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CiscoCarlos
10-28-2002, 03:35 PM
I enjoyed reading the posting of the 1931 article announcing Comiskey's death in Eagle River. It reminded me on an out of print hardcover biography of him I read, written back in 1919.

It was titled "Commie." Apparently the "Old Roman" nickname didn't gain favor for old Comiskey until the negativism associated with the name "Commie" grew (due to the wider use of the term "communism" in 1920) requiring a quick change in moniker.

A large part of the book focused on how Commie was just one of the boys and how his players loved him! With that premise and its title both out of date by October 1920, it's little wonder Commie only had one printing.

That being said, in a certain way, it was funner reading Commie than Veeck Is In Wreck. And I'm sure someday we can all chortle when Rob Gallas ultimately writes the loving and fawning biography of Reinsdorf: "Good Ol' Jerry--Just One Of The Guys."

Mule Haas
10-29-2002, 11:45 AM
Interesting question, "Who is the worst owner in Sox history?" Comparing owners of different generations has similar challenges of comparing players of different eras. At a glance, i would give Commie the worst owner tag over JR, but in his era, the slave like treatment of players was more or less expected.

jortafan
10-29-2002, 01:54 PM
Sorry to disagree, but I'd have to think any serious discussion of "worst Sox owner" would have to focus on the Allyns. Take your pick which one did more harm.

Mule Haas
10-29-2002, 04:36 PM
Fair point on the Allyns...i was going to go there in my initial post, but then i thought you had to give John Allyn credit for bringing in Roland Hemond, Chuck Tanner and Dick Allen. And as far as Arthur Allyn is concerned, he gave us Don Gutteridge, the 1967 collapse and Red Rush!

Mule

MisterB
10-29-2002, 09:18 PM
Comiskey treated his players badly enough that several agreed to throw the World Series, partly just to spite him. That's tough to beat. Comiskey has also seemed to set the tone for all future Sox owners (start with cheap and go south from there..), with Reinsdorf coming closest to the Old Roman when it somes to miserliness and contempt for his own players.

TornLabrum
10-29-2002, 09:58 PM
And then there was Bill Veeck who traded us from a pennant to third place and from the Go-Go era to the Slow-Mo era when he managed to get rid of John Callison, Norm Cash, Earl Battey, and John Romano in return for the likes of Gene Freese, Roy Sievers, and an aging Minnie Minoso.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-29-2002, 10:59 PM
Personally, I give Art and John Allyn a pass for worst Sox owner. Art wanted to build a new Sox Park back in the 60's on the site of what is now Dearborn Park in the South Loop. It's the hottest neighborhood in the city today. Had he been able to pull off that trick, the Sox would have been the downtown team--not the Flubbies. We wouldn't be wasting time and energy trying to convince everyone that our ballpark wasn't in a "bad" neighborhood either.

As for John, he absolutely saved the franchise from being sold and moved to Milwaukee. That was the plan our good friend Bud Selig had in mind with his offer to Art. He had already grabbed one-third of the the Sox' "home" games for Milwaukee's County Stadium in 1968 and 1969. When Art accepted his brother John's offer for the team, Selig went after the Seattle Pilots and moved that team to Milwaukee for the 1970 season. That could just as easily have been the fate of our Sox.

John Allyn in 1969 saved the franchise for Chicago's Sox Fans at least as much as Bill Veeck did in 1975. However, Veeck was his own best publicist and gets all the credit, while hardly anybody remembers that Allyn did at least as much, too.

Jerry_Manuel
10-29-2002, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Art wanted to build a new Sox Park back in the 60's on the site of what is now Dearborn Park in the South Loop. It's the hottest neighborhood in the city today.

:reinsy
What? No Diamond suites...*heart attack*

DVG
10-30-2002, 05:04 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Personally, I give Art and John Allyn a pass for worst Sox owner. Art wanted to build a new Sox Park back in the 60's on the site of what is now Dearborn Park in the South Loop. It's the hottest neighborhood in the city today. Had he been able to pull off that trick, the Sox would have been the downtown team--not the Flubbies. We wouldn't be wasting time and energy trying to convince everyone that our ballpark wasn't in a "bad" neighborhood either.

As for John, he absolutely saved the franchise from being sold and moved to Milwaukee. That was the plan our good friend Bud Selig had in mind with his offer to Art. He had already grabbed one-third of the the Sox' "home" games for Milwaukee's County Stadium in 1968 and 1969. When Art accepted his brother John's offer for the team, Selig went after the Seattle Pilots and moved that team to Milwaukee for the 1970 season. That could just as easily have been the fate of our Sox.

John Allyn in 1969 saved the franchise for Chicago's Sox Fans at least as much as Bill Veeck did in 1975. However, Veeck was his own best publicist and gets all the credit, while hardly anybody remembers that Allyn did at least as much, too.

Excellent points, PHG. I was going to post same when I saw
yours. Let me also remind you that John Allyn saved the Sox
TWICE, not only in 1969, but also in 1975. The league was
about to take over the franchise and sell it to Hans Christian
Anderson himself, Danny Kaye, who was all set to move the
team to Seattle. It was Allyn who chose to sell to Veeck, which
was a much tougher sell than Kaye and his group would have
been.

As for for our bud Bud, rest assured he got his revenge. In 1972,
after the Senators moved to Texas, they were going to be
switched from the Eastern Division to the Western Division,
swapping with one team. The White Sox, who should have
been in the AL East with their traditional rivals, wanted to
make the switch. This was in the days of the unbalanced 18-12
schedule and the Sox badly needed the extra games against
teams like the Yankees and Orioles (attendance had been down,
remember) and fewer West Coast late night games.

Well, along came Bud, the self-proclaimed baseball "outsider"
who wept tears of poverty because his new team was in
the west with the expansion teams and wasn't making any money.
He needed more games against teams like New York, Boston and
Baltimore in order to make ends meet. I don't need to say who made
the switch, we are all familiar enough with our favorite team to know.
Needless to say, (according to "Stealing First in a Two Team Town"
where I am drawing this info from) John Allyn was understandably furious.

jortafan
10-30-2002, 09:00 AM
All of your points about the Allyns are well-taken. But I can't help but think it was their management that allowed the franchise to reach the depths of the 1970 and 1975 seasons. Better management might have prevented the need for the franchise to be "saved." In fact, 1972 (the first season I can remember in detail firsthand, I was 7) is remembered so fondly by Sox fans because it was such an aberation, compared to the way the team usually performed and operated in that decade.
On the issue of the Allyns trying to get a new stadium (at a time when many other franchises were replacing their World War I-era ballparks and Chicago certainly had sympathetic leadership in Richard J. Daley), they were unable to do so. By that standard, JR deserves to be the ultimate Sox savior by actually purchasing the team in 1981, thereby ending speculation that it would move to Denver, getting Gov. Thompson to twist enough political arms to approve funding for a new stadium, and saving the team from being moved to Florida. Is anyone here prepared to talk about "Saint Jerry?" I don't think so. I'm sure not willing to.
Looking back on this thread, I almost wish I hadn't started it. I wasn't trying to trash the Allyns as much as just disagree with the notion that Comiskey was evil incarnate. He used a lot of hard-nosed, mean-spirited tactics in dealing with his players, but so have most owners, certainly all the ones of his era. In fact, when labor negotiations took place this summer and some owners were saying they'd actually prefer a strike that wiped out part or all of a season if it meant breaking the Players Association, I wondered if there aren't many owners who wish they could go back to the Bad Old Days when they had full control.
That was the big reason I sided reluctantly with the players.
I've rambled for longer than I intended. But now I'm done. All of you can now proceed to say that I'm full of dog-poop, or whatever other choice insults you can come up with.

CiscoCarlos
10-30-2002, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by Mule Haas
Fair point on the Allyns...i was going to go there in my initial post, but then i thought you had to give John Allyn credit for bringing in Roland Hemond, Chuck Tanner and Dick Allen. And as far as Arthur Allyn is concerned, he gave us Don Gutteridge, the 1967 collapse and Red Rush!

Mule
Yeah, but he inherited Bob Elson.

Also, one point in Comiskey's favor, not exactly owner-related, but at least he did a lot of things that left quite a legacy on the game itself--one being that he was the first baseman to play on the bag, thus limiting lead offs. Sounds logical now, but back then the move represented a big step forward. There were others. Veeck is the only other Sox owner to leave any legacy on the game.

As for whose really worse, Arthur Allyn was clearly inept, but in a hapless kind of way--no evil attached. Reinsdorf seems worse because he's not inept, but constantly conniving to use the Sox to unreasonably line his pocket. In doing so, he has undermined the team for years.