out a cheer as the silken banner left the ground, the band played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and everybody hoped the “long may it wave” would come true.
Pennant Is Unfurled.
Not until the pennant reached the top of the staff did the breeze seem strong enough to, straighten It out, but then, as the long silken folds were slowly and lazily unfurled, disclosing the words so unfamiliar to the eyes of local fans, “Chicago, Champions American League, 1900,” cheer followed cheer, and while the teams marched back across the park to the strains of “There’ll Be a Hot Time” the spectators settled back into their seats ready for the struggle of 1901 to commence. There was a little delay while the Captains and Umpire Connolly fixed the ground rules made necessary by the crowd on the field and the game was on. And if the “hot time” predicted didn’t eventuate it wasn’t the band s fault. It was all Hoffer’s.
Then it was discovered that Roy Patterson, no longer a “boy” in fast company, but still a “wonder,” was to pitch the game for the champions, and the crowd once more expressed Its delight. Pickering was the first to face him and the first ball of the season was a “ball,” but it was closely followed byr a “strike”—an American league strike, and not the National league brand once known as a foul. Then Pickering raised a high fly which gave Hoy the first putout of the season in pretty nearly the same spot that he made the last putout of last season. McCarthy was next, and, after he had blushed his acknowledgments of the present made him, the West-Sider cracked a sharp hit to Hartman. It bounded off the Dutchman’s hands and caromed over to Shugart, who grabbed it and shot it to first just a thousandth of a second too late to catch his man and McCarthy had made the first base hit of the season. Genins flied, out to the silent man and La Chance sent an easy one to Brain, forcing McCarthy-at second.
Hoy led off for Chicago with a grounder to La Chance, and was out. Jones waited with becoming patience and earned his base with- out even swinging his bat. Mertes shot one at his old teammate, Bradley, who fumbled just an instant and missed a possible double play, then retired Sandow at first. Here Hoffer lost his bearings badly and permitted Shugart and Isbell to walk, filling the bases. Hartman was next, and, after making a half dozen National league ” strikes,” most of which hit the grand stand, the Dutchman caught a straight squarely and lined it sharply over Hallman’s head, scoring the first two runs of the season. Brain flied out to McCarthy, and the score was “two-love, Chicago wins.”
Bradley hit to his third-base rival and was out in the second inning, but Beck hit safely. Little Sullivan went back close to the visitors’ bench and made a brilliant catch of Hallman’s foul, and Wood hit to Shugart, forcing Beck for the third out.
“Scully’s” catch of the foul made his wel-come at bat one of the warmest of all, and he responded with a liner straight over second bag. Patterson struck out trying to sacrifice, and Hoy sliced a ball to Bradley, trying to “hit and run” with Sullivan, and was thrown out, but it advanced the runner. Jones once more gave a correct imitation of Job, and was rewarded with another walk. Mertes profited by the example and, after watching four wide balls go by, the bases filled. Shugart made it three walks in succession, and thereby forced in a run.
Isbell started out to repeat, but changed his mind when he saw one of his favorites coming over the base, and smashed it fast to center field, starting one of the weirdest mixups ever, seen at South Side Park, from which the White Stockings emerged with their traditional good luck of last year- without a scar.
Chicago’s Good Base Running.
Two runs scored on the hit, of course, and when Genins threw the ball to Hoffer Shugart, thinking it was going to the plate, kept on running for third. Hoffer nailed the throw and relayed it over to Bradley, heading off Shugart, who turned back. Isbell had broken for second on the play and the Clevelanders had two runners trapped, with only one base between them. But those two runners kept pretty nearly the whole Cleveland team busy for a minute, and both of them slipped through the visitors’ fingers at that. Shugart dodged, doubled, and twisted until he slid Into second safely, but that left Isbell at their mercy, and the ball went to La Chance, who ran “Liz ” down close to second. Shugart had meanwhile set sail for third again. and La Chance turned his attention that way, chasing Shugart down the line. Just before they reached third La Chance tossed the ball toward where he supposed Bradley was, but Bradley wasn’t there. Shugart had squirmed past him on the line, and the only man at third was Manager Griffith, the coacher. So everybody was safe, and it cost two runs.
Once more in that inning the White Stockings got away with their traditionally reckless base running. Hartman hit a sharp one at Hallman, who fumbled, then picked the ball up and threw wide of first. La Chance stretched his lanky frame to its utmost and nearly saved the error, but the ball bounded out of his mitt and a few feet away, letting In two runs, for Isbell scored from second on the play and had such a start that La Chance no attempt to catch him at the plate. Brain was the third out by way of Bradley.
1901 Chicago White Stocking
Visitors’ First Score.
The third inning was notable only for a brilliant stop by Shugart off Hoffer’s hit and for a fast double play by the visitors, retiring both Sullivan and Patterson on a sharp grounder to Hoffer. The visitors accumulated their first tally in the fourth Inning, and it was by virtue of a momentary fumble by Brain. La Chance led off with a clean drive to center. Bradley popped a cinch to Shugart. and then Roy Patterson went to the wrong side of the street for a couple of blocks. He gave both Beck and Hallman bases on balls, filling the circuit as full at it would hold without running over. By this time the crowd was willing to see Cleveland do something to make it interesting, and rooted for Wood to hit it out. The ex-champion hit sharply to Brain, who had an easy double play in front of him, but was in such a hurry to start it that he had to make two grabs for the ball, and that instant was just enough to let Wood beat the relay to first by a step. La Chance scored from third, and then Mertes smothered Hoffer’s fly.
In the sixth the White Stockings gave an exhibition of the opposite of team work at bat just by way of contrast to their previous work, evidently. With two out Hoy pushed out a safe hit. Jones pulled the first ball pitched into right field between La Chance and Beck, but Hoy was not expecting it and failed to get the start that would carry him to third. Then, as if to make amends, the silent man started to steal third on the first ball pitched to Mertes, and neither Jones npr Mertes was expecting it. But Wood made a bad throw, which Bradley stopped only by a miracle, and Hoy landed in safety, slid away over the bag, and was touched out.
White Stockings’ Only Error.
In the next Inning the White Stockings made their only error. It was Isbell’s muff of a poor throw by Hartman, and it started the inning with a life for Hallman. Wood singled him to second with a jab to left. A faultless double play by Brain, Shugart, and Isbell killed Wood and Hoffer on the latter s sharp hit and it looked like another blank, but Pickering bumped one between third and short which Shugart blocked but couldn’t stop, and it let in Hallman with Cleveland’s last run.
The champions got It back in their half easily enough. It was just a little hit by Mertes into Pickering’s preserves, just a little bunt by Shugart toward La Chance, and just a little push by Isbell which sent the ball scurrying past Beck, and Mertes scampered past Bradley to the plate.
Beck opened the ninth with a double-the only one of the, day-but he expired on Hallman’s grounder to Shugart, who tossed It to third instead of to first, and stopped a promising run In Its early infancy. A grounder to Hartman and a fly to Mertes did the rest, and the big crowd slowly filed out and faded away with a parting glance over its shoulder at the silken tribute to the prowess of Chicago’s. White Stockings as it furled Itself softly against its support. The score on the right.
Chicago Tribune, September 29, 1901
The American league’s second championship season, which closed at sundown last night with Chicago’s White Stockings again in the lead with a comfortable margin, has been a most trying one for all persons concerned, magnates and players alike.
The league itself went before the public as a major league for the first time, and as such made a bid for patronage in the face of the old league, and its supposedly invincible strongholds. The experiment was considered hazardous even by the stanchest friends of the young organization. It turned out a success beyond the expectation of any but the most sanguine. The league did not, as predicted, bankrupt itself by putting up such expensive plants in four Eastern States, but, instead, won the patronage of that public from the start, and has come out of the first season’s warfare with its colors nailed to the m,ast and in good condition for another year’s fight.
Leading Teams Pay Well.
In three of the eight cities the venture has been highly profitable. These are Chicago, Boston, and Detroit, where the three leading teams were located. The owners of these clubs made money, and the Boston team has paid for an expensive plant besides. In Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, where the other new clubs were located, there will be a small margin on the right side of the ledger, it is believed in spite of the expense of building new outfits. Eliminating the expense of the grounds, all three clubs would be far ahead of the game, and this in spite of the fact that the National league team in Philadelphia has proven the better drawing attraction in that city on account of maintaining a higher position in the race than Connie Mc’s Athletics.
In two of the three cities where there was competition, therefore, the young league has won out. In Cleveland, so far as it is possible to learn, the club has made an even break in spite of its second division team all the the season. That leaves Milwaukee with its tail-end club as the only financial loser in the circuit.
Pennant Victory Is Unique.
The most remarkable feature of the race, aside from the fact that the White Stockings won the pennant at all, is that it won it in spite of their poor showing against their closest rivals for the pennant. The champions won only eight games out of twenty from Boston and performed the unusual feat as losing every game played in Boston. They were able to do no better than break even with ten games won and as many lost in the series with Detroit, which finished third.’
To the baseball fans of Boston and Detroit, therefore, it is a mystery how the White Stockings won the pennant. It is somewhat of a mystery to Chicagoans. The champions have been one of the weakest batting teams in the league and have ranked only second or third in fielding all season. The explanation of their leadership is found, however, in the fact that all along they have led in the number of runs scored, and it is runs that win games. To their staff of pitchers and to the system of team playing on the bases the White Stockings owe their victory in the race. With three twirlers, Griffith, Patterson, and Callahan, all able to hold an opposing team down to low figures, it was a comparatively easy task to make enough runs some old way to win out. Katoll, too, won the majority of the games he pitched by the narrow margin of one.
Had Five Good Pitchers.
Skopec was a winner while he lasted. The White Stockings, therefore, had five winning pitchers during the season. No other club in the league makes any such showing. Philadelphia comes next with four pitchers who won more games than they lost. These are Wiltse, Bernhard, Fraser, and Plank. Boston had three such pitchers—Young, Lewis, and Winters—and Baltimore three in McGinnity, Foreman, and Nops. Detroit shows up at the finish with three winners in Miller, Yeager, and Sievers. Washington had two in Patten and Lee; Cleveland one in Moore, and Milwaukee none.
Of the American league pitchers, two stand predominant in a class by themselves. They are Clark Griffith and “Cy” Young, and so close was the race between them that they finished the season one point apart in the percentage of games won. Young had a shade the better of the argument because he pitched in nine more games than the White Stockings’ manager. Young pitched forty-one games and won thirty-two of them. Griffith pitched thirty-two games and won twenty-five of them, losing seven.
But Chicago had Callahan and Patterson, each of whom won 60 per cent of their games, a better pair of standbys than Boston could find in Lewis and Winters, who won only a small number of games than they lost.
McGinnity was the leading pitcher in the Baltimore club and the pitched the greatest number of games, winning twenty-seven and losing eighteen. Wiltse was Philadelphia’s best pitcher for the length of time he was with the club, and Bernhard leads the men who pitched the season out. Miller was the leader among Detroit pitchers, Patten in the Washington staff, Moore in Cleveland’s bunch, and Reidy in the Milwaukee club, the last named winning nearly half his games with a team of tail-enders behind him.
Reach’s Official American League Base Ball Guide For 1902
PRESIDENT COMISKEY, OF CHICAGO.
Charles Comiskey, the famous president and actual manager of the Chicago Club, has been a familiar and great figure in the base ball world for a score of years. Mr. Comiskey’s first professional experience was with the Dubuque Club away back in 1882. In 1883 he joined the St. Louis Club and under Ted Sullivan’s tutoring he made such rapid advances that in 1884 he became manager-captain of the famous St. Louis Browns who, under his handling, be came the four-time American Association champions, winning the pennant 1885-86-87-88. During this period Comiskey enjoyed the reputation of being the greatest field general in the profession. In 1890 he broke with Mr. Vonder Ahe and joined the Chicago Brother hood Club. That famous all-star team proved a gigantic failure, and the next year Comiskey returned to Von der Ahe. The two could not get along however, and the next year Comiskey became the Cincinnati club’s manager. After two seasons’ vain struggle to make a winner out of this team he gave it up, and entered the Western League as owner of the St. Paul Club, which he ran until 1900, when he transferred his St. Paul team to Chicago and won the Western League —rechristened American League—championship. Last year he repeated the trick with a stronger team in the larger arena of the American League, thus capturing one more major league championship and having six pennants to his credit.
Reach’s Official American League Base Ball Guide For 1902
THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONS.
CHICAGO’S American League Team, winners of the championship for 1901, under the lead of the veteran field general, Charles Comiskey, is entitled to the greatest credit for its fine achievement for the reason that it was the oddest combination ever put together for a straight race to the flag. Relics of half a dozen teams, cast-offs from National League clubs in the past; men who in other company never startled the world by their achievements as batters or fielders—this odd collection, with some good pitchers and the training of Comiskey, won first a flag in the slower company of 1900 and then defeated all competitors in the high-class American League of 1901. The value of team work was never more forcibly displayed than in the two flag-winning campaigns of Comiskey and his team, the first and only team to bring a pennant to Chicago since the halcyon days of Anson, away back in 1886. Following will be found pictures and pen sketches of the American League’s worthy champion team:
Clark Griffith, star pitcher, road manager and team captain of the champions, is a striking figure in base ball. He is now thirty
years old—according to his own tab—and has been a professional ball player since he was sixteen. Pitching ’round Illinois towns “Griff,” a pupil of Radbourne, soon attracted much attention. He had trials here and there, was once on St. Louis’ list, and finally caught on with Milwaukee, where he starred till James A. Hart got him. His career with the Chicago National League team was one of steady success, although the club never ranked very high in the race. Seeing an opportunity to make a wad of extra cash, “Griff” jumped to Comiskey in 1901 and worked for the success of his new team as he never worked before. Griffith is considered by many experts to be the cleverest of all boxmen, and no other twirler of similar length of service can show so large a percentage of victories. His record last year was 24 victories and 7 defeats for .774. He batted for .300. He is unquestionably a base ball star of the first water.
Wiley Piatt, the lone southpaw pitcher of the Chicago team, has had a comparatively short career on
the diamond. He first came into prominence with the Dayton club, of the Inter-State League, four years ago. He and Flick, of the same club, were signed in 1887 by Manager Stallings, of the Philadelphia club, and both made remarkable successes in their first League year. Gradually, however, Piatt fell off, and in 1900 his strength was undermined by a severe attack of typhoid fever. In the spring of 1901 he jumped to the Athletic club, of the American League, but failed completely to hold up his end, and was released in June. He was idle all summer, but Comiskey engaged him in the fall, and he showed surprising speed, skill and general effectiveness. On the whole season he won 9 games out of 23 pitched for .391; but for the Chicago team he won 4 games out of 7 pitched for .636.
James J. Callahan, second pitcher of the Chicago team, hails from Fitchburg, Mass. After showing
good form ’round the New England towns, he was drafted by Philadelphia, and when the Quakers let him go without half a trial they lost a jewel. Drifting to Kansas City, he showed such sensational skill that James A. Hart grabbed him. Callahan won most of his games with Chicago, and played nearly every position in the field from time to time. He joined Criffith in the acrobatic stunt of 1901, and is said to receive an enormous salary from Comiskey. Callahan always ranks high among the pitchers, and in invaluable for batting strength and general fielding ability. Last season he batted for .344, and won 15 games out of 24 pitched for .625
Roy Patterson, “the boy wonder of St. Croix,” is a Wisconsin lad, now twenty-three years of age. He
never played with any professional team until he was given a trial by Comiskey at St. Paul in 1899. It did not take “Commy” long to see that the boy was a coming wonder, and Patterson, under his tuition, went to the front by bounds. He was the leading pitcher of the American League in 1900, his first year of service, and, while starting poorly last year, got back to form by July, and finished with a grand record of winning games. “Pat” is a marvelously scienced pitcher for one so little versed in old leaguers’ ways, a light hitter, a fair fielder and a youth of finest habits. He hit for .220 last
season, won 16 games pitched and lost 15 for .516.
John Katoll, known to his fellows as “Big Jack,” the fourth pitcher of the\ champion club, was a blacksmith blacksmith in Detroit till he conceived the idea that he could play ball. He pitched at Utica, N. Y., and did so well that he was given a trial by James A. Hart. He did not last, and went back to the minors for one season, when Comiskey landed him. Since joining the “old Roman” Katoll has been a steady and reliable man, though not brilliant in his work. He has great speed, with fair control, and would be a second Rusie if he thought a bit more actively. Katoll is one of the poorest batters on earth, but is very popular with the Chicago South Side fans. He won 11 games and lost 10 for .543.
William D. Sullivan, the star catcher of the Chicago team, did the bulk of the backstop work last season. He was a pupil of Tom Loftus, who developed him at Dubuque, and always maintained that he was bound to be a marvel as a backstop. Loftus secured him a job with the Bostons, and he would have replaced Martin Bergen as chief catcher for the Beaneaters had not a fat salary led him to Chicago. “Sully” was in 95 games last year, batting for .245 and catching superbly. He was generally considered the best maskman in the service of the American League.
Joseph Sugden, the senior catcher of the Chicago team, is referred to as “the old man,” but is really not much over the 30 mark. A Philadelphian, he learned the game around the Quaker City, and first became prominent with Charleston, in the Southern League. Pittsburg engaged him in 1893 and kept him some seasons. Falling off in his batting, he was transferred to St. Louis, but did not stick, and went to the American League. After joining Comiskey he showed much improvement in both batting and catching. His batting average last year was .283. The young pitchers considered his coaching invaluable, and his stick work last season was of a high order.
Chicago White Stockings Baseball Team, 1902
In center, portrait of Clark Griffith, pitcher. Top row, left to right: Wiley Piatt, pitcher, Billy Sullivan, catcher, Tom Daly, second baseman, Ed McFarland, catcher, Sammy Strang, third baseman. Center row: Danny Green, outfielder, Griffith, Frank Isbell, first baseman. Bottom row: Sam Mertes, outfielder, Nixey Callahan, George Davis, shortstop, Roy Patterson, pitcher, Fielder Jones, outfielder.
FIRST BASEMAN ISBEL.
Frank Isbel, first baseman, was one of Comiskey’s finds. He caught on with “Commy” at St. Paul as a pitcher, but showed such adaptability that he was used at half a dozen other places. He batted so well that James A. Hart drafted him, but the big fellow did not stick in the National League. Mr. Comiskey took him in tow again at St. Paul, kept on developing him and took him to Chicago. He was to have been used as a pitcher, but an accident to Frank Motz, the regular first baseman, sent Isbel to the initial pillow and he has stayed there ever since, although subbing all over the field for any injured player. “Izzy” led the American League in stolen bases last year. He batted for .261.
SECOND BASEMAN MERTES.
Samuel Mertes, known the country over as “Sandow,” the Chicago club’s efficient second baseman, was also a discovery of Comiskey, who had him at St. Paul and made him famous. The Philadelphia team took him, but kept him only part of one season despite his hitting and astounding speed on the bases. Mertes went back into the Western\ League and played such fast ball that Chicago gave him a second trial. He was with Chicago three years and then deserted to the American League. “Commy” intended to use him as a fielder, but the defection of Dick Padden made it necessary to put him in the infield. Here he played ball that was not only fast but heady, while his batting was heavy and his base running second only to that of Isbel. His batting average last season was .280.
THIRD BASEMAN HARTMAN.
Fred Hartman, who covered third base, is a heavily-built German who twice failed in the National League and was never really developed till Comiskey got him. He was in the Johnstown, Pa., club when he first attracted notice. After a brief trial\ with Pittsburg he went to the Western League, where he did so well that St. Louis took him, later trading him to New York, where he could not harmonize with Mr. Freedman. Back among the minors he fell into the Chicago team and has shown improved form ever since. His hitting, fielding and base running last season were about the best in his career. He batted for .312 on the season.
Frank Shugart, the champions’ shortstop, is a veteran of long standing. Back in 1889 Shugart, who
lived near Pittsburg, was playing in a New York League club. In 1890 he went into into the Inter State League and played such fast ball that the Chicago Brotherhood team tried him out. He fell back after the Players’ League died, and staid among the minors again for a few months when Pittsburg bought him. Subsequently Shugart played with the St. Louis, Louisville and Philadelphia clubs, never ranking as a star, but always rendering conscientious service. He dropped back into the Western League, went to Comiskey and the “old Roman” has made him play real ball for the champions.
Herman McFarland, outfielder of the champion Chicago team, made his professional entry in the West, playing in Iowa and Nebraska. He soon acquired enough note to have two National League trials—with Louisville and Cincinnati—and was with Indianapolis for a time. He batted lightly in 1900, and it was not supposed that he would stick in the improved company of 1901. As the issue proved, Herman fooled them, batting cleverly and doing fast work in the field and on the bases. He batted for .265. McFarland hails from the Falls City.
Fielden Jones, who played right field for the champions, is one of the stars of the American League. Jones first came into prominence under Tom Burns in the Springfield club, of the Eastern League, in 1897, and was drafted by Brooklyn. With the Brooklyn club he had varying fortune, being used mostly as a substitute until last year, when he became the club’s regular outfielder and materially helped it to win the National League championship by his great fielding, heavy batting and clever base running. In the spring of 1901 he jumped from the Brooklyn club to the American League, joining Comiskey’s team at a fat salary. If anything, he did even better work than the previous year in all departments of the game, and was a great factor in the new champions’ success, his batting average being .325. He hails from Shinglehouse, Pa., and is but twenty-five years of age.
William E. Hoy, the famous “dummy” outfielder, has been a conspicuous figure in base ball ever since 1888, when he went from the Oshkosh team, of the old Northwestern League, to the National League. Despite the fact that he is deaf and dumb, Hoy’s work proved so good that he has never lacked work, although shifted to almost every club in the League circuit. In the thirteen years since he entered the fast company Hoy has played on about seven different clubs, always proving a good batsman, fast runner and simply wonderful outfielder. Comiskey got him in 1900, and Hoy’s work has shown no sign of deterioration since, although he is now more than thirty-three years old. Hoy, despite his infirmities, is a well-read gentleman of polished manners. His batting average last year was .293.
Clarence Foster, utility man, is a collegian from Manhattan University. He was a pitcher at school, but acquired some experience as a fielder in the Connecticut League. The New York club, taking him on in 1898, used him for in and outfield work. He played with New York till the summer of the past season, when he went to Washington. The Senators let him out as he was unable to do himself justice through illness. Comiskey gave him a contract, and he won the first game he played with a home run through center field. His work thereafter was so good that he will be given a fair show in 1902. Last season he batted for .270.
Chicago White Stocking Advertisement
July 23, 1902
South Side Park III
1904 Chicago White Stockings Scorecard
August 25, 1905 Chicago White Stockings Scorecard
The Chicago Tribune
August 12, 1904
White Sox as Official Name