The White Sox are proudly one of the original teams in the American League and it has made its home on the Southside since 1901.
The deep history of the White Sox remains a part of the baseball conversation. And, a forgotten piece of that history has just come up for auction.
It appears that Charles Comiskey made one of the worst decisions a baseball owner could have ever made. He skipped out on the opportunity to add Babe Ruth to his roster.
You can see the evidence
The proof is in a scrapbook with letters and telegrams from Comiskey. The documents in the scrapbook are dated between 1909 and 1914. These documents are available for auction at Robert Edwards Auctions.
In one of the telegrams, Comiskey and team scout George Earl discussed whether or not to purchase a handful of Baltimore players. The list included a player named “Ruth.” In June 1914, George Herman Ruth moved from the Baltimore Orioles (a minor league team) to the Boston Red Sox.
"The telegram reads “Earl told me he could have all six men for $18,000, but Comiskey turned thumbs down.”"
According to an article by Phil Rosenthal with the Chicago Tribune reports that the “Earl” in the message is Mills’ sister, Ethel. She took notes on the event. Comiskey also replied in a separate telegram that they did not need to spend that much on pitchers.
Bid before the auction closes
The telegrams and the rest of the scrapbook are up for auction and had a starting price of $5000. They are listed as one lot. The auction is open until May 6.
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Also in the Chicago Tribune article, Rosenthal shares that “Mills provided the historical context that is a figurative dagger for any White Sox fan: ‘Will sell Ruth to Chicago Club for $16,000 cash. Dunn.'” Dunn is Jack Dunn. He is best known for finding Ruth when he was a just schoolboy at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. He also happened to own the Orioles.
Instead of going to the White Sox, Ruth went to Boston and wore red ones instead.
Let your imagination run wild
Imagine how different baseball history would have been if Ruth went to Chicago instead of Boston. While it is impossible to know exactly what would have happened, it is fun to consider the possibilities. With the Ruth, the Red Sox won three World Series rings. With the Yankees, Ruth added four more World Series rings to his collection.
Some of those could have gone to the White Sox had Comiskey been given the power to predict the future. Comiskey Park could have been the house that Ruth built. The called shot at Wrigley Field could have been for a White Sox win. Number three could have been retired to Ruth instead of Harold Baines. The list goes on and on…
These historic documents are more than just documents. They are what-ifs that could have changed the course of baseball history.