Two Days, two No-Hitters?

Two Days, two No-Hitters?
May 5, 2012, 7:22 pm
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95 years ago today (and 108 years after Cy Young tossed the American League's first perfect game), the White Sox began a six-game series in St. Louis against the Browns. Saturday's game pitted Eddie Cicotte (on his way to a 28-win season for the Sox) against Ernie Koob (in the midst of a 23-win career). This is called ironic foreshadowing. At the end of the day, Koob had a 1-0 no-hitter; the unearned run coming on an error by Swede Risberg (Cicotte and Risberg weren't throwing games quite yet).

Sunday's doubleheader offered a chance for the Sox to reverse their fortunes. Unfortunately in Game 1, the Browns had their way with starter Reb Russell. Bob Groom pitched two no-hit innings in relief of spitballer Allan Sothoron to mop up an 8-4 St. Louis win, and he was only getting started. The 6'2" native of Belleville, Ill., went back to the mound to start Game 2 and delivered a 3-0 complete game no-hitter against "Butcher Boy" Joe Benz (who tossed a no-no of his own in 1914) and Pants Rowland's Southsiders.

It was a sweet weekend for Browns manager Fielder Jones, with three impressive wins against his former team (Jones played with the Sox 1901-08; managed from 1904-08). Unfortunately for the Brownies, at 11-8, three games over .500 would be their high water mark of the season, and they finished 57-97. Koob (6-14) and Groom (8-19) finished a combined 14-33.

As for the White Sox, their record stood at a mediocre 11-10. But they left St. Louis with a split after winning the next three. They didn't look back; they won 19 of their next 21, finished 100-54, and beat the Giants in the World Series.

As Joaquin Andujar said when asked for one word that describes baseball: "You never know."