Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Harry Lord

Harry Lord came to the White Sox by a stroke of bad luck. A Walter Johnson fastball broke Harry's finger on July 10, 1910. The stellar play of his substitute, Clyde Engle, made him expendable to the Red Sox. On August 9, 1910 he was traded to the White Sox.

The Red Sox should've held on to Harry. In 1911, his best year statistically, he had 180 Hits, 103 Runs, 18 Doubles, 18 Triples, 3 Home Runs, 61 RBI and 43 Stolen Bases in 141 Games for the White Sox. He really packed a punch to a weak hitting White Sox team.

A swelled head and a cheap owner spelled disaster for Harry. During the 1914 season, he got into a contract dispute with White Sox owner Charles Comiskey. You never cross the Old Roman when it came to money. Comiskey was frugal (cheap) and stubborn when opposed.

Harry decided the best course of action was to disappear. He returned for a few games to plead for his release. When Comiskey refused, Harry disappeared again. Word got out that he signed with the Buffalo team in the Federal League ten days later. Although, he never showed up in Buffalo that year. He reported to the White Sox in 1915, only to find himself blacklisted by the American League and National League owners.

Forced into a situation he created, Harry reported to Buffalo in 1915. After a rocky start, he led the league in home runs with 17. When the Federal League folded, Harry was out of playing options. He spent the next decade managing minor league teams.

Harry turned out to be his own worst enemy. Some days he felt like playing, some days he did not. When he mustered up the energy to play, he was fantastic. He earned the right to be the White Sox team captain for his stellar play. He earned the wrath of the owners by only playing when he felt like it. Who knows how long his career could've lasted if he showed up ready to play everyday.

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