Opening Up Comiskey Park in 1910

The Chicago Tribune of Saturday, July 2, 1910 said that “Charles A. Comiskey’s big housewarming party went off without a hitch yesterday, unless the subsidiary fact that the St. Louis Browns were ungracious enough to beat our boys, 2 to 0, in the first game at their splendid new home was construed into disappointment by some of the throng which gathered from all parts of the baseball world to do honor to the occasion.

Success crowned the tremendous efforts which have been put forth in the last few weeks to get the mammoth plant ready for its christening and it passed through its baptisms as if to the manor born, while tens of thousands of the Old Roman’s friends cheered at every possible opportunity to show their appreciation of the gift he had prepared to them.

Twenty-four thousand and nine hundred fans paid their way to the party, according to the official announcement . . . the great stands smilingly held out their bunting clad arms and gathered them all into their capacious laps without crowding anywhere.

Unfinished as the plant was in spots, its decorations of bright tri-colored bunting and potted plants and ferns distracted attention from everything except the giant proportions of the structures themselves. In fact the size of the new palace was what most forcibly struck all visitors who were making their first call. As each emerged from the sloping inclines which led to the rear of the main stand he or she stopped for a moment in silent awe, gazing at the broad, sweeping lines of the stands and at the seemingly endless rows of seats.”

The Tribune noted that “George Stone made the first safe hit in the new park,” apparently in the first inning, since he was the Browns’ leadoff hitter and went 3 for 4. In fact, the Tribune says, “Stone began the battle by poling a long double to left, which [Patsy] Dougherty nearly captured.” Stone had the first RBI too, with a single to drive in Frank Truesdale from third in the third. Dougherty did get Comiskey’s first triple, in the bottom of the seventh, and Stone had its second, in the top of the ninth. “The first ball pitched by [Ed] Walsh was a ball.” “[Shano] Collins drew the first pass and stole the first base.” “The new electric score board worked finely for a first experience and the fans appreciated to the full being informed by number of every change in the lineup as quickly as determined.” And, “Up to the seventh only two [White Sox] hits were made off [Barney] Pelty and Lena Bearcat Blackburne made all of those without getting to second.”

The two Chicago Tribune sports section pages covering the baseball action of July 1, 1910 were headlined by this script: “The Unwished For Happens Quite as Frequently as the Unexpected It Isn’t Bad Philosophy, Therefore, to Be Prepared for Bad News”

It was not a good omen for the White Sox, but an uncanny prediction: you probably already know about the Black Sox and the fact of Comiskey hosting one World Series winner in its 80-year life span.

Some pictures of the festivities: Charles A. Comiskey and other dignitaries receiving a silken White Sox banner:

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A close play at the plate: Bobby Wallace of the Browns, tagged out in the fourth inning by White Sox catcher Billy Sullivan:

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And the Tribune’s somewhat fuzzy game box score:

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Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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