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August 12, 1914: Duluth “Dooks” lose marathon game

On this day in Duluth in 1914, the Duluth White Sox lost to Winona 5–3 in 16 innings, with pitcher Withers throwing all 16 innings for Duluth and just two pitchers hurling for Winona—a feat not seen in today’s game of starting, middle relief, and closer specialists. The Duluth News Tribune’s report of the game was laced with drama. “Lefty Davis and his Winona gang hit the Dooks a poke in the nose in the sixteenth inning…. it was sad did dings and the score was 5 to 3 ferninst Darby and his gallant gang.” Allow us to interpret: Davis was the manager of the Winona team, and the White Sox were lead by Darby “Dook” O’Brien; the newspapers referred to the ’Sox as the “Dooks.” (Read about the many “Duluth Dukes” here) And “ferninst”? It’s an archaic synonym for “against.” The report continued: “Coming up from behind, following a three run holocaust in the third inning, the Dooks bravely hitched their little wagon on the tail end of the Winona go-cart and declared it a tie. Then for nine innings nothing stirred except the fluttering hearts of rabid fans. Fate, working through department G had willed it a million years ago that this game should be lost and the efforts of the rooters and team were unavailing.” Could “Department G” mean “God”? Who knows, but if you’d like to read this overwrought sports report in its entirety, click this link: Dooks_8.13.1914_DNT

Darby “Dook” O’Brien, player-manager of the Duluth White Sox from 1909 to 1917. (Image: Zenith City)