Primary 1960s White Sox owner Art Allyn passed away at age 71, in Sarasota.
He came to the White Sox a lion and went out a lamb — or maybe it was the other way around. Allyn had the winning bid to secure the club from Bill Veeck and shrewdly rebuilt an aging team via GM Ed Short. In fact, for all of the storied White Sox seasons, the best three-year record for the franchise came under Allyn’s ownership, 1963-65.
Allyn had a heroic side off the field as well: Repulsed by the segregation Florida continued to practice into the 1960s, the owner bought a motel near the Sarasota training grounds to allow his Black White Sox players to sidestep the institutional racism still being practiced.
On the other hand, Allyn did leave the White Sox as a villain. Allyn was unwilling to hold Short’s feet to the fire after a series of sour moves in the second half of the 1960s, and the threadbare White Sox began to openly solicit Milwaukee as a relocation site after the Braves moved south to Atlanta. It was Allyn who steered the Sox up north to play a significant percentage of their home schedule at County Stadium, not Comiskey Park.
Finally, with Art on the verge of selling the White Sox to interests who would have vacated Comiskey Park permanently, Art’s brother John Allyn intervened and bought Art out in 1969, saving the White Sox for Chicago.