Tag Archives: Comiskey Park

Managers Connie Mack & John McGraw Decide Who Bats First At The First All-Star Game

Athletics Manager Connie Mack & Former Giants Manager John McGraw Have A Contest Before The First All-Star Game 1933

Photo shows – Manager Connie Mack of Americans (left) Manager John McGraw of Nationals choose for first up with the aid of a bat.

In the game of the century played at Comiskey Park, Chicago, July 6, the picked team of the American League defeated the picked team of the National League 4-2. Photo: Acme July 6, 1933

It’s hard to believe that this is how they decided home field advantage in the American League’s Comiskey Park for the first All-Star Game, but it’s true.

Kids used to do this in pick-up games in parks to see who would bat first. Continue reading

Gangster Al Capone Goes To A Baseball Game

Hall-of-Famer Gabby Hartnett Signs Autographs For Al Capone and His Son – 1931

Al Capone sees a Cubs game with son as Gabby Hartnett signs autograph 1931 9 10Associated Press Photo From Chicago

Al Capone takes his son to the ball game surrounded by his watchful lieutenants. Chicago’s gang chief and his 12-year-old son, Al Jr., get Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs to autograph a baseball just before the Cubs defeated the White Sox, 3 to 0, in a charity game before 35,000 spectators at Comiskey Park, Chicago, Sept. 9. Pictures of Capone before the public are not frequent, and a pose with his son is rare. He affectionately calls the boy “Sonny.”

Note the watchfulness of one of his bodyguards directly behind him. A pop-corn vendor evidently rubbed his shoulder and he looks ready to protect his chief. 9-9-31

This photograph made me wonder if Al Capone’s bodyguards were licensed to carry firearms and if they were packing heat when they visited Comiskey Park? It certainly looks like the bodyguard is reaching into his jacket to pull out his “roscoe” or maybe it was his wallet to pay for the popcorn.

One other thing to note: “Sonny,” does not look thrilled to be at the ballpark, much less getting an autograph from Gabby Hartnett.

Nellie Fox, Eddie Robinson and Phil Rizzuto

Before The Game -1951

Nellie Fox Eddie Robinson Phil Rizzuto 1951

Chicago, June 10, 1951 – Scooter Makes Them Laugh — Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto (right), diminutive New York Yankees shortstop, draws a laugh from Chicago White Sox infielders Nelson Fox (left) and Ed Robinson before game in Comiskey Park yesterday. Fox is batting at a healthy .360 clip while Robinson leads the American League in the runs batted in department with 48 and is tied with Ted Williams in homers with 11. Rizzuto drew the laugh when he told Fox not to stand on his toes in an attempt to look taller than he. (AP Wirephoto)

Babe Ruth, Dewayne Wise And Mistakes Umpires Make

Umpires Make Mistakes: See Baseball History 101

Photo Mike Stobe / Getty Images

Everyone is in an unnecessary uproar over the  Dewayne Wise phantom catch of a baseball that disappeared into the crowd at Yankee Stadium on June 26, 2012 during a 6-4 Yankee victory over the Cleveland Indians.

The umpire, Mike DiMuro is human. He made a mistake and admitted it after the game. That was the right thing to do.

Do you want the game to stop every time there is a controversial play? Aren’t the games slow enough?

Mistakes similar to this have been happening since baseball began and have been forgotten unless they affect the pennant race or a World Series game.

One forgotten incident that occurred on August 1, 1920 was whether Joe Jackson of the Chicago White Sox actually caught a baseball Babe Ruth hit into an overflow crowd at Comiskey Park.  The aftermath of that play is shown below.

Babe Ruth & Miller Huggins argue with umpire Tom Connolly, Bob Meusel (with bat) listens © blackbetsy.com

Going into the game against the White Sox, Ruth was on a tear, having hit 37 home runs already, shattering his own record of 29 home runs set the previous year. Continue reading

Bill Moose Skowron Dies at 81 – An Appreciation of a Kind Man

Casey Stengel and Bill “Moose” Skowron

Bill “Moose” Skowron died today, April 27, 2012 of congestive heart failure in Arligton Heights, IL.

In this news photograph above, the caption says, “Bill Moose Skowron reports for his first day, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, September 19.”

The only problem with this is that Moose’s first game was April 13, 1954 and it was not at Comiskey Park.  And the Yankees did not play in Chicago on September 19, 1954.

So what is the answer to this problem?

After Skowron was signed by the Yankees to a minor league contract to play for Binghamton, Skowron was told to report to Yankees manager Casey Stengel for special tutoring and would remain with the Yankees for the remainder of the season, although he would not be eligible to play. The date to report was Monday, September 18, 1950 in Chicago. The photograph ran in newspapers on Tuesday, September 19, 1950.

Skowron’s numbers speak for themselves. Wearing the number 14 throughout his entire fourteen year major league career, he was a winner who sparked the teams he played for. A .282 career hitter, he hit 211 career homeruns, was an eight time all-star, and a member of eight pennant winning teams, seven with the Yankees from 1955-1962.

The “Moose” most notably belied his nickname.

The five foot eleven, one hundred ninety five pound muscular fire plug often looked as if his gaze alone could knock you down, but was a true gentleman off the field. When entering Yankee Stadium through the players entrance, Skowron would frequently talk with fans and sign countless autographs. Of course many ballplayers did this back in the 1950’s and 60’s, but Moose was especially kind to children and teens.

Skowron gave up a brilliant football career at Purdue University to play baseball. After signing with the Yankees organization in 1950 he was named the minor league player of the year in 1952.

When Skowron did something well, the Yankee Stadium fans would erupt in calls of “Mooooooooooooooose,” which to the uninformed sounded like “boooooo.” “Why are they booing him,” a non-regular vistor to Yankee Stadium might ask, “he just hit a home run!”

When Lou Piniella joined the Yankees in the 1970’s, the tradition of fans elongating the “o’s” in Lou’s name to “Loooooooooooou” would remind anyone who had seen Skowron play of the “Mooooooooooooooose” call from previous years.

from l-r Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Bill Skowron

Moose would end up playing nine productive years for the Yankees until 1962, when he was traded after the season to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Stan Williams.  Skowron’s Dodgers would end up sweeping the Yankees four games to none in the 1963 World Series.

Skowron was a fan favorite in later years at Yankee old-timer games, even if most of the fans in attendance had never seen him play. They loved his nickname.

The players from the Yankee dynasty teams of the 50’s and 60’s are dwindling. As Moose’s passing reminds us, we too get older, our heroes die and our childhood memories are all that remain.