Charles Comiskey

Position: First baseman
Teams: St. Louis Browns, 1882-1889, 1891; Chicago Pirates, 1890; Cincinnati Reds, 1892-1894
St. Louis Browns, 1883-1889, 1891; Chicago Pirates, 1890; Cincinnati Reds, 1892-1894

Charlie Comiskey was one of a small group of players in his generation who saw the future of pro baseball and parlayed his vision into team ownership. He was part of the baseball wars of 1890, when the upstart Players League tried and failed to establish a rival to the National League. Ten years later, he joined Ban Johnson in launching the American League, and "Commy" was one of its prime movers for three decades as owner of the Chicago White Sox.

Hall of Famer Charles Comiskey
Charles Comiskey was known mostly
as the owner of the Chicago White Sox,
although he was also a fine first baseman.

Charles Albert Comiskey (1859-1931) was a fine first baseman, though his later fame may have magnified his playing ability. As player-manager, he led the St. Louis Browns to four straight American Association pennants, from 1885 to 1888.

After purchasing a franchise in the minor Western League in 1895, Comiskey transferred the team to Chicago in 1899 in preparation to make the Western League a major league.

He induced Clark Griffith to jump from the Cubs in 1901, signaling the beginning of hostilities between the two circuits, and the White Sox won the first AL pennant that year. The White Sox won the World Series in 1906.

In 1910, Comiskey built "The Baseball Palace of the World," the biggest, most modern park in baseball. Comiskey Park set the standard for more than a generation of parks. In 1917, after he purchased stars like Eddie Collins, the Sox won their second World Series.

In 1919, the White Sox powerhouse, with left fielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, Collins, ­pitcher Eddie Cicotte and a terrific supporting cast, returned to the World Series.

Though heavily favored, the team bowed to Cincinnati amid rumors of fixes and bribes. Cicotte, Jackson, and at least six other players had participated in or known about efforts to throw the Series. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the new commissioner of baseball, banned the eight from baseball.

Comiskey was the worst-paying owner despite owning the best-drawing franchise. His miserly approach did not extend to purchasing players; he paid top dollar for Collins. Nor did it extend to other owners; he gave Clark Griffith $10,000 so that Griffith could keep Walter Johnson from jumping to the Federal League. When it came to his own players, however, he was inflexible and even irrational.

Comiskey nourished, with his vision and industry, the creation of the American League. However, he was the carrier of a greed that nearly destroyed it. Comiskey entered the Hall of Fame in 1939.

Here are Charles Comiskey's major league totals:


Here are Charles Comiskey's major league managing totals:


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