Red Faber

Urban Clarence "Red" Faber (September 6, 1888 – September 25, 1976) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1914 through 1933, playing his entire career for the Chicago White Sox. He was a member of the 1919 team but was not involved in the Black Sox scandal because he missed the World Series due to injury and illness.

Faber won 254 games over his 20-year career, a total which ranked 17th-highest in history upon his retirement. At the time of his retirement, he was the last legal spitballer in the American League; another legal spitballer, Burleigh Grimes, was later traded to the AL and appear in 10 games for the Yankees in 1934.[1] Faber was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.

Red Faber
Born: September 6, 1888
Cascade, Iowa
Died: September 25, 1976 (aged 88)
Chicago, Illinois
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 17, 1914, for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 20, 1933, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record254–213
Earned run average3.15
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Early life

Faber was born on a farm near Cascade, Iowa, on September 6, 1888. He was of Luxembourgish ancestry. While Faber was a child, his father managed a tavern and later ran the Hotel Faber in Cascade. His father became one of the wealthiest citizens in Cascade. As a teenager, Faber attended college prep academies in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and Dubuque, Iowa. By the age of 16, Faber was receiving $2 to pitch Sunday games with a local baseball team in Dubuque.[2]

In 1909, Faber pitched a season for St. Joseph's College, later known as Loras College. In a game against St. Ambrose University that year, he set a school record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game (24).[3] Former Dubuque minor league owner Clarence "Pants" Rowland encouraged Faber to sign with the Class B Dubuque Miners of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League.[2]

Early career

Faber started well in the minor leagues. He pitched 15 games for Dubuque in 1909 and returned to the team in 1910, registering an 18-19 win-loss record and a 2.37 earned run average (ERA) in 44 games. He threw a perfect game for the Dubs against the Davenport Prodigals in September of that season.[4]

He also spent time with minor league clubs in Pueblo and Des Moines. He broke into the major leagues in 1914, starting 19 games and relieving in another 21; he posted a 2.68 ERA while winning 10 games and saving a league-leading four games. Through the 1910s, he varied between starting and relieving for a team that enjoyed a wealth of pitching talent. In his 1915 season, he won 24 games to tie for second in the American League behind Walter Johnson, and he led the league with 50 appearances. In one game that season, he pitched a three-hitter with only 67 pitches.

In 1917 he had a record of 16–13, and at one point started—and won—three games in two days. He saved his best work for the World Series against the New York Giants. After winning Game 2 in Chicago but losing Game 4 on the road, he came into Game 5 (at home) in relief and picked up the win as the Sox came back from a 5-2 deficit in the seventh inning to win 8-5. Faber came back two days later to go the distance in the clinching Game 6 at the Polo Grounds, picking up his third win of the Series by a 4–2 score. As a consequence, he holds the all-time American League record for pitching decisions in a single World Series with four, a record which stands to this day.

His pitching was better than his baserunning—in one game he tried to steal third base when it was already occupied. Faber said that he saw the lead runner rounding third base on the previous play and he thought that the runner had scored a run. When the pitcher slowly entered his windup, Faber ran toward third base.[5] However, in one game against Boston, he stole home, a rare feat for a pitcher.

After spending most of 1918 in the United States Navy due to World War I, he returned in 1919 only to develop arm trouble.[6] He had lost a significant amount of weight during the war.[7] He finished the year with a 3.83 ERA – the only time in his first nine seasons he posted a mark over 3.00. Those problems, along with a case of the flu possibly related to the Spanish flu pandemic, prevented him from playing in the scandal-torn World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Years later, catcher Ray Schalk said that had Faber been available, there probably would never have been a fix. Had Faber been healthy, he would have almost certainly gotten some of the starts that went to two of the conspirators, Eddie Cicotte and/or Lefty Williams.[8]

Success in the 1920s

Faber enjoyed the greatest success of his career in the early 1920s. The live-ball era was beginning, but he was among the pitchers who made the most successful transition. The spitball was phased out after the 1920 season, with Faber one of the 17 pitchers permitted to use it for the remainder of their careers. He took advantage of Comiskey Park's spacious dimensions, surrendering only 91 home runs—barely one homer per month—from 1920 to 1931. He was one of only six pitchers to win 100 or more games in both the "dead ball" (through 1920) and live ball eras. Faber finished the 1920 season with 23 wins and led the league in games started.

During the summer of 1921, Faber and several other players had to leave a road trip in Washington after receiving subpoenas for the Black Sox trial in Chicago. Faber made the trip but was not asked to testify and he returned to the White Sox without missing a start.[9] In 1921 and 1922, he posted win totals of 25 and 21, respectively, leading the league in ERA (1921–1922), innings (1922) and complete games (1921–1922). He was also among the league leaders in strikeouts each year, while pitching at least 25 complete games and over 300 innings.

Faber achieved most of his success with teams that were usually barely competitive. The White Sox had been one of the top teams in the league with a powerful offense in the late 1910s. With much of the core of that team permanently banned due to the Black Sox Scandal, however, the White Sox had only two winning seasons in Faber's last 13 years, never finishing above fifth place. In the 1921 season, he earned a 25-15 win-loss record for the post-scandal team that limped to a 62-92 finish; from 1921 to 1929 his record was 126-103. In 1927, Ty Cobb had a 21-game hitting streak which was broken when he faced Faber.[10] Despite the widespread hitting of the era, he did not post an ERA over 3.88 until he was 41. Perhaps his last great performance was a one-hitter at age 40 in 1929.

Later career

In his last few seasons, Faber returned to relief pitching, coming out of the bullpen 96 times between 1931 and 1933.[11] Faber announced his retirement before the 1934 season. He had pitched 20 consecutive years for the White Sox.[12] He ended his career at age 45 with a 254-213 career record, a 3.15 ERA and 1471 strikeouts. He holds the White Sox franchise record for most games pitched, and held the team records for career wins, starts, complete games and innings until they were later broken by Ted Lyons. After retiring as a player, Faber entered auto sales and real estate. He returned as a White Sox coach for three seasons.[11]

Later life

In 1947, Faber married Frances (Fran) Knudtzon, who was nearly 30 years younger than he was. Faber said that he was too old for Fran, but she insisted that they should get married. The marriage was not popular among Faber's Catholic family; Fran was Lutheran and a divorcee, and the couple had married quickly. However, some of his family members became more accepting of Fran.[13] They had a son the next year, Urban C. Faber II, nicknamed "Pepper". When Pepper was 14, he suffered a broken neck in a near-fatal swimming accident, causing long-term health problems.[11]

Faber helped to found Baseball Anonymous, a charitable organization that assisted former baseball players who had run into financial or physical problems, and he later worked on a Cook County highway surveying team until he was nearly 80. Faber was a longtime smoker and had suffered two heart attacks in the 1960s. He began to suffer from increasing heart and lung issues and died in Chicago in 1976. He was interred in Acacia Park Cemetery, Chicago.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Burleigh Grimes Statistics and History
  2. ^ a b "Baseball Hall of Famer and Cascade Native – Red Faber". Tri-County Historical Society. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  3. ^ "Hall of Fame: Urban Faber". Loras College. Archived from the original on November 15, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  4. ^ "This day in minor league history: Thursday, August 18, 1910". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Red Faber explains his bonehead jplay". Pittsburgh Press. October 10, 1917.
  6. ^ "Iowan Red Faber wasn't just another White Sox pitcher". Telegraph Herald. October 3, 1976. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  7. ^ Fleitz, David (2001). Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson. McFarland. p. 165. ISBN 0786450231. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Purdy, Dennis (2006). The Team-by-Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball. New York City: Workman Publishing. ISBN 0-7611-3943-5.
  9. ^ Cooper, p. 114
  10. ^ "Red Faber Stopped Ty's Batting Streak". The Milwaukee Journal. May 30, 1927. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d Cooper, Bryan. "Red Faber". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Urban "Red" Faber". Telegraph-Herald. February 18, 1934. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Cooper, pp. 223-224.


  • Cooper, Brian (2007). Red Faber: A Biography of the Hall of Fame Spitball Pitcher. McFarland. ISBN 9780786427215.

External links

1915 Chicago White Sox season

The 1915 Chicago White Sox season involved the White Sox finishing third in the American League.

With the acquisitions of Eddie Collins (over the winter) and Joe Jackson (in August), Chicago now had the two hitters they needed to win the 1917 and 1919 AL pennants.

1916 Chicago White Sox season

The 1916 Chicago White Sox finished second in the American League, just two games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. By this time, the nucleus of the 1917–19 dynasty was in place. Chicago would win the World Series the following season.

1917 Chicago White Sox season

The 1917 Chicago White Sox dominated the American League with a record of 100–54. The 100 wins is a club record that still stands. Their offense was first in runs scored while their pitching staff led the league with a 2.16 ERA.

Facing the New York Giants in the 1917 World Series, the team clinched the series in six games, thanks in large part to the workhorse efforts of Eddie Cicotte and Red Faber. It would be the team's last world championship until 2005.

1917 New York Giants season

The 1917 New York Giants season was the franchise's 35th season. It involved the Giants winning the National League pennant for the first time in four years. The team went on to lose to the Chicago White Sox in the 1917 World Series, four games to two.

1917 World Series

In the 1917 World Series, the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Giants four games to two. The Series was played against the backdrop of World War I, which dominated the American newspapers that year and next.

The strong Chicago White Sox club had finished the 1917 season with a 100–54 record: their first and only one-hundred-win season in franchise history as of 2018. The Sox's next World Series winner in 2005 would finish the regular season with a 99–63 record.

The Sox won Game 1 of the Series in Chicago 2–1 behind a complete game by Eddie Cicotte. Happy Felsch hit a home run in the fourth inning that provided the winning margin. The Sox beat the Giants in Game 2 by a score of 7–2 behind another complete game effort by Red Faber to take a 2–0 lead in the Series.

Back in New York for Game 3, Cicotte again threw a complete game, but the Sox could not muster a single run against Giants starter Rube Benton and lost 2–0. In Game 4 the Sox were shut out again 5–0 by Ferdie Schupp. Faber threw another complete game, but the Series was even at 2–2 going back to Chicago.

Reb Russell started Game 5 in Chicago, but only faced three batters before giving way to Cicotte. Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, Chicago was down 5–2, but they rallied to score three in the seventh and three in the eighth to win 8–5. Faber pitched the final two innings for the win. In Game 6 the Sox took an early 3–0 lead and on the strength of another complete game victory from Faber (his third of the Series) won 4–2 and clinched the World Championship. Eddie Collins was the hitting hero, batting .409 over the six game series while Cicotte and Faber combined to pitch 50 out of a total 52 World Series innings to lead the staff.

The decisive game underscored the Giants' post-season frustrations, featuring a famous rundown in which Giants' third baseman Heinie Zimmerman futilely chased the speedy Eddie Collins toward home plate with what would be the Series-winning run. Catcher Bill Rariden had run up the third base line to start a rundown, expecting pitcher Rube Benton or first baseman Walter Holke to cover the plate. However, neither of them budged, forcing Zimmerman to chase Collins while pawing helplessly in the air with the ball in an attempt to tag him. Two years before the issue of baseball betting reached its peak, Zimmerman found himself having to publicly deny purposely allowing the run to score, i.e. to deny that he had "thrown" the game. In truth, McGraw blamed Benton and Holke for failing to cover the plate. A quote often attributed to Zim, but actually invented by writer Ring Lardner some years later, was that when asked about the incident Zim replied, "Who the hell was I supposed to throw to, Klem (umpire Bill Klem, who was working the plate)?" Conventional wisdom has it that Collins was much faster than Zimmerman, but existing photos of the play show that Zimmerman was only a step or two behind Collins, who actually slid across the plate while Zim jumped over him to avoid trampling him. Zimmerman would eventually be banned for life due to various accusations of corruption.

The great athlete Jim Thorpe, better known for football in general, made his only World Series "appearance" during Game 5, where he was listed in the lineup card as starting in right field; but for his turn at bat in the top of the first inning he was replaced by a left-handed hitting Dave Robertson.

The White Sox, who were essentially dismantled following the 1920 season by baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis due to the Black Sox Scandal in the 1919 World Series, did not make it to another World Series until 1959, and did not win another World Series until 2005.

1918 Chicago White Sox season

Depleted of most of their stars due to World War I, the Chicago White Sox had a relatively bad year in 1918, going 57–67 and finishing in the second division. They had won the American League pennant in 1917 and would win another in 1919.

1919 Chicago White Sox season

The 1919 Chicago White Sox season was their 19th season in the American League. They won 88 games to advance to the World Series but lost to the Cincinnati Reds. More significantly, some of the players were found to have taken money from gamblers in return for throwing the series. The "Black Sox Scandal" had permanent ramifications for baseball, including the establishment of the office of Commissioner of Baseball.

1920 Chicago White Sox season

The 1920 Chicago White Sox season was a season in American baseball. The team was in contention to defend their American League pennant going into the final week of the season. However, for all intents and purposes, the season ended on September 26, when news of the Black Sox Scandal became public. Owner Charles Comiskey suspended the five players who were still active (the sixth, ringleader Chick Gandil, opted to retire after the 1919 season). At that time, the White Sox were only a half-game behind the Cleveland Indians, but went 2–2 over their last four games to finish two games out. They would not finish in the first division again until 1936.

1921 Chicago White Sox season

The 1921 Chicago White Sox season involved the White Sox attempting to win the American League pennant. However, with the core of the team banned after the Black Sox Scandal broke, they fell back to seventh place.

1922 Major League Baseball season

The 1922 Major League Baseball season.

1923 Chicago White Sox season

The 1923 Chicago White Sox season was a season in Major League Baseball. The White Sox finished seventh in the American League with a record of 69 wins and 85 losses.

1933 Chicago White Sox season

The 1933 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 33rd season in the major leagues, and its 34th season overall. They finished with a record 67–83, good enough for 6th place in the American League, 31 games behind the first place Washington Senators.

1964 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1964 followed the system introduced for even-number years in 1962.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players with provision for a second, "runoff" election in case of no winner. The runoff was necessary this year, with Luke Appling the winner.

Meanwhile, the Veterans Committee was meeting annually to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected six people: Red Faber, Burleigh Grimes, Miller Huggins, Tim Keefe, Heinie Manush, and John Montgomery Ward.

Further, the eligibility of retired players was reduced from having retired thirty years prior to election to twenty.

Des Moines Boosters

The Des Moines Boosters were a Western League minor league baseball team based in Des Moines, Iowa, United States that existed from 1908 to 1924. They won two league championships - their first in 1915 under manager Frank Isbell and their second in 1917 under Jack Coffey.Hall of Famers George Davis and Red Faber played for the Boosters.

Jake Freeze

Carl Alexander "Jake" Freeze (April 25, 1900 – April 9, 1983) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared in two games for the Chicago White Sox in July 1925. The 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), 150 lb. right-hander was a native of Huntington, Arkansas.

Both of Freeze's major league appearances were on the road against the St. Louis Browns at Sportsman's Park. On July 1 and July 2 he pitched a total of 3.2 innings in relief and allowed seven runs, but only one of them was an earned run, so his lifetime ERA stands at 2.45.

His manager (and teammate) was future Hall of Famer Eddie Collins. Other notable teammates who would one day be members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were Red Faber, Harry Hooper, Ted Lyons, and Ray Schalk.

List of Chicago White Sox Opening Day starting pitchers

The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Chicago. They play in the American League Central division. The White Sox have used 62 Opening Day starting pitchers since they were established as a Major League team in 1901. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The White Sox have a record of 60 wins and 53 losses in their Opening Day games, through the 2013 season.The White Sox have played in three different home ball parks. They played at South Side Park from 1901 through the middle of 1910, the first Comiskey Park from 1910 through 1990, and have played at the second Comiskey Park, now known as U.S. Cellular Field, since 1991. They had a record of four wins and two losses in Opening Day games at South Side Park, 18 wins and 19 losses at the first Comiskey Park and four wins and one loss at U.S. Cellular Field, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 27 wins and 22 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 33 wins and 31 losses.Mark Buehrle holds the record for making the most Opening Day starts for the White Sox, with nine. Billy Pierce had seven Opening Day starts for the White Sox, Wilbur Wood had five, Tommy Thomas and Jack McDowell each had four, and Frank Smith, Jim Scott, Lefty Williams, Sad Sam Jones, Bill Dietrich, Gary Peters and Tommy John each had three. Several Baseball Hall of Famers have made Opening Day starts for the White Sox, including Ed Walsh, Red Faber, Ted Lyons, Early Wynn and Tom Seaver.The White Sox have played in the World Series five times. They won in 1906, 1917 and 2005, and lost in 1919 and 1959. Frank Owen was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1906, Williams in 1917 and 1919, Pierce in 1959 and Buehrle in 2005. The White Sox won all five Opening Day games in those seasons.In addition to being the White Sox' Opening Day starter in 1917 and 1919, Williams was also the Opening Day starter in 1920. However, he was suspended from the team later in the season and then banned from baseball for life for his role in throwing the 1919 World Series. Ed Cicotte, who had been the White Sox' 1918 Opening Day starter, was also banned from baseball as a result of his actions during the 1919 World Series. Ken Brett's Opening Day start on April 7, 1977 against the Toronto Blue Jays was the first game in Blue Jays' history. The Blue Jays won the game 9–5.

List of Chicago White Sox nicknames

In the last 100-plus years, the Chicago White Sox have had many players with colorful and memorable nicknames from "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to "Old Aches & Pains" Appling, Minnie the "Cuban Comet" Minoso, "Little Louie" Aparicio, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas. These are some of the best.

Dick Allen: "Wampum"

Sandy Alomar: "Iron Pony"

Luis Aparicio: "Little Louie"

Luke Appling: "Fumblefoot" or "Kid Boots" or "Old Aches & Pains"

Cuke Barrows, Roland Barrows: "Cuke"

Bruno Block, James John Blochowicz: "Bruno"

Ken Boyer: "Cap" or "Captain"

Smoky Burgess, Forrest Harrill Burgess: "Smoky"

Iván Calderón: "Ivan The Terrible"

Norm Cash: "Stormin’ Norman"

Eddie Cicotte: "Knuckles"

Rocky Colavito, Rocco Colavito: "Rocky"

Eddie Collins: "Cocky"

José Contreras: "Commander"

Joe Crede: "Clutch Norris"

Bucky Dent, Russell Earl O’Day: "Bucky" or "Bucky 'Fucking' Dent"

Octavio Dotel: "Ol' Dirty"

Richard Dotson: "Dot"

Brian Downing: "Incredible Hulk"

Red Faber, Urban Clarence Faber: "Red"

Carlton Fisk: "Pudge"

Nellie Fox, Jacob Nelson Fox,: "Nellie", "Little Nel", or "The Mighty Mite"

Freddy García: "Chief"

Ralph Garr: "Road Runner"

Kid Gleason, William Gleason: "Kid"

Goose Gossage, Richard Michael Gossage: "Goose" or "The White Gorilla"

Craig Grebeck: "The Little Hurt"

Bo Jackson, Vincent Edward Jackson: "Bo"

Joe Jackson: "Shoeless Joe"

Bobby Jenks: "Big Bad Bobby Jenks"

Lance Johnson: "One Dog"

Ted Kluszewski: "Big Klu"

Paul Konerko: "Paulie"

Carlos Lee: "El Caballo"

Ted Lyons: "Sunday Teddy"

Jack McDowell: "Black Jack"

Catfish Metkovich, George Michael Metkovich: "Catfish"

Minnie Miñoso, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso: "Minnie" or "The Cuban Comet"

Blue Moon Odom, Johnny Lee Odom: "Blue Moon"

Magglio Ordóñez: "El Caribe Mayor (The Caribbean Mayor)" or "Mags"

Tom Paciorek: "Wimpy"

Don Pall: "The Pope"

Herbert Perry: "The Milkman"

Bubba Phillips, John Melvin Phillips: "Bubba"

Billy Pierce: "Billy the Kid"

Scott Podsednik: "Pods"

Carlos Quentin: "TCQ"

Tim Raines: "Rock"

Alexei Ramírez: "The Cuban Missile"

Ray Schalk: "The Cracker"

Tom Seaver: "Tom Terrific"

Bill Skowron: "Moose"

Moose Solters, Julius Joseph Soltesz: "Moose" or "Lemons"

Nick Swisher: "Dirty Thirty"

Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt"

Jim Thome: "Big Jimmy" or "Mr. Incredible"

Javier Vázquez: "The Silent Assassin"

Robin Ventura: "Batman"

Dayán Viciedo: "The Tank"

Ed Walsh: "Big Ed"

Skeeter Webb, James Laverne Webb: "Skeeter"

Hoyt Wilhelm: "Old Sarge"

Walt Williams: "No Neck"

Taffy Wright, Taft Shedron Wright:: "Taffy"

Early Wynn: "Gus"

List of Chicago White Sox team records

This is a list of team records for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball team.

Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /

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