Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Video: Our Boys in the 1917 World Series

This film gives us a look at Game One of the 1917 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants.

It is a rare opportunity to see some early-20th century Brews in action, as the Cream City club had contributed three starting position players to that 1917 White Sox squad:
  • Oscar "Happy" Felsch was Chicago's starting center fielder. A local Milwaukee boy, Felsch was a member of the 1913 and 1914 pennant-winning Brewer squads, going to the Sox in 1915. By 1917 he was a true star. He was later banned from baseball for his part in throwing the 1919 World Series, the only one of the infamous "Eight Men Out" who ever wore a Brewer uniform. Felsch came home to live the rest of his life in Milwaukee, where he owned a grocery store and a tavern.

  • Catcher Ray Schalk, widely considered the best catcher in the majors, had played for the Brews in 1911 and the first half of 1912 before being sold to the White Sox in late July for $10,000. He played nineteen years in the majors, all but the last with the Sox. Schalk moved into managing and was the skipper of the Buffalo Bisons in 1936, when the Brewers beat them to win the Junior World Series. He would return to Milwaukee for a brief managerial stint with the Brews in 1940, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

  • Outfielder Nemo Leibold had a more circuitous route from Milwaukee to Chicago than either of his two teammates. He was a Brewer in 1911 and 1912 before moving to the Cleveland Indians, who traded him to the Sox during the 1915 season. After his playing days were over, he had two managerial stints in the American Association; first with the Columbus Red Birds (1928-32) and the second with the Louisville Colonels (1944-48).
That 1917 roster also included two men who would later play in Milwaukee:
  • Backup first baseman Ted Jourdan was a frequent visitor to Athletic Park; he had a solid five-year career with the Minneapolis Millers (1919, 1922-24) after leaving Chicago. In the middle of the 1924 season, he got to see the home dugout when the Millers loaned him to the Brewers for 14 games.

  • Lefty Dave Danforth pitched for the Brewers in 1926. He won seventeen games that season, including two during the club's 21-game winning streak. He struggled at the beginning of 1927, and just weeks into the season (and following the sudden death of team owner Otto Borchert) he was shipped off to New Orleans of the Southern Association.
Now that you've met the Brewers' contribution to the 1917 White Sox, see if you can spot any of these men in the footage!

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