The park was built on a former city dump that Comiskey bought in 1909 to replace the
wooden South Side Park. Comiskey Park was very modern for its time, being
constructed of concrete and steel and seating 29,000, a record at the time. Briefly, it
retained the nickname "The Baseball Palace of the World." The park's design was
strongly influenced by Sox pitcher Ed Walsh, and was known for its pitcher-friendly
proportions (362 feet to the foul poles, 420 feet down the middle). Later changes were
made, but the park remained more or less favorable to defensive teams. For many
years this reflected on the White Sox style of play: solid defense, and short, quick hits.
The 1959 American League Most Valuable Player, Nellie Fox, who led the White Sox
to the 1959 American League championship, was known for his frequent hit
The first game in Comiskey Park was a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Browns on July 1,
1910. The last game at Comiskey was a win, 2-1, over Seattle on September 30,
1990. The White Sox won their first-ever home night game, over St. Louis on August
14, 1939, 5-2.
Bill Veeck designed the scoreboard with his inspiration coming from a pinball machine. There were fireworks after each Sox home run. The baseball establishment
called it bush league, but it caught on with the other teams.
From the 1970s until its demolition in 1991, Comiskey was the oldest park still in use in Major League Baseball. Many of its known
characteristics, such as the pinwheels on the scoreboard (see photo), were installed by Bill Veeck (owner of the White Sox from 1959 to 1961,
and again from 1975 to 1981). For thirty years from 1960 to 1990, Sox fans were also entertained by Andy the Clown, famous for his famous
Jerry Colonna-like elongated cry, "Come ooooooooooon, go! White! Sox!". Starting in the 1970s, Sox fans were further entertained by organist
Nancy Faust who picked up on, and reinforced, the spontaneous chants of fans who were singing tunes like, "We will, we will, SOX YOU!" and
the now-ubiquitous farewell to departing pitchers and ejected managers, "Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey-hey, GOOD-BYE!" And before he
became an institution on the north side, Sox broadcaster Harry Caray was a south side icon. At some point he started "conducting" Take Me
Out to the Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch, egged on by
Veeck, who (according to Harry himself) said that the fans would sing
along when they realized that none of them sang any worse than Harry
Comiskey Park was officially renamed White Sox Park from 1962 to
1975 after the last Comiskey stockholders sold their remaining shares.
When Bill Veeck re-acquired the team, he restored the original name...
and took out the center field fence, reverting to the original distance to
the wall (posted as 440 in the 1940s, re-measured as 445 in the
1970s)... a tough target, but reachable by Rich sluggers like Allen and
Zisk and other members of a team that was tagged "The South Side Hit
Men". They were long removed from their days as "The Hitless
Wonders". During that time the ballpark also featured a lounge where
one could buy mixed drinks. This prompted some writers to dub
Comiskey "Chicago's Largest Outdoor Saloon".