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Farewell to the Baseball Palace of the World

Thirty years ago today, the Chicago White Sox played their final game at Comiskey Park. Originally named White Sox Park, the concrete and steel structure was built at 35th Street and Shields Avenue to replace the all-wooden South Side Park in 1910. Comiskey Park hosted more than 6,000 Major League games, four World Series, including the 1918 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, and was home of the Negro American League’s Chicago American Giants from 1941 through 1950. Comiskey Park was the site of the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1933 in conjunction with the A Century of Progress International Exposition. During that game, Babe Ruth hit the first ever MLB All-Star home run. The park also hosted many of the East-West Negro League All-Star games from 1933 to 1962.

The venue underwent numerous upgrades over the years, including the famous “exploding” scoreboard, installed in 1960 by then-owner Bill Veeck. The 130-foot scoreboard included lights, sirens, a message board, and the iconic pinwheels. The sound effects, strobe lights, and fireworks went into action whenever a White Sox player hit a home run. By 1971, Comiskey Park was the oldest park still in use in the Major Leagues.

On September 30, 1990, a crowd of 42,849 attended the ballpark’s final game—a 2–1 Sox victory over the Seattle Mariners. Charles Comiskey, former White Sox vice president and grandson of the park’s namesake, was in attendance. Former All-Star left fielder Minnie Miñoso brought the lineup card to the umpires before the game, and at the end organist Nancy Faust played a final rendition of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”

A new park, now named Guaranteed Rate Field, was constructed directly across 35th Street, and Comiskey Park was demolished in 1991 and turned into a parking lot to serve the new park. The existence of Old Comiskey is remembered with its field and foul lines painted on the lot and a marble plaque where home plate was once located. See more White Sox images.

The Chicago White Sox baseball team waves farewell to fans after the final game at old Comiskey Park, Chicago, September 30, 1990. CHM, ICHi-035694; Melody Miller, photographer.
Police guarding the field at the final game at Comiskey Park, Chicago, September 30, 1990. CHM, ICHi-052133; Melody Miller, photographer.

CHM Images

Peruse a selection of digitized prints and photographs at CHM Images, our online portal. Featured galleries include images from our newly acquired Chicago Sun-Times Photography Collection, Raeburn Flerlage’s work documenting the Chicago blues and folk music scene during the 1950s–1970s, and Declan Haun’s photography capturing the American Civil Rights Era. See more images.

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