Last Out Baseball From Game 4 of the 1917 World Series
Two years before the Black Sox scandal, the 1917 Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Giants in the World Series, which was played against the backdrop of World War I. This was the last ball used in the fourth game, won by New York, 5-0. Winning pitcher Ferdie Schupp's hand is responsible for all the writing on the official National League baseball, which shows some use and faded labeling. The writing that is decipherable reads: LAST BALL 4TH GAME WORLD SERIES 1917 NEW YORK-5 CHICAGO-0 SCHUPP-RARIDAN-FABER-SCHALK. The four names listed are the starting pitchers and catchers for the game. Schupp struck out seven in tossing the shutout, and received all the offensive support he would need from center fielder Benny Kauff, who homered twice off losing pitcher Red Faber, quite an accomplishment in the Dead Ball Era. This was Faber's only loss of the Series as he was responsible for three of the four Sox victories. Despite the shutout victory at the Polo Grounds, which evened the Series at two games apiece, the Giants wound up losing the Series, 4 games to 2. Shoeless Joe Jackson was one of the hitting stars for Chicago, batting .304 for the Series, and going 3-5 with two runs scored in the pivotal fifth game, which saw the White Sox erase a late three-run deficit to prevail 8-5 at Comiskey Park. Two days later - on October 15 - Chicago ended the Series by winning 4-2 at the Polo Grounds behind Faber's six-hitter. Hall of Fame second-baseman Eddie Collins led all hitters with a .409 batting average. In another notable footnote to the Series, renowned athlete Jim Thorpe, better known for his football prowess, made his only World Series "appearance" during Game 5, when he appeared on the lineup card as the starting right fielder; but after playing defense in the top of the first inning, he was pinch-hit for in his turn at bat. This historic ball was saved by Schupp and acquired from a family member. The ChiSox would not win another Fall Classic until 2005.