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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Comiskey Park 1914. Photo courtesy: James E. Jacobsen
COMISKEY PARK. On May 14, 1929 the Dubuque City Council finalized the name of Dubuque's first "professional baseball park" in Dubuque. (1) Comiskey Field was named in honor of Charles Albert COMISKEY, the famed baseball player and club owner. The name chosen from more than sixty suggested was submitted by Albert V. Schiltz who won a season pass and a gift from Fred LEISER, owner of the Dubuque baseball club. (2) On June 20, 1929, the field was dedicated.

Originally the area had been named the Twenty-Fourth Street Park when it was opened in 1885. This was the year that Dubuque had joined the Eastern Iowa Baseball League. Before playing at Comiskey, baseball games were played at NUTWOOD PARK better known for its horse races. From 1895 until 1927 (or 1914), the field served as the home field for the city’s team, affiliated with the Eastern Iowa League (1895), as an independent (1895-99), the Western Association (1899-1901) and the Triple-I League (1901-14), and then the Mississippi Valley League (1922-32). The team was particularly successful in 1895 and 1923. Baseball moved to Petrakis Field on 4th Street in 1927. Charles Albert Comiskey (1859-1931) who played with the Dubuque Rabbits from 1879-82 became the namesake for the field on June 20, 1929. Previously the block was called “Olinger Park” and was privately owned by the Olinger family. The city purchased the park and dedicated it to the noted player. (3)

In 2008 Comiskey Park was still located on 24th and Jackson STREETS. Now a family play area, the grounds have no resemblance to the ball field with its high wooden fences and covered bleachers.

The park served as the only convenient outdoor space for Dubuque’s Washington and North End neighborhoods. In July, 2017 it was announced $508,000 had been awarded for developments to the park through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program. The city was planning to construct a splash park and all inclusive play structure. The grant was part of $13.3 million to help 22 cities in 17 states with projects to plan, build, and enhance parks and other outdoor recreation facilities in under-served communities. (4)

City officials announced in November, 2018 that they were looking for a firm to direct the design, construction management and grant administration for a planned two-acre expansion of the park in 2019. The opportunity to make the expansion came as a result of the BEE BRANCH construction with property that the city purchased for the flood mitigation effort. One possibility suggested was to simply spread out some of the recreation facilities already present. (5)



1. "Comiskey Field' Name Selected for Playground," Telegraph Herald and Times Journal, May 14, 1929, p. 1

2. Ibid.

3. Jacobsen, James E. The Architectural and Historical Resources of Dubuque, Iowa, 1837-1955, p. 13 Online: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/2934

4. Descorbeth, Shirley, "Developments Coming to Comiskey Park," KWWL.com. http://www.kwwl.com/story/35926059/2017/7/19/developments-coming-to-comiskey-park

5. Fisher, Benjamin, "City Moves Ahead on Comiskey Expansion," Telegraph Herald, November 11, 2018, p. 19A