Thursday, May 31, 2012
On this day in 1914, Joe Benz delivered a no-hitter at Comiskey Park against the Cleveland Naps, winning 6-1.
Throwing primarily spitballs and knuckleballs, Joe became the fourth pitcher with the White Sox to throw a no-hitter. It would be the fifth overall no-hitter for the Pale Hose (Frank Smith had thrown two). The feat was a bright spot in a horrible season which saw the White Sox finish thirty games back of the Philadelphia Athletics and win only seventy games. For the Naps, this would be the nadir for their dismal season. They would eventually finish forty-eight 1/2 games behind the A's, winning only fifty-one games.
This would be the only American League no-hitter thrown in 1914. Interestingly enough, each of the three leagues had one no-hitter that year. George Davis would accomplish the feat for the Boston Braves (against the Philadelphia Phillies) in the National League and Ed Lafitte would have the honors for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops (against the Kansas City Packers) of the Federal League.
Benz, who was born in Chicago, would have his MLB debut in 1911 for the White Sox. The South Siders would be Joe's only team during his major league tenure. His last appearance was on May 2nd for the ill-fated 1919 Sox team. The two innings of relief to finish the game against the St. Louis Browns at Comiskey Park, in a 11-4 loss, was his only appearance that season.
Joe hasn't strayed far from his hometown, even after death. He currently resides in Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Worth, Illinois.