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View Full Version : White Sox Players of the Past - Red Faber


BRDSR
08-12-2009, 04:43 PM
I have recently gotten interested in collecting vintage baseball cards, and purchased my oldest one to date, a 1921 Exhibits Red Faber, last night. I for one was woefully uneducated about Red Faber, so I did a little research about the White Sox great and thought I'd share some of it:

Hall-of-Fame spitballer Urban Clarence "Red" Faber was born in Iowa in 1888. He played some minor league ball then broke into the big leagues with the White Sox in 1914 and went on to pitch 20 seasons for the team. He was one of 17 pitchers who were allowed to continue throwing a spitball following its prohibition in 1920. (Two others, Stan Coveleski and Burleigh Grimes, are also Hall-of-Famers.) He started 483 games and appeared in relief in another 186, compiling 29 complete game shutouts and 28 saves. (His saves were simply by chance, as teams did not really begin using "closers," as such, until the 1980s. The save was not even an official baseball statistic until 1969.) Faber won 254 games for the White Sox, had a career ERA of 3.15, and, remarkably, gave up only 111 home runs in 4,086.2 career innings pitched.

Like many pitchers of his era, the characteristic which most distinguishes Faber from modern pitchers is simply how much pitched. He pitched more than 300 innings in three consecutive season (1920-22) and missed the mark by a single out in 1915. His stamina was perhaps at its best in the 1917 World Series, when he started three games (winning game 2, losing game 4, and winning the clinching game 6) and won Game 5 with two perfect innings of relief. He gave up 7 earned runs in 27 innings in the Series (for a 2.33 ERA), the last one the White Sox won for 88 years. It was the only World Series Faber ever appeared in, and he remains the only pitcher to get four decisions in a World Series. While the White Sox of course returned to the Series in 1919, Faber was sidelined with arm trouble and the flu. Hall-of-Famer Ray Schalk, the White Sox catcher at the time, has suggested that if Faber had been available the Black Sox Scandal may never have happened.

The Black Sox did happen, though, and the consequences wreaked havoc on the organization after the afflicted players' suspension and eventual banishment from baseball near the end of the 1920 season. In Faber's final 13 years on the White Sox, the team never finished better than 5th place. From 1921 to 1931, the last year Faber started a significant number of games, the White Sox compiled a record of 753-935 (.446) while Faber managed to go 144-130 (.526). Had the Black Sox never happened, Faber might have had an outside shot at becoming only the second 300-game winner in baseball history to pitch for a single team. (Walter Johnson won each of his 417 games for the Washington Senators.)

In 1932 and 1933, Faber pitched primarily in relief, and he retired after the '33 season. To this day, he has appeared in more games than any other pitcher in White Sox history and he ranks second behind Ted Lyons in career starts, wins, complete games, and innings pitched. He also hit more batsmen and issued more walks than any pitcher in White Sox history. Faber would go on to coach for the White Sox and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964 in the same class as Luke Appling, another career White Sox player and a teammate of Faber's for the last four seasons of his career. As an indication of his hard-working personality, Charles Comiskey's oft-lamented stingy salaries, or both, Faber worked for a Cook County highway surveying team until the late 1960s. He died in September 1976 and, by that time apparently a full-blooded Chicagoan, is buried in Acacia Park Cemetery on West Irving Park Road.

Authored by Brad Sauer. Research compiled in large part from Wikipedia and Baseball-Reference.com.

CWSpalehoseCWS
08-12-2009, 04:47 PM
He was one of the better pitchers in Sox history. Too bad he was sick for the 1919 series.

PalehosePlanet
08-12-2009, 05:00 PM
A Red Faber biography came out a couple of years ago. I'm very interested in reading it, but haven't picked it up yet.

It is written by Brian Cooper.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Red-Faber/Brian-E-Cooper/e/9780786427215/?itm=1

tacosalbarojas
08-12-2009, 07:34 PM
A Red Faber biography came out a couple of years ago. I'm very interested in reading it, but haven't picked it up yet.

It is written by Brian Cooper.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Red-Faber/Brian-E-Cooper/e/9780786427215/?itm=1Got it a couple of years back at Soxfest. It was okay, but honestly it was kind of dry. But good for historical facts I believe and background on Faber.

I'd like to know how much that card the original poster has is worth.

TheVulture
08-12-2009, 08:07 PM
About $130-140 in mint/near mint condition according to my minimal research.

Nice post, BTW.

BRDSR
08-12-2009, 08:46 PM
Got it a couple of years back at Soxfest. It was okay, but honestly it was kind of dry. But good for historical facts I believe and background on Faber.

I'd like to know how much that card the original poster has is worth.

I don't know if you're familiar with PSA's professional grading standards (http://www.psacard.com/grading/grading_standards.chtml), but a PSA 6 (a respectable grade, but wear is noticeable), went for $300 in May. On the other hand, a PSA 5 did not sell for $125 in June. The card I bought is actually miscut, so there is a thin strip on the right side which is not supposed to be there. I bought it for $30 and hope it picks up a grade of PSA 3, making it probably worth $30-$40. (I'm really too poor to be in this expensive hobby.) When the cards get that old, the grade makes a huge difference. Even common cards at the high end, PSA 8 or 9, would probably go for more than $1,000, although they're so rare that its hard to get a good feel for what they're really worth.

About $130-140 in mint/near mint condition according to my minimal research.

Nice post, BTW.

Thanks, I appreciate it. Pretty slow day at work and I had some fun writing it. May do more in the future.

TornLabrum
08-12-2009, 10:31 PM
Another gossipy tidbit: There were rumors that Faber was messing around with Johnny Mostil's wife and that (rather than the painful neuralgia cited by press reports) was the reason Mostil attempted suicide.

KRS1
08-13-2009, 01:50 AM
Another gossipy tidbit: There were rumors that Faber was messing around with Johnny Mostil's wife and that (rather than the painful neuralgia cited by press reports) was the reason Mostil attempted suicide.

Actually it was the other way around. Mostil was rumored to be having an affair with Red's wife. I read about this not too long ago in an article about the Fritz and Kekich wife swap.

jackbrohamer
08-13-2009, 09:59 AM
Faber was one of the best pitchers in franchise history. I believe that he never had a number, so they can't retire his number, but the team should depict him on the outfield wall with the other franchise greats.

BubblingCalderon
08-13-2009, 11:43 AM
I can't remember who it was, but St. Louis has some player who never had a number retired on their wall. Instead of a number they put the STL logo.

LITTLE NELL
08-13-2009, 01:02 PM
I can't remember who it was, but St. Louis has some player who never had a number retired on their wall. Instead of a number they put the STL logo.
That would be Rogers Hornsby.

TornLabrum
08-13-2009, 01:06 PM
Actually it was the other way around. Mostil was rumored to be having an affair with Red's wife. I read about this not too long ago in an article about the Fritz and Kekich wife swap.

Right. Got it exactly backwards.