View Full Version : Woodland Bards

10-11-2005, 03:08 PM
Just curious if anyone in Chicago kept the "Woodland Bards" name alive. They were a fan group that Comiskey liked and even put in a private dining room for them at the old Comiskey.

10-11-2005, 11:52 PM
Just curious if anyone in Chicago kept the "Woodland Bards" name alive. They were a fan group that Comiskey liked and even put in a private dining room for them at the old Comiskey.

Would that be The Bards Room?

10-12-2005, 06:44 AM
Based on my understanding, the Woodland Bards was a group of Comiskey's buddies, more than an actual fan group.

There was a private room in Comiskey Park which was reserved for them to hang out after games, called the "Bards Room".

The only part of that era that still survives, I believe, is the old fireplace from the Bards Room, which is now part of the Bullpen Sports Bar in USCF.

10-12-2005, 10:15 AM
I never knew about this world tour

Baseball had not yet established itself as America's pastime when White Sox owner Charles Comiskey decided to give the world a look at his team, and vice versa. Comiskey's goal on world tours in 1913 and 1924 actually was less the global marketing of baseball -- the game hadn't reached beyond the Mississippi yet, let alone the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans -- than the bestowing of perks. The junkets were the supreme extension of the "Woodland Bards," a group Comiskey headed that entertained players, managers, even media members, deemed favorites of Comiskey's. They hunted, fished and caroused out of a cabin in Wisconsin.

Comiskey drew up plans for the first tour during the summer of 1913 and arranged to take along the New York Giants under manager John McGraw as opponents. The first stop outside the United States after a series of cross-country exhibitions -- 23 straight nights in train sleepers -- from Cincinnati to the Puget Sound to Victoria, British Columbia, in November.

From there the trip crossed cultural lines as well as time zones: Australia, China, Ceylon, the Philippines, Egypt, Italy, England, France. There also was a stop in Japan, which fewer than 60 years earlier had seen its first Americans when Admiral Perry sailed his gunboats into Tokyo Bay. The Japanese proved fast learners: Not 60 years later, they were watching Sadaharu Oh.

The tour played games on five continents, finishing with an extra-inning affair in London the Sox won on Feb. 26, 1914. The teams played 50 games; the Sox won 24, the Giants 20, and six games were played by combined Giants-Sox teams against local squads. The Sox sailed home from England in March 1914 on the steamship Lusitania. A year later, that vessel lay at the bottom of the Atlantic, sunk by a German U-boat torpedo amid controversy that continues to this day. Pitcher Eddie Cicotte and infielder Buck Weaver, among those on the ship, found their careers in a similar condition, minus the torpedo, in the wake of the 1919 Series fix.

The Sox's 1924 excursion, again with the Giants as partners, began in England after a four-game spin through Canada in October. The Canadian stops included two games each in Montreal and Quebec, beginning with a turnout of 6,000 in Montreal for a 13-5 Giants victory.

But any seeds of interest planted by the 1913-14 trip apparently hadn't taken root to the satisfaction of the 1924 crowds. The tour opened on Oct. 22 with a game in front of about 2,500 spectators in Liverpool and was followed two days later by a game in London. The London crowd of several thousand was termed disappointing but was the high-water attendance point, thanks possibly to curious cricket players.

An Oct. 28 game in Dublin drew fewer than 20 and prompted Comiskey and McGraw to cancel a second game there. The tour resumed, though not for long, with a game Nov. 6 in London before King George, Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales and Prince Henry. The teams then moved on to France for games in Paris and Lyons, drawing barely 1,000 spectators, then back to Paris for a final game Nov. 13.

"With the lack of understanding and appreciation of our game in both England and France," lamented the Reach Official American League Guide, "the disheartened promoters, Comiskey and McGraw, decided to call off the games scheduled for Brussels, Nice, Rome and Berlin. . . . So ended the European baseball tour."

10-12-2005, 10:31 AM
IIRC McCuddy's had a few pictures on the walls from those tours.