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Today in White Sox History: January 31

By the terms of the original deal, we should still be calling Sox Park U.S. Cellular Field.

Billy Sullivan was not a great catcher — but he was an innovative one.

1909

White Sox catcher Billy Sullivan secured a patent on the first chest protector. It contained a wind pad with compressed air and became the forerunner of the modern catcher’s chest protector. Sullivan was the White Sox catcher from 1901-14. Sullivan gets the patent one day before his 34th birthday.


1956

Buck Weaver died at the age of 65. He was one of eight members of the Black Sox to be banned from baseball for life, despite taking no money from gamblers. Weaver hit .324 in the 1919 World Series loss to Cincinnati. Commissioner Landis ruled that Weaver should be banished from the game based merely on his knowledge of the fix; in that case, manager Kid Gleason, owner Charles Comiskey and scores of players from other clubs, previous and since, should have been kicked out of baseball.


2003

The U.S. Cellular Company and the White Sox signed an agreement selling the naming rights to Comiskey Park. The deal was worth $68 million over 23 years. The money received by the club contained the stipulation that it could only be used on renovations and upgrades for the stadium — not, say, for signing free agents. As a result of said renovations, U.S. Cellular Field became one of the finest-looking stadiums in baseball.

The Guaranteed Rate company would then secure naming rights in November 2016.