Comiskey Park

Comiskey Park opened July 1, 1910, on the corner of 35th Street and Shields Avenue in Chicago and became the home of the Chicago White Sox for the next 80 years.

With an construction cost of $750,000, it's original seating capacity was 32,000. In 1927, that was increased to 52,000.

Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey purchased the land which contained the city dump. This is where he built Comiskey Park to replace the White Sox former baseball stadium, South Side Park.

The fabulous new ball park, nick named the "Baseball Palace of the World" for a short time, was built of concrete and steel. It's huge dimensions favored pitchers. The dimensions would later be "trimmed" to favor the White Sox defensive style of play.

In 1917, the White Sox ball park hosted the New York Giants in the World Series. The White Sox won the Series four games to two. It would be their last World Series Championship for 88 years!

The 1918 World Series would again be played at Comiskey Park, but not by the White Sox. The Chicago Cubs faced the Boston Red Sox. But due to Wrigley Field's limited seating, the Cubs "borrowed" Comiskey. The Red Sox won the Series. It would be their last World Series title for 86 years!

1919 was the famous "Black Sox" scandal. The Chicago White Sox lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. The 1919 Series was a best of nine series. Eight members of the White Sox were accused of "throwing" the games. Then baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis imposed a lifetime ban on the eight players.

The White Sox were back in the World Series in 1959 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers prevailed.

In 1933, Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward came up with an interesting promotion. The first Major League Baseball All Star Game was held at Comiskey Park as part of that year's World's fair. Babe Ruth hit the very first All Star game home run to lead the American League to victory over the National League.

The 1950 baseball all star game was also held at Comiskey Park. Chasing down a fly ball, Red Sox star Ted Williams ran into the outfield wall, breaking his elbow and ending his season.

The 50th anniversary of the All Star game took place in 1983 at Comiskey Park and featured an All Star Game first. American League outfielder Fred Lynn smacked the first grandslam in All Star Game history off of National League pitcher Atlee Hammaker.

From the 1970s until it's demise in 1991, Comiskey Park was the oldest baseball stadium still active. Owner Bill Veeck(1959-1961 and again from 1975-1981) introduced many Comiskey favorites, like the expoding score board that featured pinwheels. Veeck also introduced one of major league baseball's first team mascots. "Andy The Clown".

Until his departure to the Chicago Cubs, broadcaster Harry Caray would sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during every seventh inning stretch. This too was Bill Veeck's idea.

Comiskey Park was re-named White Sox Park in 1962. One of the first things Bill Veeck did when he purchased the baseball club in 1975, was change the stadium's name back to Comiskey Park.

Veeck changed the ball park's dimensions. He had the center field fence removed and returned to it's original distance of 420 feet.

Comiskey park drew over 2 million fans several times during it's final season's as the Chicago White Sox became Division contenders.

The last game played at this wonderful, old baseball stadium was on September 30, 1990. It was demolished in 1991. The final portions to come down were the center field bleachers and the big, exploding score board.

Now owner of the Chicago White Sox, Jerry Reinsdorf recieved $200 million to build a new stadium, after threatening to move his White Sox to Florida.

The site where Comiskey Park stood is now the parking lot for "New Comiskey Park"(later re-name U.S. Cellular Field). Home plate is now a bronze plaque embedded into the side walk at U.S. Cellular Field.

Another neat thing is that there are foul lines painted in the parking lot of the new ball park. An access ramp across 35th Street is curved and angled to remind fans of the old grandstands.

In 2005, the Chicago White Sox won the World Series. Their victory parade circled the block where Comisky Park once stood. A final tribute to the baseball field that the Chicago White Sox called home for 80 years.

Comiskey Park Dimensions:

Originally, the left field foul line stretched to 363 feet. By 1986, it had been cut to 347 feet. The deep left and right field alleys began and remained at 382 feet. Center field was a distant 420 feet when the ball park opened. It was later moved in to 402, until Bill Veeck moved it back again. The right field distance was reduced from the original 362 feet to 347. The back stop which started out at 98 feet was cut to 86 feet.

Memorable Moments

Comiskey Park was the site of three major league baseball all star games. 1933 (the first one), 1950 and 1983.

On July 5, 1947, Comiskey Park fans saw the American League "color barrier" broken as Larry Doby joined the White Sox.

Comiskey was home to Hall of Fame baseball players. Eddie Collins, Luke Appling, Early Wynn, Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox among others.

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