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Monday, November 05, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Chicago White Sox

The latest ballpark to undergo a name change, dumping the harmless U.S. Cellular (which did provide a pretty good nickname, the Cell) to the ridiculous Guaranteed Rate Field, complete with its downward trending arrow. G-Rate Field, as absolutely nobody calls it, is the closest thing to a home park in MLB I have now, though I’d actually tab the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary as my true local diamond.

Whatever you call this field, it’s one of the odd ducks of major league stadia. It’s of similar vintage as many of today’s ballparks, but it was constructed just before Camden Yards ushered in the retro park craze. Thus, it sits somewhat alone in the ballpark design era, not as old as the true relics Fenway/Wrigley, nor even the middle-aged holdovers such as Kauffman Stadium and Autry Field, and with a different feel than the retros. Having attended more games there than any other extant facility, I think it’s a better park than its reputation.

The Sox have long played second fiddle in Chicago, and nowhere is that more evident than in the names of the two parks. As Wrigley predictably held serve in our exercise, this is an opportunity for the Sox to close the gap on their favored brothers to the north.

Whatever name we choose, I’m absolutely certain that my White Sox-loving father-in-law will continue to call it nothing but Sox Park.

Ballpark History

Built: 1991

Capacity: 40,615

Name: Comiskey Park (1991-2003), U.S. Cellular Field (2003-2017), Guaranteed Rate Field (2017-present).

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: South Side Park 1900-1910), Comiskey Park 1 (1910-1990).

Distinctive Features: Pinwheel-topped scoreboard in center, a holdover from the previous park; chain link fences in some portions of outfield; numerous sculptures of White Sox greats, near-greats and not very close to great; vertigo-inducing cant to the upper deck.


Ballpark Highlights:

In 2002, proving once again that nothing brings father and son together like baseball, William Ligue and son Bill Jr. rushed the field to attack Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa in a noble attempt to protect us from guys who collect batting gloves and warn base runners, “Hey, this guy’s got a good move.”

In Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS, A.J. Pierzynski used his black magic on inept home plate umpire Doug Eddings to steal first after striking out with two down in the bottom of the ninth. A.J.’s pinch runner would go on to score the winning run, and the Sox wouldn’t lose again that season en route to the club’s first World Series title since 1917.

On Sept. 30, 2008, Jim Thome’s massive home run to center was the only run in a 1-0 victory over the Twins. The victory in the one-game playoff, known as the Blackout Game, earned the Sox the AL Central title.

In 2009, DeWayne Wise made one of the season’s best catches, a fence-climbing, ball-juggling grab in center to rob Gabe Kapler of a home run and preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game against the visiting Rays. 

On Sept. 24, 2018, Hawk Harrelson be gone.


Selections to Date

San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

Los Angeles Angels - Autry Field

St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium

Detroit Tigers - Tiger Field

Miami Marlins - Fish Tank

Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field

Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field

New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers - Miller Park

Baltimore Orioles - Camden Yards

Colorado Rockies - Coors Field

Houston Astros -Astrodome 2000

Arizona Diamondbacks - Sonoran Grounds

Minnesota Twins -Great Northern Park

Cincinnati Reds -Riverfront Park

Toronto Blue Jays - SkyDome

Los Angeles Dodgers -Chavez Ravine

SoSH U at work Posted: November 05, 2018 at 08:40 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: stadium names, white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 05, 2018 at 09:34 AM (#5782075)
Komminsky Park
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 05, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5782080)
Bill Veeck Stadium / Veeck Park / Veeck Field

Anything just so it's got Veeck in the name.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: November 05, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5782086)
To me, the White Sox identity is as tied up in their part of the city as any club in baseball.

South Side Yard.

   4. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 05, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5782090)
Don't really care about the name for this park but it would be nice if the logo wasn't a giant red arrow pointing down. Seems discouraging.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 05, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5782118)
Given the size of the chips on Sox fans' shoulders about the popularity and success of the Cubs, they should add a couple of buildings and call it the Inferiority Complex.

I kid, I kid. Nothing but love for Sox fans.
   6. BDC Posted: November 05, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5782178)
Growing up, I only ever heard people call the place "Sox Park." That's reflected in the name of the el stop, Sox-35th. I like in these threads to be realistic about what people will actually call a place, and I think that a simple "Sox Park" is best. Though "Comiskey" and even "The Cell" are good names too.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 05, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5782183)
Given the size of the chips on Sox fans' shoulders about the popularity and success of the Cubs, they should add a couple of buildings and call it the Inferiority Complex.

Ah, but the Sox are 60-58 against the Cubbies in interleague play, and 4-2 against them in the only 6 games that really counted.
   8. McCoy Posted: November 05, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5782197)
Sox Park

Or to piss them off: "We're so unoriginal and unwanted that we stole the old name of the one true team in this Town" Field.
   9. base ball chick Posted: November 05, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5782226)
btw
calling the houston ballpark the astrodome 2000 is, just, NO

it has ZERO resemblance to the real Dome, even with the roof shut. no one here would want this park called the Dome v 2

(btw, pretty much everyone i know who is a houstonian calls it "The Box" - you know, minutemaid juiceboxes)
   10. Jay Seaver Posted: November 05, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5782242)
Half of me says 'if folks call it 'Sox Park' anyway, might as well make it official" and the other half wants it to have some horrendous name that can be snubbed by calling it "Sox Park". Like, go back to Comiskey Park and let folks call it something else because everyone hates Comiskey.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: November 05, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5782270)
calling the houston ballpark the astrodome 2000 is, just, NO


Your input would have been most welcome when we visited Houston.

   12. base ball chick Posted: November 05, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5782474)
sosh

i would have been happy to give it had I known

are you talking about when sabr met in houston? because i was in the hospital at that time
   13. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 05, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5782586)
Having attended more games there than any other extant facility, I think it’s a better park than its reputation.


I think the reputation was earned in the past, but having attended a game this year, I was genuinely impressed with the experience (at least from good box seats), felt like they made substantial improvements in the last 10 years, a solid to above average place to watch a game, but they play in the shadow of maybe the best place to watch an MLB game. As an endorsement, I would rather go back to the Sox home park than see another game in St. Louis.

A huge personal plus is that players were taking batting practice and you were allowed to roam as you pleased.
Many ballparks have cut off the pre-game fan experience by sanctioning access, the rich don't find seats until game time, while the die-hards like us are ready when the gates open.


vertigo-inducing cant to the upper deck.

I didn't get a chance to check this out, but the upper deck was terrible ~15 years ago the last time I was up in it.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 05, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5782588)
I think the reputation was earned in the past, but having attended a game this year, I was genuinely impressed with the experience (at least from good box seats), felt like they made substantial improvements in the last 10 years, a solid to above average place to watch a game, but they play in the shadow of maybe the best place to watch an MLB game. As an endorsement, I would rather go back to the Sox home park than see another game in St. Louis.
Yeah, it's not a bad place to watch a game at all, and it's a refreshing change of pace if you're used to Wrigley's subterranean concourses. My only complaint is way too much "CLAP YOUR HANDS!!" nonsense between pitches.
   15. Greg Pope Posted: November 05, 2018 at 06:52 PM (#5782595)
are you talking about when sabr met in houston? because i was in the hospital at that time

He's referring to the nomination and voting threads that were in June of this year. We're going on month 16 of this project.

For the record, I wasn't happy with the result of the Houston vote, but we're living in a democracy, so what are you going to do.
   16. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 05, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5782608)
Possible names:

Sox Park: People already call it this. They called it in all its various names. They called Old Comiskey this. It's basic, but it fits.

South Side Stadium: You want your alliteration? I got your alliteration.

Richard Daley Field: The Daleys are as strongly associated with the Sox as any politician I can think of is associated with any team. They are legit diehard and they are popular in Chicago. And, by leaving out the middle iniital, it can stand for both Richard J. & Richard M.

Bill Veeck Stadium: He's that rarest of things: a beloved owner. They won't let the scoreboard explode anymore*, so the least you can do is name it for him.

*Fireworks now go off just behind/outside the park.

I vote for the first one myself.
   17. McCoy Posted: November 05, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5782615)
I went to new Comiskey when it first opened and then again two years ago. The updates basically bring the park up to the standards of the 70’s era park. Terrible location with little character it would be a perfectly nice inexpensive park if it was in a better location.
   18. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: November 05, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5782616)
Veeck's Wreck seems more in the spirit of its namesake.
   19. QLE Posted: November 05, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5782665)
If we want to essentially revert to a former name, there's New Comiskey Park.

If we wish to honor one of the great zanies of the game (as well as someone who was a damn fine owner when he had the assets to spare), Veeck's Wreck is a fine name.

If we chose to honor the announcer who played a key role in shaping how many announcers call the sport, Bob Elson Grounds would be a fine name.

If we believe that place matters, Armour Square Field would be of interest as a name.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 05, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5782668)
Can we call it ComiNskey so 12 year old me is pronouncing it correctly?

I like Sox Park.
   21. asinwreck Posted: November 06, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5782792)
The Veeck works for me. Maybe the Sox can use that name if they eventually move to The Hole on the Lake Where Michael Reese Hospital Stood.
   22. victor Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:13 AM (#5782882)
I go to about 20 games a year. The experience difference between the Lower Deck and Upper deck is massive.
It is almost like you are watching two completely different ballgames. The Lower Deck seats angle upward so
much more gracefully than the steepness of the Upper Deck. Soldier field is the same way.

The biggest mistake was not making the Upper deck face the city skyline. People will not complain as much
if they were able to see the skyline, especially at night. The story I heard was that Mr. Reinsdorf
would not allow the main entrance to be on 36th St. under any circumstance in the design that had this configuration.
I dont understand why the design could not be changed/modified to accomodate entrance from 35th;
while making the Upper Deck face the city downtown.
   23. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5782887)
Sox Park: People already call it this. They called it in all its various names. They called Old Comiskey this. It's basic, but it fits.

My mother's entire extended family lives in the Chicagoland area, and they all call it Sox Park and have for as long as I can remember (dating back to the mid-70s).
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5782888)
How about Wentworth Park, in honor of Wentworth Gardens, the housing project that was (very controversially) mostly destroyed to make room for the new Comiskey.
   25. geonose Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5782898)
My father grew up in the shadows of Old Comiskey and that whole side of the family are die-hard Sox fans and Cubs despisers. I have never heard any of them call either the old or the new stadium anything other than Sox Park.

I have only been to one game there, in about 1990, and we sat in the upper deck. Reading the commentary here helps me to understand why I do not remember the venue fondly.
   26. villageidiom Posted: November 06, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5782947)
Anything just so it's got Veeck in the name.

If it's associated with Veeck I don't think we should just say "stadium" or "park" or "field" after his name. Something like, uh, Veeckland. Or Veeck World, or Six Veecks Great America, or Veecktopia.

I prefer Veeckland, with the last syllable pronounced like the last syllable in "island".
   27. Rusty Priske Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5783061)
Veeck Park works for me... but Sox Park would be fine.

Just no bringing back Comiskey and NO NICKNAMES. The Cell isn't a name, it is a nickname. (That goes for 'The Box' in Houston or whatever.)
   28. asinwreck Posted: November 06, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5783095)
RF upper deck in Old Comiskey was terrific. You felt close to the action in a way that's impossible in even the best upper-deck seats in the new park.
   29. WKRP in Cincinnatus Posted: November 09, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5785257)
Move the fences in and call it Gaedel Park.
   30. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 11, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5785696)
Move the fences in and call it Gaedel Park.

Cute, but that happened when Veeck owned the Browns, not the White Sox.
   31. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5785822)
Ligue of Champions Park!

I'm hoping Ligue is pronounced like league for the joke to work!
   32. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 12, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5785953)
South Side Sox Stadium (just to one up #16). Or ... not.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: November 13, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5787062)
We'll close nominations tomorrow night.

   34. Nasty Nate Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5787364)
* bump *

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