Old Comiskey Park

Essays and Memories of the Historic Home of the Chicago White Sox, 1910–1991


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About the Book

These new essays and memories cover the history and evolution of the former home of the Chicago White Sox, as well as its importance to its surrounding neighborhoods, and to the city of Chicago. The essays cover Charles Comiskey and the location of the ballpark; the neighborhoods that surround the site; the dimensions and configurations of Old Comiskey Park; a summary of All-Star, World Series, and playoff games played there; Negro League baseball at Comiskey Park; Bill Veeck; the ballpark as host to events and sports other than White Sox baseball; and an analysis of the evolution of the famous “exploding scoreboard,” the original model for today’s modern sports stadium boards. Former players, White Sox personnel and fans contributed memories, including substantial pieces by Roland Hemond and Nancy Faust.

About the Author(s)

Floyd Sullivan, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, is a writer and photographer and lives in Chicago. His Cubs blog is www.waiting4cubs.com.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Floyd Sullivan

Series Editors David Cicotello and Angelo J. Louisa

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 308
Bibliographic Info: 92 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7592-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1595-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: McFarland Historic Ballparks

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword  (Mike Veeck) 1
Introduction  (Floyd Sullivan) 5
I—History and Background
The Neighborhoods  (Carl Rinder) 12
Diamond in the Rough: The Transformation of a Forgotten Area into a Home for Baseball  (Richard A. Smiley) 26
Inside the Park: Dimensions and Configurations of Comiskey Park I (Ronald M. Selter) 45
Special Years at Comiskey Park: ­All-Star Games, the American League Championship Series and the World Series  (Stephen D. Boren) 59
Negro League Baseball at Comiskey Park  (Christopher Kamka) 88
Bill Veeck and Comiskey Park  (Dan Helpingstine) 110
From Wrestling to Football to Rock ’n’ Roll: Comiskey Park as a Multiuse Venue  (Floyd Sullivan) 126
II—Memories of Old Comiskey Park
Mary Frances Veeck Remembers Husband Bill and the ’59 White Sox 150
Football at Old Comiskey Park  (Stormy Bidwill) 154
The Chicago Cardinals at Old Comiskey Park: Ray Geraci and Carl Scichili in the Football Press Box Interview  (Floyd Sullivan) 161
Take Me Out to Old Comiskey Park  (Greg Prince) 167
Tearing Down the Old Ballpark, 1991
Part I. Erasing Comiskey Park from the Face of the Earth (Patrick T. Reardon) 173
Part II. Demolition  (Eric Hess) 178
Players and Personnel Remember 182
Fans Remember 227
Appendix—The Scoreboard  (Floyd Sullivan) 277
Bibliography 281
About the Contributors and Interviewees 283
Index 285

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An entertaining and well-written book, with a variety of essays that do a fine job of capturing the history of the park over its eight decades…. A real strength of the book is its extensive use of photographs to tell the story of the park’s history…. The photos alone make this book a valuable work…a comprehensive and very interesting book, one that should be of interest to serious baseball fans”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter
  • “An historical book series such as the McFarland Historic Ballparks collection, whose latest installment encompasses the 81 year story of Old Comiskey Park in Chicago, the long-time home of Barack Obama’s beloved White Sox”—Life.nationalpost.com
  • “For anyone who loved the old park, it’s an absolute must-have, and for any White Sox fan or student of baseball history, it’s a great read.”—Kurt Smith, author of Ballpark E-Guides series