To the editors:
While I do miss Ted Cox as the sports writer for the Reader, I find Mr. Boomer’s coverage to be satisfactory, and in some areas quite excellent. However, I believe that his stand regarding the name of the new White Sox stadium [August 16] is a sign that he hasn’t done all of his homework regarding the situation.
Being a Sox fan for more than 35 years, I am hardly a jump-on-the-bandwagon fan of either the team or Bill Veeck. He was a wonderful baseball man, fully deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame. When the team really stunk (which was a lot), he managed to make us all remember the joy of the game itself, even when the rewards were slim.
However, I cannot believe that it would be appropriate to name the new stadium after Mr. Veeck. I think he would possibly rise from his grave in protest to such an event. Bill Veeck sold the team to the present owners under duress–they were hardly his first choice for passing the torch. After the papers were signed, he never appeared in the old park again. He turned down an invitation to participate in the All-Star Game activities, he refused to throw out the first pitch at a play-off game in 1983, and he began to be seen at Cubs games. I can’t imagine, were he alive, that he would have accepted invitations to the ground-breaking ceremonies or Opening Day in the new park, and I’m sure he would not want this park named after him. Whatever his beef, we should respect that.
I love Bill Veeck and am proud that he was part of my own Chicago baseball history. But he turned his back on the team, the ballpark and the fans when he moved his allegiance to the bleachers at Wrigley Field. His quarrel with the new owners apparently overrode his devotion to the White Sox. I am all for honoring him as a baseball great, but his name has no place in the new baseball palace of the world on 35th Street.