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Boyd, Minoso, & Luna Before A Game
Bob Boyd [left] and Minnie Miñoso were respectively the third and first Black players in White Sox history. Boyd’s contract was purchased on this day, 73 years ago.
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Today in White Sox History: December 24

A glimpse at a vilified and forgotten team owner

Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

1913

Future White Sox owner Arthur Allyn was born in Chicago. By purchasing Bill Veeck’s stake in the team in 1961, combined with buying out founder Charles Comiskey’s grandson, Chuck, Allyn was the end point of all Comiskey involvement with the White Sox franchise.

Allyn didn’t care much for baseball, buying the club as much for the tax breaks as anything. His innovative idea to replace Comiskey Park with a new, privately-financed ballpark (only serving the White Sox, located south of the city) was opposed by Mayor Richard J. Daley — and in turn Allyn resisted Daley’s efforts to build a multipurpose stadium in Chicago that would house the White Sox, Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks.

Allyn also was on the verge of selling the White Sox to Bud Selig for $13 million in 1969 when the prospect of the Milwaukee White Sox was averted — by Allyn’s brother, John.

Art wasn’t just a disinterested, villainous character in White Sox lore. He hired Ed Short to rebuild the White Sox on the fly in the early 1960s, became one of the first owners to provide a private plane to players for game travel, and also circumvented Florida’s barbaric segregation by purchasing a hotel for Black players on the White Sox to reside in during spring training.

But at the time of his death in 1985, if Allyn was remembered at all it was for nearly sending the White Sox out of town.


1950

The White Sox purchased the contract of former Negro League first baseman Bob Boyd from their Single-A Colorado Springs club.

Boyd had made his MiLB debut with the Sky Sox for 42 games in 1950 and ran roughshod over the Western League, slashing .373/.450/.646 with nine homers and almost an RBI per game (39). However, the 31-year-old spent all but a dozen games in 1951 at Triple-A Sacramento, where he again murdered the league. His September 8 debut made Boyd the third Black player in White Sox history, following Minnie Miñoso and Sam Hairston, who both first saw action earlier in 1951.

The White Sox never ended up utilizing Boyd as a weapon. He left the White Sox as a Rule 5 draft pick and got his only full season in the majors, at age 37, compiling 3.5 WAR for Baltimore in 1957.

As Boyd himself said: “The early Black players had to do much better than the white players to make the majors.”


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