Backstory and Context
Comiskey Park was the home of the White Sox for over 50 years. Originally built on land purchased by Charles Comiskey, the first owner of the White Sox. The ballpark was made specifically to Comiskey’s instructions and was designed to be a pitchers’ park. From 1910 until 1990, the White Sox played their games at Park Stadium before moving to a new field in 1991, also called Comiskey Park until being renamed to Cellular Field in 2003. During its time, the park hosted a number of major events. Some examples of these events were the 1917 World Series, the first All-Star Game in 1933, a heavyweight boxing championship in 1937, the Negro League East-West All Star Game from 1933 to 1950, the Chicago American Giants of the Negor League’s home game from 1941 to 1950, and was the home of the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals from 1922 to 1925 and 1929 to 1959.
During the 1940s, the Chicago American Giants played their games at Comiskey Field. Also, the ballpark featured the Negro League East-West Game from 1933 to 1950. After the installment of lights for nighttime baseball, Comiskey Park became a very popular destination for African Americans as their attendance grew rapidly following 1939 when the lights were put in. In addition to being the site of all these important events in African American sports history, Comiskey Park was also the site of the first African American playing in the American League when Larry Doby of the Clevelend Indians played the White Sox on July 5, 1947.
Over the years, Comiskey Park grew as Comiskey added grandstands and owner Bill Veeck, Jr. added a scoreboard that fired off fireworks every time the White Sox scored. However, Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn decided to push for a new Comiskey Park in 1981. When these new owners threatened to move the White Sox to Addison if they did not get a new Comiskey Park, the mayor of Cincinnati at the time, Harold Washington, successfully lobbied the state legislature. Because of political tie-ups over displacing residents, construction was halted until 1989, and the White Sox began their play at the new Comiskey Park in 1991. Today, the old Comiskey Park has been torn down, and the new Comiskey Park has been renamed to Cellular Field.