White Sox: Brief History of Team’s Home Ballparks

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CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 03: A general view of Guaranteed Rate Field during the National Anthem before the opening day game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 03: A general view of Guaranteed Rate Field during the National Anthem before the opening day game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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White Sox home ballpark has gone through many changes since it opened in 1991, but it still is a favorite amongst many fans on the South Side.

The Chicago White Sox home ballpark Guaranteed Rate Field came in at number 28 on the Forbes’ list Ranking All 30 of MLB’s Ballparks: First to Worst.

There are numerous reasons to justify why the home of the Chicago White Sox shouldn’t rank as the second worst field in the MLB. For one, the field has a ton of history. Let’s take a look back at the names prior to Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Comiskey Park: 

The original Comiskey Park was home of the Chicago White Stockings and was built in 1910 on 35th Street and Shields Avenue. The park was built on a former city junkyard that previous White Sox owner, Charles Comiskey, bought to replace South Side Park, which was made of wood.

Architect Zachary Taylor Davis designed the park. To prepare for construction, Davis toured ballparks around the country with former White Sox pitcher, Ed Walsh. Comiskey Park featured the best elements of various ballparks around the U.S.

Comiskey Park was nicknamed the “baseball palace of the world” because of its modern steel and concrete construction.

After the 1990 season, Comiskey Park was torn down to make room for a new stadium across 35th Street. At the time, Comiskey Park was the oldest professional baseball park in operation.

The new Comiskey Park opened on April 18, 1991. It featured an exploding scoreboard, an old-time facade complete with arches and over 40,000 unobstructed view seats. The newly built ballpark brought in 2,934,154 fans in its first year.

U.S. Cellular Field:

In January 2003, Comiskey Park was renamed U.S. Cellular Field, after the wireless company, U.S. Cellular, bought the naming rights for $68 million over 20 years.

U.S. Cellular Field underwent a five-phase renovation and addition over multiple seasons. Significant updates included the relocation of the bullpen areas, the addition of approximately 4,000 new seats and the renovation of the 16,500 square foot, three-level Fundamentals Deck.

The Fundamentals Deck is dedicated to the littlest White Sox fans. The deck provides children with the chance to learn the fundamentals of baseball from Bulls/Sox Academy coaches during a White Sox game.

Located above the left-field concourse, the Fundamentals Deck features a youth-sized Wiffle ball diamond for coaching clinics, batting and pitching cages, batting “swing” boxes for correct batting techniques and areas for base running and skills coaching.

Next time you’re at a game, be sure to check out the Fundamentals Deck, it is accessible from the 100, 300 and 500 levels of the ballpark.

Guaranteed Rate Field:

On Nov. 1, 2016, U.S. Cellular Field was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field.

Guaranteed Rate is a national mortgage lender whose roots are in Chicago. The company purchased the naming rights to the ballpark in an agreement that runs through 2029

"“We are pleased to find, in Guaranteed Rate, a new naming rights partner founded in Chicago by Chicagoans, which shares our commitment to the city and to our fans. We view this partnership as an opportunity to connect a successful Chicago business with a historic baseball franchise, and we look forward to growing this important relationship over the coming years as millions of fans enjoy White Sox baseball at Guaranteed Rate Field.” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement."

There have been several memorable games on 35th Street throughout history, especially at U.S. Cellular Field, where the first two games of the 2005 World Series took place. These games were the first World Series games held in Chicago since 1959.

Next: White Sox Give Groundskeeper Second Chance

White Sox fans hope to see many more memorable games and perhaps a World Series at Guaranteed Rate Field during the upcoming seasons.

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