Surprise performances are part of history

While stars rule the headlines, lesser-known players have always stepped up in the clutch to help teams capture glory.

Originally Published: October 21, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Who will be the hero of the 2005 World Series? Before you submit your answer, recall the following history...
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In 1906, the Chicago White Sox were in trouble. Their World Series opponents were the Chicago Cubs, who that season had won 116 games and lost only 36. The White Sox's best player, shortstop George Davis, was out with an injury. This was obviously a real problem, considering the White Sox were known as "The Hitless Wonders" because of their league-worst .230 team batting average (though nobody seems to have noticed that the White Sox drew an immense number of walks and actually ranked third in the league in scoring).

In Game 1, regular third baseman Lee Tannehill took Davis' place at shortstop, and utility infielder George Rohe went to third. In the fifth, Rohe led off with a triple against Cubs ace Mordecai Brown, scored the game's first run a moment later, and the Sox held on to win 2-1. Two days later, Rohe's bases-loaded triple accounted for all the scoring in Game 3. Davis was back in the lineup for Game 5, but Rohe remained at third base and went 3-for-4 with a rally-extending walk in the White Sox's 8-6 win. And in Game 6, the Sox closed out the Series, with Rohe collecting a couple of singles and one run.

Perhaps because of his World Series heroics, Rohe found himself with (nearly) everyday duties in 1907. He batted .213 with two triples -- he'd tripled twice in six Series games -- and was never heard from again.


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