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Red Faber
#18 | Pitcher | Chicago White Sox | Roster

Urban Charles Faber

     The lanky Faber is part of a rich tradition of pitching in Comiskey Park - for a team that last won the World Series in 1917, the Sox have had a great history of moundsmen, including Hall-of-Famers Ed Walsh and Ted Lyons; Cy Young winners Early Wynn and LaMarr Hoyt; ERA champs Eddie Cicotte, Gary Peters, Frank Baumann, Thornton Lee, Billy Pierce and Joe Horlen; and pitchers like Lefty Williams, Tommy John and Hoyt Wilhelm.

     Walsh actually helped design pitcher-friendly Comiskey, so maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that the lowly White Sox have such a rich pitcher's history.


     Faber spent his entire 20-year career with the seldom-contending Chicago White Sox of the American League.  He won 254 games for the White Sox, who finished in the second division in 15 of his 20 seasons.  The durable right-hander enjoyed his biggest year in 1921 when he won 25 games for a seventh place team and paced the American League with a 2.47 ERA.  His 1,471 strikeouts are far down the all-time list, yet he always claimed success against Ruth and Cobb.  Like many spitballers, he threw the spitter sparingly, for contrast, and with a variety of motions.  Always poised, the excellent control pitcher became increasingly sager. In his 4,087 innings, he allowed only 110 HR (one every 37 innings), and hit only 104 batters (one every 39).


     His oddest statistical feats came as a batter. A .134 switch hitter, in 1915 he walked seven times in a row.  Twice, he made the most of his rare on-base appearances by stealing home.


     In 1917, the Sox defeated the New York Giants in the World Series in 6 games, with Faber winning three games including the last two (he won Game 5 in two innings of relief, then won Game 6 with a complete game, 6-hit, 2 ER performance).  He was also a member of the infamous 1919 squad, which threw the Series to the Cincinnati Reds.  Faber survived the scandal, along with Eddie Collins and Ray Schalk, and ended up in the Hall of Fame.  He, Eddie Collins and Ray Schalk went on to complete their careers, while Shoeless Joe Jackson and Eddie Cicotte weren't so fortunate.  The other six men out - Swede Risberg, Buck Weaver, Hap Felsch, Chick Gandil, Lefty Williams and Fred McMullin - included some stars but no real Hall of Fame candidates.  


     He was the last legal American League spitballer when he retired in 1933 - the next year Burleigh Grimes became the last spitballer in the majors.  Sixteen pitchers were "grandfathered" in 1920 when the major leagues banned the spitter and declared illegal all foreign substances applied to baseballs: Urban "Red" Faber of the White Sox; Yancy "Doc" Ayers and Hubert "Dutch" Leonard for the Tigers; Ray Caldwell and Stan Covelski of the Cleveland Indians; Dana Fillingim and Dick Rudolph of the Braves; Bill Doak and Marv Goodwin of the Cardinals; Burleigh Grimes and Clarence Mitchell of the Dodgers; Urban Shocker and Allen Sothoron of the St. Louis Browns; Phil Douglas of the Giants; Allen Russell of the Red Sox; and Jack Quinn of the Yankees.


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