On This Date in Sports October 14, 1906: The Hitless Wonders

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

This one is for White Sox Dave.

The Chicago White Sox, nicknamed "The Hitless Wonders," win the World Series beating the Chicago Cubs in six games. The White Sox win the finale at South Side Park 8-3, completing a monumental upset. The Cubs had set a record with 116 wins, posting a record of 116-36. Meanwhile, the White Sox won the American League with a record 93-58, despite a league-worst .230 average.  The White Sox did not hit in the World Series either, batting .198, but the Cubs were just as bad, hitting .196. 

Managed by Frank Chance, part of the famous Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance double-play tandem, the Chicago Cubs had the greatest regular season in the history of Major League Baseball. The Cubs posted a record of 116-36, and scored the most runs, and allowed the fewest runs by large margins, as they beat the New York Giants by 20 games. 

The Chicago White Sox, meanwhile, scratched and clawed their way to a 93-58 record. Fielder Jones was the team's centerfielder and manager. The White Sox hit a paltry .230, worst in the American League, but powered by a 19-game winning streak sprung from fourth play to first and won the American League Pennant. The White Sox had won the inaugural pennant in 1901 but now were on the way to the World Series for the first time facing the Cubs. 

The Chicago Cubs were among the first teams in the National League in 1976. At the time, they were known as the Chicago White Stockings, a name that they used through their first two decades before Cap Anson retired and the team became the Chicago Orphans. After briefly using the name Colts, they became the Chicago Cubs at the turn of the century due to the number of young players they had. The Chicago White Sox were a charter American League franchise winning the league championship in 1901. It was the first time that a World Series had two teams from the same area. The White Sox ruled the Southside, while the Cubs had yet to go North, playing at the West Side Grounds. 

Mordecai "Three-Fingered" Brown got the start in the opener for the Cubs. He had been the most dominant pitcher in baseball in 1906. However, he was matched pitch for pitch by White Sox starter Nick Altrock. In the fifth inning, the Sox got an unearned run in the sixth, they scored n a wild pitch and won the game 2-1 on the West Side Grounds.

Game 2 was played on the South Side, with Ed Reulbach starting for the Cubs, while Doc White started for the White Sox. It was a sloppy game, as the two teams combined for five errors, with the Cubs jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning and never looking back, winning 7-1 to even the series. 

Back on the West Side for Game 3, the White Sox had Ed Walsh on the mound while the Cubs countered with Jack Fiester. Big Ed gave the White Sox the start they needed, allowing two hits. Meanwhile, the White Sox broke through with a bases-clearing triple George Rohe in the sixth inning to win the game 3-0. The Cubs returned the favor in Game 4, as it was a Brown-Out for the White Sox, as Mordecai allowed two hits to outduel Nick Altrock, as Johnny Evers knocked in the only run in the seventh as the Cubs won 1-0. 

Game 5 at the West Side Grounds was the craziest game of the series and ultimately decided the Crosstown Chicago showdown. Frank Isbell staked the Ed Walsh and the White Sox to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. However, the Sox played sloppy defense committing six errors. This included two in the bottom of the first that allowed the Cubs to score three runs to take the lead. The White Sox tied it with two runs in the third as George Davis hit a double and stole home. In the fourth, the Sox took the lead with four runs as Isbell and Davis each hit doubles, along with Jiggs Donahue. The Cubs got another unearned run in the bottom of the inning when Solly Hofman scored on a Wild Pitch. The White Sox added a run in the sixth, but the Cubs would not go quietly as Frank Schulte had a two-run double to make the score 8-6. Doc White came on and allowed one hit over the final three innings as the White Sox won the game 8-6 and stood one game away from the championship. 

Through the first five games, the visiting team had won each game. Game 6 was at the South Side Park. Frank Schulte gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead with a first-inning double against Doc White. However, Mordecai Brown did not have his best stuff as the White Sox answered with three runs on doubles by George Davis and Jiggs Donahue. Davis added two more RBI in the second as Brown was relieved by Orval Overall, with the White Sox building a 7-1 lead. The White Sox would go on to win 8-3 to win the World Series. 

The Cubs would go on to win the World Series in 1907 and 1908, beating the Detroit Tigers in what would be the only titles of the 20th Century.