Chicago White Sox tickets

Comiskey Park

Inside Comiskey Park

Chicago, Illinois

Tenant: Chicago White Sox
Opened: July 1, 1910
First night game: August 14, 1939
Last game: September 30, 1990
Demolished: 1991
Surface: Grass (1910); infield artificial (1969); infield grass (1976).
Capacity: 32,000 (1910); 52,000 (1927).

Architect: Zachary Taylor Davis; Osborn Engineering (1910)
Construction: George W. Jackson
Owner: Chicago White Sox
Cost: $750,000

Chicago White Sox tickets:

Location: Left field (N), West 34th; third base (W), Portland Avenue, later called South Shield’s Avenue; first base (S), 324 West 35th Street; right field (E), South Wentworth Avenue, later Dan Ryan Expressway/I-94.

Dimensions: Foul lines: 363 (1910), 362 (1911), 365 (1927), 362 (1930), 342 (1934), 353 (1935), 340 (1936), 352 (1937), 332 (April 22, 1949), 352 (May 5, 1949), 335 (1969), 352 (marked, 1971), 349 (actual, 1971), 341 (1983), 347 (1986); power alleys: 382 (1910), 375 (1927), 370 (1934), 382 (1942), 362 (April 22, 1949), 375 (May 5, 1949), 382 (1954), 365 (1955), 375 (1956), 365 (1959), 375 (1968), 370 (1969), 375 (marked, 1971), 382 (actual, 1971), 374 (1983), 382 (1986); center field: 420 (1910), 450 (1926), 455 (1927), 450 (1930), 436 (1934), 422 (1936), 440 (1937), 420 (April 22, 1949), 415 (May 5, 1949), 410 (1951), 415 (1952), 400 (1969), 440 (1976), 445 (1977), 402 (marked, 1981), 409 (actual, 1981), 401 (1983), 409 (1986); backstop: 98 (1910), 71 (1933), 85 (1934), 86 (1955); foul territory: large.

Fences: Foul lines and power alleys: 12 (concrete, 1955), 9.83 (concrete, 1959), 5 (wire, 1969), 9.83 (concrete, 1971); center field: 15 (1927), 30 (1948), 17 (1976), 18 (1980); left-center to right-center inner fences: 5 (canvas, 1949), 6.5 (24-foot section in front of bullpens, 1969), 9 (1974), 7 (canvas, 1981), 7.5 (1982), 11 (1984), 7.5 (1986).

Outside Comiskey Park

White Sox owner Charles A. Comiskey wanted a modern concrete-and-steel stadium to replace South Side Park which had become obsolete. Ground was broken on February 10, 1910 and the White Sox played their first game there on July 1 that year, losing to the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles), 2-0. In it's original configuration, the park consisted of a covered double-decked grandstand that curved around home plate and extended along the foul lines about thirty feet. Two roofed single-decked pavilions continued down the foul lines, detached from the grandstand. Wooden bleachers surrounded the outfield, except for center field, where the scoreboard was.

In the winter of 1926-27, the wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete and steel and double-decked, and the pavilions from left around home plate to right were double-decked. The scoreboard was moved from center-field to two locations on the left field and right field walls and uncovered single-deck bleachers were added in center field. In 1947 the center-field bleachers were eliminated to improve batters’ visibility and in 1950, the bullpens were moved from foul territory down the lines to behind the center-field fence. Bill Veeck installed the first exploding scoreboard in the majors, high above the bleachers in center for the 1960 season. In 1982, when the DiamondVision board replaced the original, the pinwheels were retained. During Comiskey's eighty years of existence, 72,801,381 fans paid to see games there. Before old Comiskey Park was demolished in 1991, the infield dirt was moved to new Comiskey Park.

Comiskey park was the scene of many masterful groundskeeping tricks by Roger, Gene, and Emil Bossard: "Camp Swampy" in 1967 referred to the area in front of home plate that was dug up and soaked with water when White Sox sinkerball pitchers were on the mound; however, the dirt was mixed with clay and gasoline and burned to provide hard soil if a sinkerballer was pitching for the visiting team. Opposing team bullpen mounds were lowered or raised from the standard 10-inch height to upset visiting pitchers’ rhythm. Under Eddie Stanky’s managerial tenure, the grass in front of shortstop was cut long because the Sox shortstop had limited range, but at second base the grass was cut short because the Sox second sacker had very good range. When the Sox had a lousy defensive outfield, the grass was cut long to turn triples into doubles. When the Sox had speedy line drive hitters, the outfield grass was cut short to turn singles into doubles. When the Sox had good bunters, more paint was added to the foul line in order to tilt the ball back fair.

Osborn Engineering drawing of the Comiskey Park Expansion
 
Post expansion view inside Comiskey Park

Trivia:

  • A.K.A.: White Sox Park (II) (1910 to 1912), Charles A. Comiskey’s Baseball Palace (1910), White Sox Park (III) (May, 1962 to 1975).
  • Foul lines were old water hoses, painted white and pressed flat.
  • A section of the grandstand collapsed on May 17, 1913.
  • Special elevator for Lou Comiskey, in use from 1931 to 1982, had an inlaid tile floor.
  • Green cornerstone laid on St. Patrick’s Day in 1910. It remained green until 1960, when the exterior was painted all white by Bill Veeck.
  • Nine speaker horns on the center field bleacher wall.
  • Clock on wall in center to left of flagpole.
  • Picnic areas, including bullring in left and bullpens I and II in right and right-center.
  • Bavarian and Mexican restaurants and beer halls under the stands behind home plate.
  • Showers in the bleachers in center.
  • Foul poles bend back slightly to join the top of the roof.
  • Organist Nancy Faust played "Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, Hey-hey, Good-bye."
  • Open arches between first and second decks.
  • Chicago Cubs played their 1918 World Series home games here to take advantage of its large capacity.
  • Site of the 1983, 1950 and 1933 All-Star games.
  • The tradition of playing the Star-Spangled Banner at baseball games started here in 1918. League officials had considered cancelling the World Series due to World War I, until they learned that American soldiers in France were looking forward to knowing the results of the Series. During the seventh-inning stretch of the first game, the band suddenly started playing the song as a patriotic gesture. Players and spectators stood, took off their hats, and sang.

Recommended Reading (bibliography):

  • Comiskey Park by Irwin J. Cohen.
  • Park Life: The Summer of 1977 at Comiskey Park by Peter Elliott.
  • Baseball Palace of the World: The Last Year of Comiskey Park by Douglas Bukowski.
  • Goodbye Old Friend: A Pictorial Essay on the Final Season at Old Comiskey Park by Frank Budreck, John Regnier and Tim MacWilliams.
  • Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
  • The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
  • City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
  • Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
  • Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
  • Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
  • Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
  • The Story of America's Classic Ballparks (VHS).

 South Side ParkU.S. Cellular Field

Help us provide a better web site by completing our feedback form

IMAGES:

View inside Comiskey Park by Munsey & Suppes.
View outside Comiskey Park courtesy of Elias Dudash.
Drawing of the Comiskey Park Expansion © 1996 by Osborn Engineering.
Post expansion view inside Comiskey Park by Munsey & Suppes.

Updated November 2002

Tickets to Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, NCAA Football, College Football Bowl, Paul McCartney, NCAA Basketball Tournament, Cher Rosemont and Justin Timberlake Chicago provided by Ticket Triangle.

BALLPARKS © 1996-2014 by Munsey & Suppes.