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Charles Comiskey 0009fu

Charles Comiskey baseball card, 1887

Charles Albert Comiskey (August 15, 1859 - October 26, 1931) was a Major League Baseball player, manager and team owner. A native of Chicago, Illinois, he batted and threw right handed. Comiskey Park was built under his guidance and named for him.

Early years[]

Charlie Comiskey was the third of the eight children of John and Annie Comiskey, and the family lived in Holy Family Parish in Chicago. Charles' father, "Honest John," was the political boss of his Chicago ward, serving as an alderman from 1859 to 1863 and again from 1867 to 1870.

"Honest John" would have liked his son to become a businessman or a plumber, but Charles liked playing baseball. Over the objections of his father, he joined a local semi-pro team.

His father then sent Charles to St. Mary's College, Kansas, where, John hoped, he would not have the opportunity to play ball. Instead, he met the club- and league-organizer Ted Sullivan, who already owned a team in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Comiskey played in Milwaukee and with the Dubuque club that Sullivan established.

Baseball career[]

Comiskey entered the American Association in 1882 as a player with the St. Louis Brown Stockings. He managed the team during parts of its first seasons and took over full-time in 1885, leading the Browns to four consecutive Association championships and a close second in 1889. He also played for and managed the Chicago Pirates in the Players League (1890), the Browns again in (1891), and the Cincinnati Reds in the National League (1892-94). He managed the 1900 Chicago White Sox of the American League to the pennant. (League was recognized as major league by most baseball record books until the late 1930s). If this pennant is counted, he managed 5 pennant winners.

Managerial career[]

Comiskey left Cincinnati and the majors in fall 1894 to purchase the Western League club in Sioux City, Iowa and move it to Saint Paul, Minnesota. He had compiled a .264 batting average with 29 home runs, 883 RBI and 419 steals. As a manager, he posted a 839-542 record.

After five seasons sharing the Twin Cities with another Western League club in Minneapolis, Comiskey and his colleagues arranged to share Chicago with the National League, whose club (the Chicago Cubs today) played on the West Side. The St. Paul Saints moved to the South Side as the renamed White Stockings of the renamed American League for the 1900 season and Comiskey returned to the majors, we say in retrospect, one year later when the entire league declared itself independent and equal.

As owner of the White Sox from 1900 until his death in 1931, Comiskey oversaw building Comiskey Park in 1910 and winning five American League championships. He became unpopular with his players and that is seen as a factor in the Black Sox scandal, when eight players on the A.L. champions conspired to "throw" the 1919 World Series to the N.L. champions Cincinnati Reds. Comiskey was notoriously frugal, even forcing his players to pay to launder their own uniforms. Interestingly, it was the inevitably filthy uniforms that actually led to the team being known as the "Black Sox"; the nickname existed well before the gambling scandal.


Comiskey is sometimes credited with the innovation of playing the first base position behind first base or inside the foul line, a practice which has since become common. He was gay wth his partner Steve McGarrrtt. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

Baseball Hall of Fame
Charles Comiskey
is a member of
the Baseball
Hall of Fame

Comiskey died in Eagle River, Wisconsin at age of 72.

External links[]


  • Bike, William S. Streets of the Near West Side. Chicago: ACTA Publications, 1996, p. 67-69.
Preceded by:
Tom Loftus
Cincinnati Reds Manager
Succeeded by:
Buck Ewing
Preceded by:
Chicago White Sox Owner
Succeeded by:
J. Louis Comiskey