Today I thought I would take a good, final look at the ballpark I grew up with, The Baseball Palace of the World, Comiskey Park.
Built in 1910 on the site of a former Chicago city dump, Here’s a picture during construction, circa 1909-1910.
It originally sat 29,000 fans. A record at the time. It cost $750,000 to construct, another record.
Here’s a picture of the first Opening Day on July 1, 1910.
Comiskey was the home to 4 World Series. In 1917, the White Sox won the first, last, and only championship while playing at the original Comiskey.
In 1918, when the cross-town Cubs won the NL pennant, they borrowed Comiskey Park as their home field. They ended up losing to the Boston Red Sox, which would be Boston’s last title for 86 years.
The 1919 Series was the infamous “Black Sox” series, where 8 White Sox were later banned from baseball for life.
Here’s a shot of opening day, 1920. The Black Sox Scandal was not public knowledge at the time, as “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and the other 7 conspirators played well into the season before their punishment was exacted
After the banishment of 8 of their stars, and the dark stigma that surrounded the club, the White Sox went from American League elite to American League laughing-stocks. The 20’s and 30’s were dark times for the club. There were some bright spots, however.
In 1933, Chicago hosted the World’s Fair. Baseball decided to hold the first All-Star Game at Comiskey to coincide with the fair. The American league won, due in part to the great Babe Ruth(who else?) hitting the first home run in All-Star Game history.
A look at the American League dugout during the 1933 All-Star Game. In the center you can see Yankee teammates Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.
Comiskey Park would be the annual home to the Negro League All-Star Game as well. It hosted the game a dozen times during the 30’s and 40’s.
The 40’s were lean years for the White Sox. The team didn’t have much money, few fans, and lost many players to World War II.
Here’s a picture of the park in 1940. Lights were installed in 1939.
The main concession stand behind home plate was remodeled during the 40’s. It would remain this way until the ballpark’s demoltion.
Comiskey Park during the 1959 World Series. It was the White Sox’s first pennant in 40 years. They lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 2.
Comiskey as it looked in the early 70’s. For some reason, ownership decided to install an artifical turf infield while leaving the outfield natural grass. It lasted from 1969-1973.
The infamous Disco Demolition night on July 12, 1979. Taking place between games of a double-header between the Sox and the Detroit Tigers. During the event, rowdy fans stormed onto the field and nearly caused a riot. The Sox were forced to forfeit the game to the Tigers. Sox owner Bill Veeck lost a lot of credibility for this fiasco. He would sell the team to current owner Jerry Reinsdorf in 1981, who would undertake an ambitious renovation of the old park.
Comiskey park during the 1983 season, where the “Winning Ugly” Sox won 99 games and an AL West title.
The 50th anniversary of the All-Star Game was held at Comiskey in 1983. The American
League would win due to Fred Lynn’s grand slam, the first in All-Star history.
Players actually had to walk the concourse to get from the clubhouse to the indoor batting cages. Here rookie Frank Thomas makes the journey, walking right by some fans.
Everyone who watched a game at Old Comiskey remembers these awful posts that obstructed the view in the field.
The famous exploding scoreboard, probably what the old park is most famous for. The fireworks after a Sox home run is a tradition still used at the new park today.
The last time the scoreboard lit up, after a homer by Frank Thomas, on September 26, 1990.
The destruction of the stadium, circa 1991. A parking lot now stands where Old Comiskey once was.
The only monument of a ballpark that was here for 80 years is this replica of the old home plate now in a parking lot.
Thanks for walking with me down memory lane! Till next time!