During the holidays just past, a couple of long nights were given over to watching some programming on the MLB Network, which I made mention in my last post. What I didn’t mention, though, was that taking the nostalgic journey back through baseball’s past– full of players, teams, and stadiums–I began to think about many other things that made going to White Sox games a special event–always!
While watching Ken Burns’s section about Babe Ruth, I immediately thought of that special place across from Comiskey Park, on the south side of 35th Street, known as McCuddy’s Tavern, a place that had been there since the park’s inception in 1910. McCuddy’s was closed in 1988 to make way for the new stadium, but everyone was under the assumption that a “new” McCuddy’s would open right along with the new park.
Never happened! And that has always been a shame. Any longtime Sox fan will remember the legendary status McCuddy’s held down through the years. The old tavern was truly a wonderful place before and after Sox games. Usually, shoulder-to-shoulder, we’d gather in there and drink cold beer, eat those terrific hot dogs, and look at the big bat on the wall that was a gift from Babe Ruth.
Legend has it that Ruth would often run across during games and grab a hot dog (or three) and quaff a cold beer. Whether or not that is true, I never heard for sure. But it
was always fun to speculate about it while having a pre-game beer and hot dog.
McCuddy’s was a piece of Sox history, and not to have it around as a Sox gathering spot is a sin. I miss those days and the friends I met in there. I wonder if any of them still attend Sox games and remember–as I do–those summer afternoons and evenings in the friendly environs of McCuddy’s.