Jagoff of the Week: Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of White Sox and Bulls
Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of White Sox and Bulls – ( Photo from Fansided.com)
By Bill Savage
While some might think 6 NBA Championships and the 2005 World Series victory for the White Sox makes Jerry Reinsdorf like unto a God in this town, he still qualifies for jagoff status.
Just ask anyone who ever drank at McCuddy’s.
After threatening to move the White Sox to St. Petersburg, Florida unless he got a new stadium, Richard M. Daley and Illinois Governor James R. Thompson caved like undernourished street urchins threatened by the local precinct captain and gave Reinsdorf his new ballpark, originally New Comiskey Park, now US Cellular Field, aka, the Cell. Despite designs that would have revitalized Armour Square Park and spared local public housing, Reinsdorf and his Welfare King minions instead sat the park down in a sea of sterile parking lots, an area designed to make sure that everyone coming to a Sox game has to spend all of their money inside the park (and all that cash goes to Jerry, not the state). Say what you like about Wrigleyville, at least you can get a drink without enriching the Cubs’ owners. The Sox promised to re-open McCuddy’s, the historic 35th Street family-owned bar, where Babe Ruth was reputed to have had beer and hot dogs during games. More than two decades later, we’re still waiting.
The park itself was designed to maximize the number of skyboxes, which makes its upper deck a vertiginous ski slope with terrible views of the game. Instead of the retro Camden Yards, Reinsdorf delivered the last of the truly ugly ball-malls to his fans, who stay away in droves to thank him.
This originally ran in our special Lumpen Field Guide to Chicago Jagoffs