Chapter on Watertown Baseball
Chicago White Sox
David J. Stalker
The Watertown Goslings played host to the Chicago White Sox at Washington Park on May 23rd, 1913. This was within seven years of the White Sox waving the 1906 World Champion banner. The Goslings, not to be confused with the high school team, were in the Central State League. Promoting the event was a man named Paddy Ryan. Paddy put up hundreds of posters in Watertown and surrounding cities and counties, advertising the event. He stated that he never scheduled a game were interest ran so high. The anticipated attendance was set at 6,000 to 7,000.
The White Sox announced their starting line in the Watertown newspaper prior to the event. A few of the names that stirred up excitement were Ed Walsh, Billy Sullivan and Frank Lange. Ed Walsh was a future Hall of Fame pitcher known for winning 40 games in 1908, and was part of the 1906 World champion team. Billy Sullivan was Ed’s catcher, and also a member of the 1906 Champion White Sox. Billy however, was returning to an area close to where he grew up. He was born in Oakland, Wisconsin and played baseball and attended school at Fort Atkinson. Frank Lange grew up and played baseball in Columbus Wisconsin, and he was coming off a season in which he pitched 10 victories for the White Sox. It is easy to understand exactly why the interest was so high, not just in Watertown, but the surrounding area as well.
Fifteen members of the White Sox arrived by train a couple of hours prior to the scheduled 3:00 start. With local businesses hanging up their closed signs, and factories closing down, there was a large gathering of fans watching the players warm up.
The Goslings had a strong team in 1913, but they would not match up well to the White Sox. Hurting the Goslings confidence early was Frank Lange and his devastating curve ball. He stuck out the first 5 players he faced, and eleven out of fifteen batsmen in the 5 innings that he pitched. Smith came in a pitched the 6th though 8th innings, and chalked up four more strike outs. The Goslings would not score until the 9th inning, to avoid the shutout. This was when the White Sox manager Jim Callahan, who is also known as Nixey, came in to pitch the 9th inning. Manager Callahan had not pitched a major league game since 1903.
The Goslings took advantage of the former pitcher, who was getting close to the forty year old mark. Ruesch opened up the inning with a double, and the crowd went wild when Watertown’s shortstop Schumann belted the games only home run. This made the final score 13-2 in favor of the White Sox. The White Sox collected 2 hits off Woelffer and 7 hits off Watertown’s Richards. Judging by the fact the White Sox had more runs than hits, the White Sox players would have drawn more than just a couple of walks.
It is uncertain if Ed Walsh made the trip or not. Out of the fifteen members for the Sox, only twelve saw action in the game, and were as follows.
Schaller lf, Roth 2b, Berger ss, Fournier 1b, Bodie 3b, Zieder cf, Mattick rf, Sullivan c, Kuhn c, Lange p, Smith p, and Callahan p.
For the Watertown Goslings were Powers lf, Ruedig 3b, Hahn cf, Schumann ss, Kronitz 1b, Woelffer p, Richards p, W. Richards 2b, Hornickle c, Demin ss-3b, Weihert cf, Heye rf, and Ruesch ph.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin