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Comiskey Park Opens July 1, 1910

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July 1, 10 was a glorious day for the city of Chicago. It marked the first time a game was played in Charles Comiskey’s “baseball palace”. When it opened, the stadium was called White Sox Park, but it took on the owner’s name and forevermore was known as Comiskey Park.

The Tribune’s I.E. Sanborne described it as follows “Charles Comiskey’s big housewarming party went off without a hitch yesterday, unless the subsidiary fact that the Saint Louis Browns were ungracious enough to beat our boys, 2-0, in their first game at their splendid new home was construed as a disappointment by some of the throng which gathered from all parts of the baseball world to do honor to the occasion.”

On July 1, 1910, the White Sox played their first game in the fireproof park, made entirely of steel and concrete, which seated 32,000, including 7,000 in twenty-five-cent bleachers. A trolley from downtown brought businessmen to late-afternoon games after work. Fans from nearby South Side communities attended on Sundays. Night baseball, initiated August 14, 1939, allowed working-class fans even greater access. Growing numbers of African Americans attended Comiskey as well. From 1933 to 1950, Comiskey Park hosted the Negro League East-West All-Star Game. On July 5, 1947, Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians became the first African American to play in the American League, debuting during a doubleheader at Comiskey.Encyclopedia of Chicago

Comiskey Park was one of the game’s treasures. It notably hosted the first-ever All-Star game in 1933 but may be better remembered as the place where Bill Veeck’s innovative “exploding” scoreboard first came to life in 1960. During the park’s eight decades of active duty it welcomed 72,801,381 fans to watch the White Sox.

It never saw its home team win a World Championship on its field in its 80 year-year history (that is if you don’t count the Chicago Cardinals 1947 NFL Championship thrilling 28-21 come-from-behind win over the Philadelphia Eagles on December 28, 1947).

It did, however, witness some incredible history and is one of the most hallowed grounds in our nation’s history. Comiskey Park witnessed pivotal moments in our country’s civil rights history, as well as baseball history, serving as the epicenter of Negro League baseball and the birthplace of the MLB All-Star game in 1933 and hosting four World Series (1917, 1919, 1959 for the White Sox and in 1918 for the Cubs – yes the Cubs who during the WWI-shortened season feared that the Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth would find Weeghman Park — now better known as Wrigley Field’s short right field porch in 1918 — too inviting at 356 feet and its 14,000 seating capacity inadequate for the World Series).


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