Record: 62-92 in American
Manager: Kid Gleason
With just a few games left in the 1920 season, the Chicago White Sox received the equivalent of the death penalty. Eight players -- including Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams -- were banned from the game for life.
The White Sox had rebounded from their tainted loss in the 1919 World Series and were close to returning to the series again in 1920. Baseball in Chicago just wouldn't be the same for years and years to come.
With just two weeks to go in the 1920 season, eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned for life by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis. The White Sox finished two games out of first that season. Gone were Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Happy Felsch, Eddie Cicotte, Swede Risberg, Lefty Williams and Fred McMullin.
Manager Kid Gleason entered the 1921 season with a mix of aging veterans and newcomers. It was a mixture of players that went from being a league contender to being a fixture in the bottom of the league standings. The Chicago White Sox would not have another winning season until 1925 when the team finished 79-75 under Manager Eddie Collins. The team didn't finish in the top three of its division again until 1936 (the White Sox were 20 games out of first place). The team didn't win the division again until 1959.
The 1921 White Sox featured a pitching lineup that mixed good, bad and worse. The good included Red Faber (25-15, 2.48 ERA) and Dickie Kerr (19-17, 4.72 ERA). From there, the pitching went south. Shovel Hodge finished with a 6-8 record and a 6.54 earned run average. Roy Wilkinson put up a 4-20 record with a 5.14 earned run average.
The team's combined 4.94 earned run average was the worst in all of baseball in 1921. The team lost 92 games -- second only to the Athletics in the American League and third overall in major league baseball. The White Sox missed starters Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams who finished at a combined 4320 in 1920 with an earned run average around 3.75.
Earl Sheely made his debut with the White Sox in 1921 and led the team in home runs with 11 and runs batted in with 95. Sheely also hit .304 and stole 4 bases. Ernie Johnson, who had last played for the St. Louis Browns in 1919, took over at shortstop for Risberg and led the team with 22 stolen bases.
Eddie Mulligan had played for the Chicago Cubs in 1915-16 and got the chance to return to the major leagues in 1921 when he replaced Buck Weaver at third. Mulligan hit .251 with a home run, 45 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases.
After losing the combined 26 home runs and 236 runs batted in from the banning of Happy Felsch and Joe Jackson, and losing Nemo Liebold to a broken hand, the White Sox found outfield replacements in Harry Hooper, Amos Strunk and Bibb Falk. Falk hit three home runs and drove in 82 runs. Strunk drove in 69 runs and Hooper, who played for the Red Sox from 1909-1920, stole 13 bases.
Falk had the job of replacing Jackson. Falk debuted in 1921 with a .285 average. He finished his career with a .314 average. After his playing days were over, Falk returned to his alma mater to coach Texas to 20 conference titles and two National Championships.
Johnny Mostill led the White Sox contributions from the bench. In 326 at-bats, Mostill hit 3 home runs and drove in 42 runs, batting .301.