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white sox bill
12-26-2008, 04:47 PM
The Allyn family who owned the Sox in 60s and 70's, how did they make their family fortune? I want to say Real Estate. But maybe not. I believe Arthur was the oldest correct? Thanks!

Railsplitter
12-26-2008, 05:41 PM
Art Allyn was older than John. Oil exploration was another one of the family enterprises.

LITTLE NELL
12-26-2008, 05:48 PM
The Allyn family who owned the Sox in 60s and 70's, how did they make their family fortune? I want to say Real Estate. But maybe not. I believe Arthur was the oldest correct? Thanks!
I believe they owned a company called Artnel but I can't remember what kind of business it was. Pretty sure it was in manfacturing.
Arthur was the eldest. I think John was also a big stamp collector.

TDog
12-26-2008, 07:52 PM
I believe they owned a company called Artnel but I can't remember what kind of business it was. Pretty sure it was in manfacturing.
Arthur was the eldest. I think John was also a big stamp collector.

Guessing from the references from sportswriters, I believe Arthur Allyn was a big butterfly collector. John Allyn owned a small candy company, or at least it was one of his investments. There used to be an ad for the candies adjacent to the rightfield auxiliary scoreboard in the old park.

Lip Man 1
12-26-2008, 08:41 PM
Artnel Company was involved in a number of things including environmental concerns, water purification... even (drum roll please) chicken farms.

Lip

JNS
12-26-2008, 08:53 PM
Artnel Company was involved in a number of things including environmental concerns, water purification... even (drum roll please) chicken farms.

Lip

And by 1975 they were broke, right?

roylestillman
12-26-2008, 09:02 PM
The father of the Allyn Brothers, Arthur Allyn Sr. started an investment and securities business in 1929 (good timing.) Until his death in the early 60's he would buy and sell parts of companies, notably Oil exploration, a clothing company and even private municipal transit companies, taking advantage of tax shelters along the way. His estate was valued at $9 million when he died in 1961. By the time the brothers split up the business in 1969 it was worth $30 million. John got the Sox. Arthur a lot of the industrial concerns - and yes Arthur did have a butterfly collection of 150,000. The candy someone refered to was called Jackstraws and was one of their firms.

white sox bill
12-27-2008, 09:11 AM
So its safe to say that the Allyn family had shallow pockets compared to owners today (as did Veeck). Theres very little on the family in any search engine. Wonder what happened to the family fortune. I hope the Sox didn't bankrupt John

TornLabrum
12-27-2008, 11:08 AM
So its safe to say that the Allyn family had shallow pockets compared to owners today (as did Veeck). Theres very little on the family in any search engine. Wonder what happened to the family fortune. I hope the Sox didn't bankrupt John

Well, he did get about $20 million from Bill Veeck when he sold the team.

white sox bill
12-27-2008, 11:53 AM
Well, he did get about $20 million from Bill Veeck when he sold the team.
I wonder how much was mortgaged on the team at that time

Lip Man 1
12-27-2008, 01:26 PM
JNS:

I asked Chuck Tanner about Allyn's business situation and how it effected the Sox and Chuck said that John made some "bad business investments" which simply didn't leave any money available to help the club.

Chuck said the Sox "would sell a player to make payroll." So that should give you an idea of how bad things were by 1975.

Lip

JNS
12-27-2008, 08:50 PM
JNS:

I asked Chuck Tanner about Allyn's business situation and how it effected the Sox and Chuck said that John made some "bad business investments" which simply didn't leave any money available to help the club.

Chuck said the Sox "would sell a player to make payroll." So that should give you an idea of how bad things were by 1975.

Lip

Sounds right. 75 was a bad year, and 76 was too by the end, with Paul Richards snoozing on the bench!

tebman
12-28-2008, 10:07 AM
JNS:

I asked Chuck Tanner about Allyn's business situation and how it effected the Sox and Chuck said that John made some "bad business investments" which simply didn't leave any money available to help the club.

Chuck said the Sox "would sell a player to make payroll." So that should give you an idea of how bad things were by 1975.

Lip

I don't know about John Allyn's other businesses, but I know things were really bad in the winter of 1975. In the later edition of Veeck's book, "Veeck As In Wreck", he wrote in the epilogue about his purchase of the Sox in 1975. He'd gotten word that Allyn was interested in selling, and when Veeck met with him, Allyn asked how quickly he could get the money together. Veeck seemed surprised and said he'd have to talk to his other investors, the banks, etc. When Veeck asked him why, Allyn told him he couldn't meet his next payroll. :mg:

Veeck had learned too about how the American League wanted to let the White Sox go broke and then move them to Seattle. MLB was being sued by Seattle because the town had been promised a team. But after the Pilots were there only one season, they were moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. The ubiquitous Bud Selig was the front man for MLB trying to engineer the move of the Sox to Seattle, which would resolve the Seattle lawsuit and also remove some nearby AL competition for Selig's Brewers.

A shame that Allyn's businesses were in such bad shape, though I don't know the story behind that. If eBay had been around he might've been able to get a good price for his butterfly collection. :tongue:

Lip Man 1
12-28-2008, 01:19 PM
Teb:

A lot of what you say is true. Allyn couldn't meet his obligations by the fall of 1975. And the Seattle move was based on Proud To Be Your Bud helping to steal the Pilots from Seattle to Milwaukee after the 1970 season.

Immediately Seattle, King County and Washington state sued MLB and that lawsuit was still making its way through the courts when the Sox situation came up.

This move would cause those entities to drop the lawsuit against baseball but that's not the end of the story.


When the Sox moved to Seattle, Charlie Finley was immediately going to move the A's to the South Side near his business interests. Finley had wanted to own the Sox as far back as 1958 when he placed a bid at the same time Veeck had. In fact his bid was worth far more money then Veeck's and the Comiskey family wanted somehow to get the club to him.

It didn't happen but Charlie O. still wanted the team through the years.

So Proud To Be Your Bud would still have had competition 90 miles south of him.

December 26, 1958 - In the middle of a family fight involving the Comiskey’s and the attempt to sell the Sox, Charlie Finley (yes THAT Charlie Finley) offered 500,000 dollars to buy the club. Dorothy Comiskey immediately began to give serious consideration to selling it to him, since that amount of money was gigantic for its time and surpassed the initial offer that came from Bill Veeck’s group. However Veeck had purchased for one hundred dollars, an ‘option’ period where he would have the first right to buy the team. Dorothy Comiskey and her advisers tried to determine a fair price to buy that option back and sell to Finley but were never able to do so. Thanks in part to a judicial ruling in March 1959 and because he raised his initial offer, Veeck’s group took control of the club right before the start of the regular season.



Lip

tebman
12-28-2008, 01:40 PM
Teb:

A lot of what you say is true. Allyn couldn't meet his obligations by the fall of 1975. And the Seattle move was based on Proud To Be Your Bud helping to steal the Pilots from Seattle to Milwaukee after the 1970 season.

Immediately Seattle, King County and Washington state sued MLB and that lawsuit was still making its way through the courts when the Sox situation came up.

This move would cause those entities to drop the lawsuit against baseball but that's not the end of the story.


When the Sox moved to Seattle, Charlie Finley was immediately going to move the A's to the South Side near his business interests. Finley had wanted to own the Sox as far back as 1958 when he placed a bid at the same time Veeck had. In fact his bid was worth far more money then Veeck's and the Comiskey family wanted somehow to get the club to him.

It didn't happen but Charlie O. still wanted the team through the years.

So Proud To Be Your Bud would still have had competition 90 miles south of him.


Thanks for the rest of the story, Lip. I'd forgotten about Finley -- Veeck told about that in his book too. Finley was pushed deeper in my mind as I got fired up again thinking about Selig and his chicanery.

I know 34 years have passed since all that happened, but Selig still rankles. He was prepared to let the White Sox go out of business to get the Seattle lawsuit off his back. Who knows how he might have shafted Finley if given the chance.

Ultimately Allyn got a ten-million-dollar payday when Veeck's group bought the team. I hope it got him and his business back on their feet, though I don't know how that worked out.

LITTLE NELL
12-28-2008, 03:18 PM
Thanks for the rest of the story, Lip. I'd forgotten about Finley -- Veeck told about that in his book too. Finley was pushed deeper in my mind as I got fired up again thinking about Selig and his chicanery.

I know 34 years have passed since all that happened, but Selig still rankles. He was prepared to let the White Sox go out of business to get the Seattle lawsuit off his back. Who knows how he might have shafted Finley if given the chance.

Ultimately Allyn got a ten-million-dollar payday when Veeck's group bought the team. I hope it got him and his business back on their feet, though I don't know how that worked out.
What is also lost in all this is that Johnny Morris who was the channel 2 sports guy started his SOS (Save our Sox) campaign and got a lot of fans to make calls and write letters to the American League which I think had some effect on giving Allyn time to find a buyer.

Lip Man 1
12-28-2008, 06:50 PM
It had very little effect. (The money raised by the way was donated by Veeck to the American Cancer Society in memory of Nellie Fox.)

What influenced the owners and MLB a LOT more was the pressure being exerted by a certain Mayor of the City of Chicago who happened to be a Sox fan.

In fact it was Richard J. who called Veeck in the first place and asked him to come on board. Veeck himself said he had no interest in coming back to baseball until the Mayor called.

Also helping out was then Illinois Governor Dan Walker.

They did far more then Johnny's good hearted effort did.

Lip

JNS
12-28-2008, 06:57 PM
It had very little effect. (The money raised by the way was donated by Veeck to the American Cancer Society in memory of Nellie Fox.)

What influenced the owners and MLB a LOT more was the pressure being exerted by a certain Mayor of the City of Chicago who happened to be a Sox fan.

In fact it was Richard J. who called Veeck in the first place and asked him to come on board. Veeck himself said he had no interest in coming back to baseball until the Mayor called.

Also helping out was then Illinois Governor Dan Walker.

They did far more then Johnny's good hearted effort did.

Lip

If my memory serves me, Veeck and Daley brought in Veeck's network of ex-jock/business guys - Johnny Lattner, Nick Kladis, Hank Greenberg (or was that during his first tenure, or both?), and others, such as Andy McKenna. By 1979, with the Sox doing badly, and Veeck being more or less broke, Veeck and Kladis used to make the rounds of Hyde Park bars (a pretty short bar-hop!), such as TJ's, Jimmy's, and The House of Tiki. He even brought Harry with him once.

LITTLE NELL
12-28-2008, 07:44 PM
While we are on this subject, does anyone have any guesses as what would have happened to our Sox if Dorothy Rigney had sold her 51% share of the Sox to her brother Chuck instead of Veeck back in 1959?
My guess is Chuck would have sold the team by the late 60s since Baseball was their only business and free agency was on the horizon.
Even though we had some very good seasons(72,77,83) I sure don't miss those years from 68 to 88 when we almost lost the Sox on 3 different occasions.

JNS
12-28-2008, 09:44 PM
While we are on this subject, does anyone have any guesses as what would have happened to our Sox if Dorothy Rigney had sold her 51% share of the Sox to her brother Chuck instead of Veeck back in 1959?
My guess is Chuck would have sold the team by the late 60s since Baseball was their only business and free agency was on the horizon.
Even though we had some very good seasons(72,77,83) I sure don't miss those years from 68 to 88 when we almost lost the Sox on 3 different occasions.

72 was fun, and so was 77. And Veeck was great. But generally I have to agree with you.

But wait - three occasions? I know about Seattle in 75, and St. Petersburg in 89 or 88 or whenever, but what was the third time?

TommyJohn
12-28-2008, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the rest of the story, Lip. I'd forgotten about Finley -- Veeck told about that in his book too. Finley was pushed deeper in my mind as I got fired up again thinking about Selig and his chicanery.

I know 34 years have passed since all that happened, but Selig still rankles. He was prepared to let the White Sox go out of business to get the Seattle lawsuit off his back. Who knows how he might have shafted Finley if given the chance.

Ultimately Allyn got a ten-million-dollar payday when Veeck's group bought the team. I hope it got him and his business back on their feet, though I don't know how that worked out.


Actually, if Selig had his way, the White Sox and not the Seattle Pilots would have become the Milwaukee Brewers. The Sox were the first team that Selig bid for in 1969. Arthur Allyn wasn't above seeing the Sox move, according to Rich Lindberg. The AL didn't want to give the second-largest market in the country over to the NL, so Allyn and Selig could not get support for the move. That's when Art sold the team to John.

You know,Harry Caray took a mean-spirited cheap shot at John Allyn in 1975 (his specialty) but when you think about it, Rich Lindberg is correct when he states that John Allyn is a true hero in White Sox history. If not for him buying the team in '69 and selling to Veeck in '75, the White Sox as we know them would have ceased to exist. Or rather, they would have gone the way of the Chicago Cardinals-playing in another city and remaining as a distant memory to South Siders old enough to remember them-while those not yet born would come into the world as Cub fans.

LITTLE NELL
12-29-2008, 06:14 AM
The Sox actually played 11 or 12 "home games" in Milwaukee in 1969.

tebman
12-29-2008, 09:10 AM
Actually, if Selig had his way, the White Sox and not the Seattle Pilots would have become the Milwaukee Brewers. The Sox were the first team that Selig bid for in 1969. Arthur Allyn wasn't above seeing the Sox move, according to Rich Lindberg. The AL didn't want to give the second-largest market in the country over to the NL, so Allyn and Selig could not get support for the move. That's when Art sold the team to John.

You know,Harry Caray took a mean-spirited cheap shot at John Allyn in 1975 (his specialty) but when you think about it, Rich Lindberg is correct when he states that John Allyn is a true hero in White Sox history. If not for him buying the team in '69 and selling to Veeck in '75, the White Sox as we know them would have ceased to exist. Or rather, they would have gone the way of the Chicago Cardinals-playing in another city and remaining as a distant memory to South Siders old enough to remember them-while those not yet born would come into the world as Cub fans.
I didn't know that Selig had tried to buy the Sox in 1969. That helps explain his animosity toward Veeck in '75 when John Allyn sold the team. I remember the Sox playing "home" games in Milwaukee that year, but crazy things were happening in baseball then (Finley's antics, CBS owning the Yankees, etc.) and I had just chalked that up to more craziness.

I agree that Allyn is the forgotten hero in White Sox history. Veeck alluded to that as well in his book. The Sox were running on fumes in the early '70s and Allyn could've easily thrown in the towel, but didn't. And when the league wanted him to shut it down and move it to Seattle, he dealt with Veeck instead. And that kept the team in Chicago.

Thanks, John. :cheers:

Thome25
12-29-2008, 09:33 AM
So John Allyn is a major reason that Chicago has the oldest same-city rivalry in MLB.

Of all the ORIGINAL multi-team cities, Chicago is the only one that has lasted. We have John Allyn and Bill Veeck to thank for that. (As well as Governor Thompson in the mid 80's.)

Think about it. The Dodgers and Giants moved out of New York and Left the Yankees. The A's moved out of Philadelphia and left the Phillies. The Braves moved out of Boston and left the Red Sawx. The Browns moved out of St. Louis and left the Cardinals.

The Sox came very close to becoming one of those original teams to move as well. We might've been like those other teams and left Chicago to the Cubs. But, thanks to a handful of people.......we were the only ones to stay.

white sox bill
12-29-2008, 09:40 AM
Kind of ironic that Bud and JR are buddies now considering that Bud Lite wanted us out of Chicago.

I know I raised this question long time ago: How would things be NOW if JR and Company had bought the cubs and the Trib had bought the Sox? After all, wasn't there only one yr between each purchase? Would the Trib have keep old Comiskey and JR would have razed Wrigley? Talk about possible role reversal. Would our park be overrun w/ Frat boys and be the media darlings?

JNS
12-29-2008, 09:42 AM
The Sox actually played 11 or 12 "home games" in Milwaukee in 1969.

I remember that. They weren't drawing here, and it was a bad team. That was a couple of years after the Braves fled Milwaukee and there was a lot of bitterness up there.

Lip Man 1
12-29-2008, 09:51 AM
They also played in Milwaukee in 1970 I believe.

Lip

2906
12-29-2008, 10:30 AM
They also played in Milwaukee in 1970 I believe.

Lip

1968 and 1969.

JNS
12-29-2008, 10:33 AM
They also played in Milwaukee in 1970 I believe.

Lip

I think that as least one of those years the Sox drew less than 1 million.

As for all these heros keeping the Sox in Chicago, Well, I think it was in advertant in their part - at least in terms of the Allyn family. By 1975 they just wanted out and didn't much care to whom. I remember the sequence of events in the Fall of 1975 pretty well, and I don't remember John Allyn playing any role at all - he was just the seller.

To put this stuff in greater context, this was a period - the late 60s through the mid 70s when baseball was down. The NFL had recently surpassed MLB in popularity, and attendance was down throughout MLB, and it was a flat time (with some exceptions like the 1975 world series with Boston and Cinci). Owning a baseball team wasn't as prestigious as it is now.

As for the local situation, in the mid 70s the Cubs were not the #1 team in town by any means so it wouldn't have been a Bears - Cardinals sort of deal. The Wrigley family still owned the Cubs, and they just sat there with the team - AFAIK there was no push from Cubs ownership to get the Sox out of town the way there was with Halas versus the Bidwell family.

tebman
12-29-2008, 10:48 AM
Kind of ironic that Bud and JR are buddies now considering that Bud Lite wanted us out of Chicago.

I know I raised this question long time ago: How would things be NOW if JR and Company had bought the cubs and the Trib had bought the Sox? After all, wasn't there only one yr between each purchase? Would the Trib have keep old Comiskey and JR would have razed Wrigley? Talk about possible role reversal. Would our park be overrun w/ Frat boys and be the media darlings?
Bud likes JR because he knows how to make deals. Bud's a car salesman and making deals is the one thing he understands.

I don't think the Trib would've ever bought the Sox. The reason the Trib's princes and noblemen bought the Cubs in 1981 was because they were scared by the sudden marketing aggressiveness of the White Sox, specifically from Eddie Einhorn. Einhorn was trying to set up the pay-TV sports package that became SportsVision, and had approached the Cubs about joining the venture. The Tribune didn't want to lose the Cub games on WGN-TV, which was a real gravy train: hundreds of hours annually of profitable programming at a relatively low cost. It was worth $20 million to the Tribune to keep the Cubs inside the company so that WGN-TV would be assured of its meal ticket.

The trixie-and-fratboy marketing of the Cubs came a few years later after the Tribune realized what they could do with it. Ironically, now it's an albatross that Zell is bumbling around trying to sell to get the company out of bankruptcy.

JNS
12-29-2008, 11:14 AM
The trixie-and-fratboy marketing of the Cubs came a few years later after the Tribune realized what they could do with it. Ironically, now it's an albatross that Zell is bumbling around trying to sell to get the company out of bankruptcy.

Sounds right. And they had to wait for the neighborhood formerly called North Lakeview to become Wrigleyville - the gentrification process was already going on in 1981 when they bought the team - for them to market the "Wrigley Field experience." And the trixies and frat boys had to want to go North of Belmont, something that wasn't happening when the first owned the team.

It was a perfect storm for the Trib; gentrification, Harry Caray, new bars and restaurants, and the ability to bring political pressure to install lights.

I know someone who lived on Sheffield just North of Addison in the mid-80s. One of the "rooftop" buildings. They would just go up to the roof to hang out. At that point nobody saw the profit, including the landlord. So as the economic and political geography of the area developed, so did the Trib's marketing.

And they totally trumped Einhorn's pay-TV vision. As the Sox hemorrhaged fans to the free TV that the Trib/WGN/Cubs combine offered, the Sox franchise, owned by a couple of arrogant know-it-alls, just stagnated. It took Brooks Boyer and Ozzie to bring them out of their self-inflicted also-ran status.

soxinem1
12-29-2008, 01:31 PM
Sounds right. And they had to wait for the neighborhood formerly called North Lakeview to become Wrigleyville - the gentrification process was already going on in 1981 when they bought the team - for them to market the "Wrigley Field experience." And the trixies and frat boys had to want to go North of Belmont, something that wasn't happening when the first owned the team.

It was a perfect storm for the Trib; gentrification, Harry Caray, new bars and restaurants, and the ability to bring political pressure to install lights.

I know someone who lived on Sheffield just North of Addison in the mid-80s. One of the "rooftop" buildings. They would just go up to the roof to hang out. At that point nobody saw the profit, including the landlord. So as the economic and political geography of the area developed, so did the Trib's marketing.

This area was a total rathole pre-1988 or so. Literally. This was one of the largest concentrations of rat populations in the city. It was (and still is in many areas) so bad that you rarely passed an alley block without seeing the posted warnings and poison box traps.

They never had any right talking about Bridgeport and Armour Square. The riff-raff that hung around (and lived) by the 'L' stops was unbelieveable.

You could have bought one of those buildings for a song until about 20 years ago. My brother bought a Lakeview two-flat in the mid-80's for about 80K in good shape, and sold it four years ago for nearly $600K.

If you create the illusion, people will follow.........

white sox bill
12-29-2008, 02:04 PM
This area was a total rathole pre-1988 or so. Literally. This was one of the largest concentrations of rat populations in the city. It was (and still is in many areas) so bad that you rarely passed an alley block without seeing the posted warnings and poison box traps.

They never had any right talking about Bridgeport and Armour Square. The riff-raff that hung around (and lived) by the 'L' stops was unbelieveable.

You could have bought one of those buildings for a song until about 20 years ago. My brother bought a Lakeview two-flat in the mid-80's for about 80K in good shape, and sold it four years ago for nearly $600K.

If you create the illusion, people will follow.........

I think it was PJ Barnum that once said "Theres a sucker born every minute"

LITTLE NELL
12-29-2008, 02:47 PM
I think that as least one of those years the Sox drew less than 1 million.

As for all these heros keeping the Sox in Chicago, Well, I think it was in advertant in their part - at least in terms of the Allyn family. By 1975 they just wanted out and didn't much care to whom. I remember the sequence of events in the Fall of 1975 pretty well, and I don't remember John Allyn playing any role at all - he was just the seller.

To put this stuff in greater context, this was a period - the late 60s through the mid 70s when baseball was down. The NFL had recently surpassed MLB in popularity, and attendance was down throughout MLB, and it was a flat time (with some exceptions like the 1975 world series with Boston and Cinci). Owning a baseball team wasn't as prestigious as it is now.

As for the local situation, in the mid 70s the Cubs were not the #1 team in town by any means so it wouldn't have been a Bears - Cardinals sort of deal. The Wrigley family still owned the Cubs, and they just sat there with the team - AFAIK there was no push from Cubs ownership to get the Sox out of town the way there was with Halas versus the Bidwell family.
The Sox failed to draw a million fans for the 66,67,68,69,70 and 71 seasons.
66 and 67 always puzzled me why we did'nt draw a million especially 67 since we led the AL just about the entire year. 68, 69, 70 was due to a combination of bad teams, Cubs becoming a contender for the first time in years and fear of the area after the 68 riots. Harry arrived on the scene in 71 and Richie Allen got us over the million mark for 72,73 and 74.

JNS
12-29-2008, 04:16 PM
The Sox failed to draw a million fans for the 66,67,68,69,70 and 71 seasons.
66 and 67 always puzzled me why we did'nt draw a million especially 67 since we led the AL just about the entire year. 68, 69, 70 was due to a combination of bad teams, Cubs becoming a contender for the first time in years and fear of the area after the 68 riots. Harry arrived on the scene in 71 and Richie Allen got us over the million mark for 72,73 and 74.

I didn't realize that about 66 and 67 - those were very good teams with great races.

That said, there was a lot of resentment against Sox management. It was felt that Ed Short had traded away the heart of the team. The fans hated Stanky - and he was a hatable guy compared to Lopez; from what I remember (I was 12 in 67), the players pretty much stopped playing for Stanky as well. Guys from that era - Ken Berry, Tommy Agee, Joel Horlen (who had been on the team since the early 60s) - were fan favorites, but somehow it wasn't the same deal it was a few years earlier.

I think all of baseball was down - I doubt the Cubs drew 1,000,000 in 66 or 67 either. By 68 the Durocher regime was in place and the Cubs started playing better - even exciting - baseball.

So I understand why they tanked in 68, 69, and 70. Bad Sox teams, good Cubs teams, a down period for MLB generally. Also, hadn't the Sox moved to a weak WFLD (32) by that time, or even WSNS (44)?

It took Chuck Tanner bringing some excitement on the field, and Harry telling everyone about it loudly to get the excitement back, starting in the 2nd half of 1971.

TornLabrum
12-29-2008, 04:48 PM
I didn't realize that about 66 and 67 - those were very good teams with great races.

That said, there was a lot of resentment against Sox management. It was felt that Ed Short had traded away the heart of the team. The fans hated Stanky - and he was a hatable guy compared to Lopez; from what I remember (I was 12 in 67), the players pretty much stopped playing for Stanky as well. Guys from that era - Ken Berry, Tommy Agee, Joel Horlen (who had been on the team since the early 60s) - were fan favorites, but somehow it wasn't the same deal it was a few years earlier.

I think all of baseball was down - I doubt the Cubs drew 1,000,000 in 66 or 67 either. By 68 the Durocher regime was in place and the Cubs started playing better - even exciting - baseball.

So I understand why they tanked in 68, 69, and 70. Bad Sox teams, good Cubs teams, a down period for MLB generally. Also, hadn't the Sox moved to a weak WFLD (32) by that time, or even WSNS (44)?

It took Chuck Tanner bringing some excitement on the field, and Harry telling everyone about it loudly to get the excitement back, starting in the 2nd half of 1971.

There was not-so-subtle racism involved, too. Suddenly, especially with the riots that followed the death of Martin Luther King, but even before that, Comiskey Park was considered to be in a "bad neighborhood" (read too many people with dark complexions). Of course it was all BS, but Chicago was a pretty racist city back then.

JNS
12-29-2008, 05:33 PM
There was not-so-subtle racism involved, too. Suddenly, especially with the riots that followed the death of Martin Luther King, but even before that, Comiskey Park was considered to be in a "bad neighborhood" (read too many people with dark complexions). Of course it was all BS, but Chicago was a pretty racist city back then.

I am sure you are right. 68, 69, 70, and 71 I was busy being a noxious and misbehaving teenager and wasn't paying any attention to baseball.

But the old ballpark was on what used to be a racial fault line in this town. You had the projects on the other side of the Ryan, and directly South of the park, on Princeton, running North from 39th there were low-rise projects. And beyond that, on the other side of the Normal Ave. viaduct, there was Bridgeport.

And given the racism that existed in Bridgeport at that time, it really was right on the front line of a potential battle, art least that's the way it looked to a lot of people at the time.

Things change. A few summers ago my kid was went to day-camp at McGuane Park, on 31st and Halsted. The population of the park district day-camp was about 33% Latino, 33% white, and 33% Asian, with a few African-American kids too.

It affected Wrigley Field too, although not nearly as much. North Lakeview was a pretty tough hood, with a large Latino population in the late 60s and through the 70s. A fair amount of gangbanging going on. This was pre-gentrification and after most of the aging German population moved away.

white sox bill
12-29-2008, 05:49 PM
Since I find the whole subject intriguing I asked an old timer one time why did the Comiskey family allow the Taylor projects to be built across the street from the park. He proceeded to tell me something like the projects back then were FDR's New Deal and that it was supposed to be transient housing for families making the transition from poor to middle class in a yr or two or three then move from the Projects to the 'burbs. So it wasn't really a bad thing to have Projects close by at least in theory. Of course, the pundits didn't see the druggies,gang members and undesirables setting up shop and living there for generations to come.

Is this true????

2906
12-29-2008, 06:06 PM
Since I find the whole subject intriguing I asked an old timer one time why did the Comiskey family allow the Taylor projects to be built across the street from the park. He proceeded to tell me something like the projects back then were FDR's New Deal and that it was supposed to be transient housing for families making the transition from poor to middle class in a yr or two or three then move from the Projects to the 'burbs. So it wasn't really a bad thing to have Projects close by at least in theory. Of course, the pundits didn't see the druggies,gang members and undesirables setting up shop and living there for generations to come.

Is this true????

Some of what you were told is true, theoretically anyway. The Taylor Homes were completed in 1962 so the timing and construction was after FDR's time. The buildings weren't designed as temporary housing, in theory they were supposed to offer affordable decent housing.

They were located where they were because, as noted in posts above, there were racial tensions in Chicago and many powers-that-be didn't want integrated neighborhoods.

Obviously, the idea, planning, and execution were flawed.

Sadly, the spector of the projects and said tensions had a definite effect on White Sox attendance, most notably from about 1967 to 1971. The team was bad from '68 to '70 (really bad) but there were always whispers about the surroundings being unsafe. For example, the White Sox were in the thick of it in 1967 but failed to draw 1 million.

One of the first McDonalds in the area was on 35th near Wabash, it's long gone now. My mom used to drive us over there from Bridgeport for lunch on Saturdays and also for lunch in the summer.

jcw218
12-29-2008, 06:09 PM
While we are on this subject, does anyone have any guesses as what would have happened to our Sox if Dorothy Rigney had sold her 51% share of the Sox to her brother Chuck instead of Veeck back in 1959?
My guess is Chuck would have sold the team by the late 60s since Baseball was their only business and free agency was on the horizon.
Even though we had some very good seasons(72,77,83) I sure don't miss those years from 68 to 88 when we almost lost the Sox on 3 different occasions.

IIRC, there was talk when Jerry and Co acquired the Sox about Veeck moving the team to Denver. I did not know about the Seattle threats.

2906
12-29-2008, 06:14 PM
IIRC, there was talk when Jerry and Co acquired the Sox about Veeck moving the team to Denver. I did not know about the Seattle threats.

Yeah, the Seattle stuff was around when Veeck bought the team in '75. One of the investors for the Seattle group was entertainer Danny Kaye, who I never liked and liked a whole lot less as a result.

JNS
12-29-2008, 09:31 PM
Since I find the whole subject intriguing I asked an old timer one time why did the Comiskey family allow the Taylor projects to be built across the street from the park. He proceeded to tell me something like the projects back then were FDR's New Deal and that it was supposed to be transient housing for families making the transition from poor to middle class in a yr or two or three then move from the Projects to the 'burbs. So it wasn't really a bad thing to have Projects close by at least in theory. Of course, the pundits didn't see the druggies,gang members and undesirables setting up shop and living there for generations to come.

Is this true????

Originally the projects were not so easy to get into as a resident - there were a lot of regulations and they were considered good places to live. By the late 60s they had turned into hell holes, but it didn't happen immediately.

The reason so many were concentrated in a couple of spots - State street between 35th and 55th for Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens, and Cabrini on the near North side, Henry Horner on the West side - is that the vast majority of our 50 tolerant aldermen, this was in the late 40s and early 50s when they were being planned refused to allow "scattered site" public housing in their wards. So huge projects were built in areas that were already very isolated economically and socially - the ghettos.

There is no way the Comiskey family could prevent anything like that. These were gigantic projects, designed to replace even worse slums that had been ripped down. In those days baseball ownership was sort of a Ma & Pa operation, certainly on the South side and there simply wasn't the clout to do anything about it, even if there was the desire.

But the main point is that when they were built they were considered desirable. And what they replaced was even worse. Long before the Dan Ryan was built (opened in 1964 I think, maybe 65), the Rock Island tracks just East of the Ryan, and the tracks a couple of blocks West at Normal served as typical neighborhood boundaries.

Up to the 50s the location of Comiskey Park was good for both communities. The Chicago American Giants, the Negro League team in Chicago drew huge crowds, as did the many exhibition and Negro League all-star games that were held at Comiskey.

As an aside, I believe that the old South Side Grounds, where the Sox played up to 1910 weren't ripped down till the late 40s or early 50s and were also the scene of many Negro League and exhibition games. My wife's uncle says he remembers seeing Babe Ruth playing in a exhibition there after he retired from the big leagues, sometime in the very late 30s or early 40s.

Jim Shorts
12-29-2008, 10:07 PM
I just wanted to say that this is an incredibly interesting thread and I'd like to thank those who offered their story.

I'm approaching 40 and my grandpa is the reason I blead black. i still wish I'd had more time to talk about this stuff with him.

Thanks, gang.

roylestillman
12-29-2008, 10:30 PM
and.

As an aside, I believe that the old South Side Grounds, where the Sox played up to 1910 weren't ripped down till the late 40s or early 50s and were also the scene of many Negro League and exhibition games. My wife's uncle says he remembers seeing Babe Ruth playing in a exhibition there after he retired from the big leagues, sometime in the very late 30s or early 40s.

You are right. The Old South Side Grounds remained until it burnt down on Christmas Day 1940.

JNS
12-30-2008, 01:20 AM
You are right. The Old South Side Grounds remained until it burnt down on Christmas Day 1940.

Thanks Royale.

It's hard for me to picture. The projects and the Ryan changed the entire topography of the South side. I was 10 when they finished the Ryan, and didn't really start going around the city on my own for a couple of years after that, so I really don't remember a time when the Ryan didn't exist or or was under construction.

And it lasted a full 30 years after the Sox stopped playing there. From the photos it looks like it was from a much earlier generation of arenas; wooden and pretty small - 20,000 or less.

But it's easy to see why old Chuck built his new palace just a couple of blocks away. Great access to public trans, centrally located but not too built-up, at least 100 years ago when they were planning it.

As the thread discussing the changes that they are now making to the new park mentions, access to PT will allow the Cell to remain viable for a long, long time.

2906
12-30-2008, 08:46 AM
Originally the projects were not so easy to get into as a resident - there were a lot of regulations and they were considered good places to live. By the late 60s they had turned into hell holes, but it didn't happen immediately.

The reason so many were concentrated in a couple of spots - State street between 35th and 55th for Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens, and Cabrini on the near North side, Henry Horner on the West side - is that the vast majority of our 50 tolerant aldermen, this was in the late 40s and early 50s when they were being planned refused to allow "scattered site" public housing in their wards. So huge projects were built in areas that were already very isolated economically and socially - the ghettos.

There is no way the Comiskey family could prevent anything like that. These were gigantic projects, designed to replace even worse slums that had been ripped down. In those days baseball ownership was sort of a Ma & Pa operation, certainly on the South side and there simply wasn't the clout to do anything about it, even if there was the desire.

But the main point is that when they were built they were considered desirable. And what they replaced was even worse. Long before the Dan Ryan was built (opened in 1964 I think, maybe 65), the Rock Island tracks just East of the Ryan, and the tracks a couple of blocks West at Normal served as typical neighborhood boundaries.

Up to the 50s the location of Comiskey Park was good for both communities. The Chicago American Giants, the Negro League team in Chicago drew huge crowds, as did the many exhibition and Negro League all-star games that were held at Comiskey.

As an aside, I believe that the old South Side Grounds, where the Sox played up to 1910 weren't ripped down till the late 40s or early 50s and were also the scene of many Negro League and exhibition games. My wife's uncle says he remembers seeing Babe Ruth playing in a exhibition there after he retired from the big leagues, sometime in the very late 30s or early 40s.

Great stuff ... I admire your knowledge of the history.

As a (very) young boy living across from McGuane Park, I remember a ton of noise from the Stevenson Expressway being built. Looking it up, it was completed for the most part in 1964/65. Looking up the Dan Ryan history, it was completed to 95th St. in 1962. So yes, a sense of division or isolation would've occured at that point ... from Comiskey Park and Armor Square and Bridgeport on the west to the Taylor Homes on the east.

The former site of South Side Grounds is the Wentworth Gardens housing. There's no marker but I recall reading the White Sox building a playground there for the residents. My understanding is if you're at the far north end of the parking lot immediately adjacent (south) of 37th St., you're about parallel to the location of where 3rd base was at South Side Grounds. There really should be a plaque or something, after all a World Series winning team called it home.

JNS
12-30-2008, 10:04 AM
Great stuff ... I admire your knowledge of the history.

The former site of South Side Grounds is the Wentworth Gardens housing. There's no marker but I recall reading the White Sox building a playground there for the residents. My understanding is if you're at the far north end of the parking lot immediately adjacent (south) of 37th St., you're about parallel to the location of where 3rd base was at South Side Grounds. There really should be a plaque or something, after all a World Series winning team called it home.

This is a fun thread - it's really about how the Sox and their history is totally intertwined with the city as a whole, and certainly our part of the city.

Seeing as Wentworth Gardens is now mainly Sox parking lots, the team could do something to show where the old grounds were. It's cool that the team has played within a few square block area for almost 110 years now.

Most teams, including the Cubs and Yankees can't say that. The Cubs were at the old West Side Grounds which were on Racine somewhere, and the Yankees only got to the Bronx in the early 20s - before that they were in the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan.

One interesting thing is that we have discussed how Comiskey Park was considered to be in a "bad neighborhood" in the 50s, 60s, and 70s (and beyond I guess).

When you think about what the city's income demographics looked like when the old park was built in 1910, and up into the 1920s, it was in much closer proximity to where the "swells" lived than any place the Cubs played. Grand Blvd. (now MLK Drive) was very well-to-do, the Prairie Avenue [historical district] over by 18th and Indiana was where the richest people in the city lived. Hyde Park - still fairly prosperous - was where Chuck Comiskey lived, and was certainly very much White Sox country.

It would be a good topic for a masters thesis, or even a PHD to see if there were any ethnic trends to the cross-town rivalry. This was (maybe still?) a city of neighborhoods, and folks who lived down here were of different backgrounds from people up North.

The Sox heartland contained Irish, Jews, African-Americans, some Poles, Serbs, Croats, and Mexicans.

The North side was much more German, Swedish, more Polish, with some Jews and Latinos from the Caribbean (Puerto Rico). Also what few WASPs there were in this town.

I may be totally off-base here (and certainly off-topic), and of course things are much more integrated now, but it would be interesting to see of or how that played out during a time when there were far more immigrants and first generation Americans chomping nickel cigars and heading off to the ball game on a day off.

For example, at some point in 30s the Sox picked up Al Simmons (Szymanski). Was the fact that he was Polish play into that? The Sox were the third integrated team in the AL (after the Indians and Browns - both Veeck teams - coincidence? I think not). Did the Sox large African-American constituency (Minoso is Cuban, but so what) have anything to do with that decision?

roylestillman
12-30-2008, 10:22 AM
Seeing as Wentworth Gardens is now mainly Sox parking lots, the team could do something to show where the old grounds were. It's cool that the team has played within a few square block area for almost 110 years now.


Actually the Wentworth Gardens are all still there, They've been rehabbed and of few of the buildings were taken out to cut down on density, but it remains within the original footprint.

For fun here's a site that has aerial photograpphs of the City that go back to 1939. In the 1939 pictures you can see the old South Side Park. The building right next to it to the west still stands on Pershing. This site is hard to get through, but once you get the hang of it you'll be up all night.

http://historicaerials.com/

JNS
12-30-2008, 10:37 AM
Actually the Wentworth Gardens are all still there, They've been rehabbed and of few of the buildings were taken out to cut down on density, but it remains within the original footprint.

For fun here's a site that has aerial photograpphs of the City that go back to 1939. In the 1939 pictures you can see the old South Side Park. The building right next to it to the west still stands on Pershing. This site is hard to get through, but once you get the hang of it you'll be up all night.

http://historicaerials.com/


WOW! Thanks! That is so cool - and I was just playing with Google Earth - this is much better.

And my bad on Wentworth Gardens, For decades we got to the park (from Hyde Park) by going West on Pershing, and then turning North on Princeton and parking by Wentworth Gardens - there were lots of people who let you park in their empty lots for a few bucks.

Now we park on Wabash and walk across the 35th bridge, or just take the Red Line. So I had not been over to the South side of the ballpark in a long time - I just assumed they had ripped all of the buildings over there.

tebman
12-30-2008, 10:47 AM
For fun here's a site that has aerial photograpphs of the City that go back to 1939. In the 1939 pictures you can see the old South Side Park. The building right next to it to the west still stands on Pershing. This site is hard to get through, but once you get the hang of it you'll be up all night.

http://historicaerials.com/

That is very cool, indeed! We always park in Lot F south of the ballpark and get there going east on Pershing. I never knew where the actual footprint was for the original park, though I knew it was somewhere near Pershing and Wentworth. That website's a definite new bookmark for me.

Remarkable too how many buildings and homes were blown away to build the Dan Ryan. When you look at those old pictures it's clear how dense the neighborhood was.

JNS
12-30-2008, 11:17 AM
Actually the Wentworth Gardens are all still there, They've been rehabbed and of few of the buildings were taken out to cut down on density, but it remains within the original footprint.

For fun here's a site that has aerial photograpphs of the City that go back to 1939. In the 1939 pictures you can see the old South Side Park. The building right next to it to the west still stands on Pershing. This site is hard to get through, but once you get the hang of it you'll be up all night.

http://historicaerials.com/

And in the 1938 view you can see the old South Side Grounds! Just a teensy grandstand around the back of home plate.

areilly
12-30-2008, 11:24 AM
I just wanted to say that this is an incredibly interesting thread and I'd like to thank those who offered their story.

Same here. I'm only 29, so a lot of this is before my time, but the city-team relationship has always fascinated me and it's great to hear about it from the people who were there.

Best thread and discussion we've seen here in a long time. Thanks, guys and gals.

JNS
12-30-2008, 11:42 AM
Remarkable too how many buildings and homes were blown away to build the Dan Ryan. When you look at those old pictures it's clear how dense the neighborhood was.

No lie. It was a huge political issue at the time - over 100,000 people were displaced.

It helped coalesce the African-American community to gain more political clout, in the context of the Daley administration doing whatever it wanted to without discussion, and the civil rights movement that was going on at the same time.

It also informed the debate about the never-built crosstown expressway that was planned to run N - S along the Cicero Avenue corridor. The gigantic amount of potential displacement along that route caused a lot of aldermen to go against it - and by that time it wasn't Dick Daley but Jane Byrne on the 5th floor of city hall, so the project was killed.

They ended up using the crosstown dough to build the Orange Line - a good thing for the SW side.

The building of the Ryan affected old Comiskey Park too. When it rained a lot and the Ryan - beneath ground level at 35th St., drained, it would drain UP into right field at the old park. Veeck had the drains upgraded with ball-stoppers to help prevent that in 1977, but either way, having the Ryan next door adversely affected the ability of water to drain out of the oldpark and parts of the outfield became swamps late in its life. I'm sure one of the guys here who is in contact with Sox personnel could get the detailed story from Roger Brossard.

tebman
12-30-2008, 12:18 PM
No lie. It was a huge political issue at the time - over 100,000 people were displaced.

It helped coalesce the African-American community to gain more political clout, in the context of the Daley administration doing whatever it wanted to without discussion, and the civil rights movement that was going on at the same time.

It also informed the debate about the never-built crosstown expressway that was planned to run N - S along the Cicero Avenue corridor. The gigantic amount of potential displacement along that route caused a lot of aldermen to go against it - and by that time it wasn't Dick Daley but Jane Byrne on the 5th floor of city hall, so the project was killed.

They ended up using the crosstown dough to build the Orange Line - a good thing for the SW side.

The building of the Ryan affected old Comiskey Park too. When it rained a lot and the Ryan - beneath ground level at 35th St., drained, it would drain UP into right field at the old park. Veeck had the drains upgraded with ball-stoppers to help prevent that in 1977, but either way, having the Ryan next door adversely affected the ability of water to drain out of the oldpark and parts of the outfield became swamps late in its life. I'm sure one of the guys here who is in contact with Sox personnel could get the detailed story from Roger Brossard.
I was just a kid at the time but I remember hearing the arguments about moving all those people to build the expressway. My daughter went to school near Milwaukee and Ogden, in part of what for generations has been a Polish neighborhood. The Kennedy expressway crashes right through there and I often wondered what was in place before the highway was built. The Historic Aerials website answered my question -- a dense neighborhood was blown away there as well to make room for the expressway.

The Crosstown Expressway debate is more recent and I remember that clearly. I knew the area around Cicero Avenue and wondered what they were thinking -- how are they going to move that many buildings and that many people and not screw up the city?

I remember too the drainage problems in the old ballpark. There were a number of games played with right field doused in sand trying to absorb the water. It was pretty bad. If the Allyn brothers and Bill Veeck had a hard time competing in player payroll, they sure couldn't afford the complete plumbing overhaul that would've been required to fix that problem.

Thome25
12-30-2008, 12:31 PM
Actually the Wentworth Gardens are all still there, They've been rehabbed and of few of the buildings were taken out to cut down on density, but it remains within the original footprint.

For fun here's a site that has aerial photograpphs of the City that go back to 1939. In the 1939 pictures you can see the old South Side Park. The building right next to it to the west still stands on Pershing. This site is hard to get through, but once you get the hang of it you'll be up all night.

http://historicaerials.com/

Thanks for the website!!! It is extremely interesting. I wonder what the names of the streets were that got wiped out for the Dan Ryan.

Also, I am in agreement about some kind of plaque or marker in the area of the old South Side park. Brooks definitely needs an email about that one!!

SoxandtheCityTee
12-30-2008, 01:01 PM
Since we we are talking history and not politics, I will say that Chicago was very far from being the only city where planners thought that dense high rises replacing tenement slums was a sound approach for publicly owned housing ("projects" here, ""estates" or "council flats" in Britain). Cities that had all kinds of forms of government -- some almost entirely centrally planned, some with almost no racial minorities at the time, many influenced by the fairly new academic science of sociology -- made these choices for reasons that do seem misguided half a century later. But it's more complicated than that. Quite a bit is available on the topic. One of the first projects to get blowed up was in St. Louis: Pruitt-Igoe, destroyed less than 20 years after it was built. In Glasgow, they privatized their largest estates.

One of the reasons that the Kennedy bumps out in places was to skirt churches, most notably St. Stanislaus Kostka. When you go by you can almost see in the back windows.

2906
12-30-2008, 01:31 PM
Also, I am in agreement about some kind of plaque or marker in the area of the old South Side park. Brooks definitely needs an email about that one!!

Steering this back to baseball a bit ...

Here is a link to a picture of the new plaque at the former site of West Side Grounds, dedicated Sept. 2008. West Side Grounds was the former home of the Cubs through 1915. It's really a nice looking plaque although it fails to mention the White Sox won 3 World Series games there in 1906 when they beat the Cubs 4 games to 2. :D:

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/26065/westsidegrounds.jpg

Game 6, the clincher, was held at South Side Park.

I don't know how feasible it'd be to get a similar marker for South Side Park, since it's residential on the site, but it would be fitting, given all the history.

SoxandtheCityTee
12-30-2008, 01:35 PM
Steering this back to baseball a bit ...

Here is a link to a picture of the new plaque at the former site of West Side Grounds, dedicated Sept. 2008. West Side Grounds was the former home of the Cubs through 1915. It's really a nice looking plaque although it fails to mention the White Sox won 3 World Series games there in 1906 when they beat the Cubs 4 games to 2. :D:

Hmmm . . . how could they leave that out? :D:

white sox bill
12-30-2008, 01:41 PM
Hmmm . . . how could they leave that out? :D:
Hanger and I think its some sort of biased reporting!!

LITTLE NELL
12-30-2008, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the website!!! It is extremely interesting. I wonder what the names of the streets were that got wiped out for the Dan Ryan.

Also, I am in agreement about some kind of plaque or marker in the area of the old South Side park. Brooks definitely needs an email about that one!!
IIRC the streets that were wiped out by the Ryan were LaSalle and Wells Sts. North of the ballpark the Ryan jogs to the west and other north-south streets would have been razed, most likely Union and Emerald.
Many times we made the walk from the State st. el to the ballpark. I was a vendor in 1962 and watched the Ryan take shape through out the season. Because vendors banked out after the game it was a half hour after the crowd cleared out when we made our trek to the el at State st. Sometimes it was not a fun walk after a night game.
Funny thing, my best buddy and me lived in Rogers Park and Loyola was our stop to get off the el, 9 times out of 10 we would both fall asleep and the conductor would wake us up at Howard St which was the end of the line.
What great days those were!

Thome25
12-30-2008, 02:53 PM
Steering this back to baseball a bit ...

Here is a link to a picture of the new plaque at the former site of West Side Grounds, dedicated Sept. 2008. West Side Grounds was the former home of the Cubs through 1915. It's really a nice looking plaque although it fails to mention the White Sox won 3 World Series games there in 1906 when they beat the Cubs 4 games to 2. :D:

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/26065/westsidegrounds.jpg

Game 6, the clincher, was held at South Side Park.

I don't know how feasible it'd be to get a similar marker for South Side Park, since it's residential on the site, but it would be fitting, given all the history.

See now the site of the old ballpark at 39th and Princeton needs the same type of historical marker. At the very least it DESERVES a historical marker just like this one.....the old field at 39th was there for 40 years and site of a Chicago world series clincher and home of Negro Leagues baseball.

That IMO is an injustice.

Thome25
12-30-2008, 03:10 PM
Here is a copy of an email that I sent to Brooks. It probably won't get anywhere but, I sure hope it does:


Brooks--

I would like to request that discussion be brought up between the White Sox and the state of Illinois for a historical plaque to be erected at 39th and Princeton at the site of the White Sox old ballpark known as the 39th street grounds.

This site has much historical significance to the White Sox and the city as well as civil rights significance as well. It is the site of a Chicago World Series clincher as well as the first home of our Chicago White Sox. It also stood for 40 years and was the home of the Negro Leagues' Chicago American Giants.

The White Sox have had their roots firmly planted on the south side of Chicago for over 100 years and have spent a majority of their time in this small area of the city. With the recent gentrification of the neighboorhoods surrounding the ballpark more and more visitors will be coming into the surrounding area. The history of the former 39th St. ballpark needs to be pointed out and marked for all to see.

As an example, I'd like to include a link to a similar marker that was erected for a former home of the Cubs. The site of the 39th St. ballpark deserves to be honored in the same fashion. Is the Cubs site more significant? I think not!!

Here is the link:

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/26065/westsidegrounds.jpg (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/26065/westsidegrounds.jpg)

Please get back to me as soon as you can regarding this email and THANK YOU for taking the time to read this!!

Sincerely,

DumpJerry
12-30-2008, 03:33 PM
One of the reasons that the Kennedy bumps out in places was to skirt churches, most notably St. Stanislaus Kostka. When you go by you can almost see in the back windows.
Another interesting configuration in Chicago is the sharp S turn on the El tracks at North Avenue just east of Halsted (Brown and Purple Line). This happened because when they were building the El in the 1800's the farmers at that location would not sell the right-of-way for the tracks, so the tracks had to go around the farms.

2906
12-30-2008, 03:45 PM
Thome25, great job on that email. Keep us posted ... it would be an interesting project for the White Sox to undertake.

Years ago I worked with the Illinois Landmarks Commission regarding a plaque at Coliseum Park, 14th and Wabash, across the street from the former site of the Chicago Coliseum. I won't rehash the details because it was discussed at length in another thread a few weeks ago. The project died because there's a certain amount of funding needed and I couldn't galvanize the condo/neighborhood group at the time.

Hopefully in this case, the Sox can spearhead and fund the effort.

mrfourni
12-30-2008, 04:08 PM
The Wikipedia site says that along with the Sox and the Negro Leagues, the Cubs played there from 1891-1893

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Side_Park

I'm surprised there isn't a plaque there to begin with.

Thome25
12-30-2008, 04:23 PM
Thome25, great job on that email. Keep us posted ... it would be an interesting project for the White Sox to undertake.

Years ago I worked with the Illinois Landmarks Commission regarding a plaque at Coliseum Park, 14th and Wabash, across the street from the former site of the Chicago Coliseum. I won't rehash the details because it was discussed at length in another thread a few weeks ago. The project died because there's a certain amount of funding needed and I couldn't galvanize the condo/neighborhood group at the time.

Hopefully in this case, the Sox can spearhead and fund the effort.

Thanks I appreciate the kind words.:D:

The Wikipedia site says that along with the Sox and the Negro Leagues, the Cubs played there from 1891-1893

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Side_Park

I'm surprised there isn't a plaque there to begin with.

See I didn't even know that. I also didn't know all of the info on the Wikipedia page either.

There NEEDS to be a historical marker/plaque at this site. The only thing that would possibly block it would be sponsorship but, it would be nice if a future plaque reads as follows: "Sponsored by the Illinois Historical Society and The Members of Whitesoxinteractive.com":tongue:

PalehosePlanet
12-30-2008, 04:59 PM
Thanks I appreciate the kind words.:D:



See I didn't even know that. I also didn't know all of the info on the Wikipedia page either.

There NEEDS to be a historical marker/plaque at this site. The only thing that would possibly block it would be sponsorship but, it would be nice if a future plaque reads as follows: "Sponsored by the Illinois Historical Society and The Members of Whitesoxinteractive.com":tongue:

There is a small tin/metal-like sign at the corner of 39th and Wentworth commemorating the site as the former South Side Park. I agree that there should be something more significant, and more detailed like the plaque commemorating the cubs west side digs.

BTW: I know it's been said, but again, this is a GREAT thread. Thanks to everyone for participating in it and thanks to Bill for starting it.

white sox bill
12-30-2008, 06:21 PM
There is a small tin/metal-like sign at the corner of 39th and Wentworth commemorating the site as the former South Side Park. I agree that there should be something more significant, and more detailed like the plaque commemorating the cubs west side digs.

BTW: I know it's been said, but again, this is a GREAT thread. Thanks to everyone for participating in it and thanks to Bill for starting it.

No problem, show your gratitude by sending dead presidents to my PAYPAL account, here's linky:
https://www.paypal.com/us/ :smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::rolleyes::band ance:

And allow me to thank all for the great history lesson. All this on a whim thread that wasn't grammatically correct. Unbelievable.

JNS
12-30-2008, 07:08 PM
Since we we are talking history and not politics, I will say that Chicago was very far from being the only city where planners thought that dense high rises replacing tenement slums was a sound approach for publicly owned housing ("projects" here, ""estates" or "council flats" in Britain). Cities that had all kinds of forms of government -- some almost entirely centrally planned, some with almost no racial minorities at the time, many influenced by the fairly new academic science of sociology -- made these choices for reasons that do seem misguided half a century later. But it's more complicated than that. Quite a bit is available on the topic. One of the first projects to get blowed up was in St. Louis: Pruitt-Igoe, destroyed less than 20 years after it was built. In Glasgow, they privatized their largest estates.

I totally agree. And having lived in the UK, I know about sink estates!

They were particularly unsuccessful in Chicago for a lot of reasons. However, as you mention, similar ones (Pruit-Igoe in St. Louis) have been imploded. They did that to a couple of isolated CHA high-rises on 44th and Lake Park about ten years ago.

In London lots of estates have gone private, and a lot of residents own their terrace houses or flats. That was only done once in Chicago, at LeClaire Courts. But they are also what they would call terraces in the UK. The tower blocks have been pretty unsuccessful everywhere.

JNS
12-30-2008, 07:12 PM
There is a small tin/metal-like sign at the corner of 39th and Wentworth commemorating the site as the former South Side Park. I agree that there should be something more significant, and more detailed like the plaque commemorating the cubs west side digs.

BTW: I know it's been said, but again, this is a GREAT thread. Thanks to everyone for participating in it and thanks to Bill for starting it.

Thanks - I'll have to go and check it out.

And even the Cubs played there - it must have been the premier venue in the city. The aerial photo makes it look tiny - not even up to suburban high school standard today.

And along with the point that the Sox won three WS games at the West Side Grounds in 1906, that means they had to win one at the South Side Grounds. I'd love to see some more photos - the only ones I've seen are grainy and don't show much of the park.

JNS
12-30-2008, 07:27 PM
http://www.historicaerials.com/?poi=3532



South Side Grounds in 1938. Due South of Comiskey by four blocks.

ode to veeck
12-30-2008, 08:10 PM
Another interesting configuration in Chicago is the sharp S turn on the El tracks at North Avenue just east of Halsted (Brown and Purple Line). This happened because when they were building the El in the 1800's the farmers at that location would not sell the right-of-way for the tracks, so the tracks had to go around the farms.

great views of the city from the old ravenswood line, probably the most commonly used section of the El system used for movie shots

roylestillman
12-30-2008, 08:29 PM
Thanks - I'll have to go and check it out.

And even the Cubs played there - it must have been the premier venue in the city. The aerial photo makes it look tiny - not even up to suburban high school standard today.

And along with the point that the Sox won three WS games at the West Side Grounds in 1906, that means they had to win one at the South Side Grounds. I'd love to see some more photos - the only ones I've seen are grainy and don't show much of the park.

OK as long as I'm giving away all my website secrets here's another one

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cdnquery.html

This one is the archives of all of the photographs (Actually glass slide negatives) from the archives of the old Chicago Daily News from 1902 -1933. Type in the subject (like White Sox or South Side Park) and hundreds of photos show up. Use the gallery view to save some time.

ode to veeck
12-30-2008, 08:34 PM
OK as long as I'm giving away all my website secrets here's another one

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cdnquery.html

This one is the archives of all of the photographs (Actually glass slide negatives) from the archives of the old Chicago Daily News from 1902 -1933. Type in the subject (like White Sox or South Side Park) and hundreds of photos show up. Use the gallery view to save some time.


thats a great one I've had bookmarked for years

ode to veeck
12-30-2008, 08:38 PM
thats a great one I've had bookmarked for years

here's a nice one of the greatest Sox and greatest Tiger players of all time all in the same picture (Collins and Cobb)

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/I?cdn:19:./temp/~ammem_CH6u::displayType=1:m856sd=ichicdn:m856sf=s 065877:@@@

JNS
12-30-2008, 08:55 PM
OK as long as I'm giving away all my website secrets here's another one

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cdnquery.html

This one is the archives of all of the photographs (Actually glass slide negatives) from the archives of the old Chicago Daily News from 1902 -1933. Type in the subject (like White Sox or South Side Park) and hundreds of photos show up. Use the gallery view to save some time.

Very cool - many thanks!

slavko
12-31-2008, 12:40 AM
Another interesting configuration in Chicago is the sharp S turn on the El tracks at North Avenue just east of Halsted (Brown and Purple Line). This happened because when they were building the El in the 1800's the farmers at that location would not sell the right-of-way for the tracks, so the tracks had to go around the farms.

Per "The Chicago L" recently written by Greg Borzo, this was the Northwestern Line, built in the 1890's by Charles Yerkes. That segment had to wind its way through a built up section of the city, hence the "S" curve. Per Borzo, the city north of Belmont was sparsely populated and did have some small farms at that time. Fascinating stuff, check out the book.

SoxandtheCityTee
12-31-2008, 01:14 AM
Per "The Chicago L" recently written by Greg Borzo, this was the Northwestern Line, built in the 1890's by Charles Yerkes. That segment had to wind its way through a built up section of the city, hence the "S" curve. Per Borzo, the city north of Belmont was sparsely populated and did have some small farms at that time. Fascinating stuff, check out the book.

A book about the El must be checked out by me. Thanks for mentioning it.

howzer12
01-06-2009, 10:42 PM
If any White Sox fans are unfamiliar with our fun group, SFOD has been in existence since 1988. We meet once per month, usually at a restaurant on the north side of the city. (But not within smelling distance of The Urinal.) Our next meeting takes place on Tuesday evening, 1/13, at 7:00 at Shooter's Restaurant, located at 4538 N. Harlem Avenue in Harwood Heights. If you're interested in connecting with some dye hard Sox fans and heat up the hot stove:angry:, all Sox fans are welcome to attend.
If you haven't had the opportunity to meet "The Human Schedule", you're in for an experience.

VeeckAsInWreck
01-07-2009, 12:53 PM
Seriously everyone, awesome thread. I've had a lot of fun reading people's recollection of the days of old. There's no doubt about the rich history this franchise has with our city. Things happen for a reason and that's why nobody could take the Sox away from us on 3 different occasions.

I've learned so much from this thread! I especially liked how the West Side Grounds plaque explains how the "way out in left field" phrase came about.