Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Red Faber Born
Red Faber was a spitballer, one of the grandfathered spitballers who got to continue throwing the pitch even after it was banned. Faber spent his entire career with the Chicago White Sox and was the second best starter on the White Sox 1917 World Series team but had injuries that limited him in 1919 and he was not a part of the Black Sox scandal. It is, I suppose, an interesting question whether Faber could've been tempted by the gamblers that year—the fact that his bread-and-butter pitch was an illegal one suggests it was possible—but one that remains forever unknown.
What is known is that while Faber is an awfully borderline Hall of Famer--he's in there anyway--in the 1917 World Series Faber performed brilliantly. He appeared in four games, pitching the most innings for the ChiSox with a 2.33 ERA while winning three games.
This is not to say the Series was without flaw for Faber. Fabrer, who couldn't hit at all (lifetime .134) slammed a ball into right field with Buck Weaver on second. On the throw home Faber took second. Noticing the pitcher was throwing from a full wind-up--and assuming Weaver had scored on his single--Faber decided to take some initiative and steal third. He ran and made it...only to discover third base was rather full because Weaver hadn't actually scored on the hit and was therefore still occupying third. Luckily for Faber the White Sox were already winning 7-2 at the time so the blunder didn't cost him anything except embarrassment.