Today in White Sox History: December 26

Stubborn: Think Bill Veeck was colorful? Charlie Finley would’ve been a bag of melted Skittles.


1958 – In the middle of a family fight involving the Comiskeys and the attempt to sell the White Sox, Charlie Finley (yes that Charlie Finley) offered $500,000 for the club. Dorothy Comiskey immediately began to give serious consideration to selling it to him, since the offer surpassed the initial bid that came from Bill Veeck’s group. However, Veeck had purchased, for $100, an option period where he would have the first right to buy the team. Dorothy Comiskey and her advisors tried to determine a fair price to buy that option back and sell to Finley, but were never able to do so.

(It would prove to be only the first of two times, 17 years apart, that Veeck would thwart Finley’s attempt to own the Chicago AL team, as in 1975 a plan had been afoot to move the White Sox to Seattle and have Finley’s Oakland A’s to Chicago.)

Thanks in part to a final judicial ruling in March 1959 (and because he raised his initial offer), Veeck’s group finally took control of the club right before the start of the regular season. Finley would eventually get into baseball as the controversial owner of the Kansas City and later Oakland Athletics.

 

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Author profile

Mark Liptak is originally from Chicago and has been a White Sox fan since 1960. He and his wife Zoe reside in Pocatello, Idaho where he is the radio voice as part of Idaho State athletics in volleyball, football, women's basketball and softball.

Mark went to the University of Kentucky. He’s been in the sports media profession since 1978 having worked in television sports in three markets between 1978 and 1994. He’s also written for numerous newspapers in addition to his radio duties.

Liptak has covered a Super Bowl, two Kentucky Derby’s, an NCAA woman’s basketball Final Four and worked for CBS-TV during their coverage of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament’s opening rounds held in Boise in 2001.

He is also a Chicago White Sox historian who has written for various web sites over the past 17 years including the Chicago Baseball Museum and Chicago Now / Sox Net, a series of blogs and websites associated with the Chicago Tribune.

He and Zoe have been married for 30 years. Their son, Mason, and his family live in Longview, Texas.

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Pointerbabe
6 months ago

Love the pic of Charlie O the mule. I think he bucked off Hawk when he rode him on a bet. Good times!

Wayne Tietz
Wayne Tietz
6 months ago
Reply to  Pointerbabe

I wish Finley would have bought the White Sox back in 1958. The entire history of the franchise would have been different and better if he had bought the team.

WIN05
WIN05
6 months ago

Charley should probably be in the HOF.

WIN05
WIN05
6 months ago

Here’s one for you, Mark. Why do you suppose Grace Comiskey gave the controlling interest in the Sox to her daughter, Dorothy, instead of her son Chuck?

Mark Liptak
Mark Liptak
6 months ago
Reply to  WIN05

From what I have learned she felt Chuck was to headstrong and emotional. He really cared about baseball with a passion and there were some instances where he lost control even as a White Sox bat boy. Grace didn’t want any controversies or problems. In fact she never wanted anything to do with the Sox in the first place. She wanted to be a good mother and a homemaker.

WIN05
WIN05
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Liptak

Noticed that you got credit in Lindberg’s total Sox book which is very nice. Last night game at Comiskey I was sitting next to a lady who was very knowledgeable about the Sox. So, we were talking and she mentioned that she had interviewed Chuck. I asked her about the succession. She said it was thought that Grace did not approve who Chuck had married or was going to marry and he would throw away his money on that woman. I also asked if he was bitter about it and he told her it was in the past. I forgot… Read more »

Mark Liptak
Mark Liptak
6 months ago
Reply to  WIN05

Never heard the marriage angle. He may not have been bitter years afterwards but he was very upset about it at the time, that’s why all the lawsuits and court fights.

WIN05
WIN05
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Liptak

Must have mellowed with old age. I keep meaning to write Lindberg. His story about the Baltimore curfew game with the Williams home run in Sox yarns has some factual errors. I actually remember listening to it so I looked it up on retro sheet and a newspaper account. I suppose he should have the corrections before the Sox win another WS and it will be time for a new addition.