Swanson: Ballparks we miss: Old Comiskey Park

From Ryan Swanson at The National Pastime Museum on March 28, 2017:

For the historian searching through bygone baseball stadiums, Comiskey Park should be regarded as a holy grail. It’s a venue that has stories to tell. The South Side park served as the home of the Chicago White Sox from 1910 until 1990. With its whitewashed exterior, expansive playing field (penny-pinching owner Charles Comiskey favored defense and pitching), double-decker stands, and straight-away-center scoreboard, Comiskey Park set the standard for concrete and steel ballparks at the beginning of the twentieth century. Alternatively called White Sox Park, the facility was never particularly beloved, but it hosted more than its share of significant moments in baseball history.

As is the case with most ballparks, the press thought Comiskey Park was pretty impressive when it opened on July 1, 1910. The New York Times even called it “the baseball palace of the world” for a time, although not for a very long time. Built on the site of a former city dump, the park opened with seating for 28,000 fans. Construction had taken less than a year from start to finish. Comiskey had hired Zachary Davis, the architect who would help with plans for Wrigley Park and Yankee Stadium, to design his ballpark. Just before the onset of the Great Depression, Comiskey had the park’s capacity increased to 52,000. The timing of the expansion was less than ideal. Still, the park became a Chicago institution. And functionality, much more than beauty or comfort, defined Comiskey Park.

When remembering Chicago’s other ballpark, consider the follow three exhibits as evidence for the venue’s outsized historical significance.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/ballparks-we-miss-least-theory-comiskey-park-1910-1990

Originally published: March 28, 2017. Last Updated: March 28, 2017.