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Encyclopedia Dubuque


COMISKEY, Charles Albert

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COMISKEY, Charles Albert. (Chicago, IL, Aug. 15, 1859-Eagle River, WI, Nov. 26, 1931). "Old Roman." Comiskey was the only BASEBALL player ever to become the sole owner of a major league baseball team. Comiskey began his illustrious baseball career in 1878 when he joined the Dubuque Rabbits. Nineteen years old and an employee of the Illinois Central that ran between Dubuque and Chicago, Comiskey practiced and played baseball in the sandlots around the Central depot during layovers. He joined the Dubuque club the same year and played on the 1879 team that defeated the Chicago White Sox to claim the world championship.

It was during his career with the Dubuque club that Comiskey revolutionized the play at first base. He developed a system for leaving the base to cover part of the field between first and second bases. Prior to this, first basemen never left the bag. Comiskey positioned himself deep behind first and slightly to the right of the base. While many criticized the idea, Comiskey proved capable of covering many short hits that had previously allowed runners to successfully reach first. While he was primarily used on first base, Comiskey eventually saw action at nearly every position. While playing in Dubuque, he earned fifty dollars per month.

In 1882 Comiskey was purchased by the St. Louis Browns. He went on to create an enormous impact on the sport of baseball. Among those with whom he worked was Clarence "Pants" ROWLAND.

COMISKEY PARK in Dubuque was dedicated to this outstanding sports figure on June 20, 1929.