Photography: thomas w. harney

A kid at Comiskey in 1973.

The fact that some White Sox fans still stubbornly refuse to call US Cellular Field anything other than "Comiskey" says a lot about the old stadium's perch in the hierarchy of Chicago baseball lore. For anyone with vivid memories of the park—or for those who never visited—a new book of photos shot from 1973–1990 by Thomas W. Harney is about as close as you can get to a bleacher seat today.

An opening essay by Thomas Nowrocki, who visited over 100 times in four decades, nicely describes the spirit of the images (if you can pardon the crazy repetition of the word “experience”):

“Harney captures a multi-generational congregation of faithful fans experiencing the emotional ups-and-downs of years of devoted gathering in a ballpark that stands as their cathedral. Some members of the faithful are dressed in their Sunday best; others display their team loyalties in tee shirts and hats. Some are with family members or groups of friends—others watch alone. Some of the youthful are obviously elated, while some of the elderly are pensive and lost in thought. However varied their experience, Comiskey Park was a place where the young and old came together to share a common experience—an experience that is no longer common in the American cultural experience simply because it is not affordable to many average Americans.”

The crowd outside the park in 1988.

At the concession stand, 1988.

A view of the field in 1990, the final season.

A boy looks across the outfield in the summer of ’88.

Girls with novelty bats, 1988. By this point, additons to the stadium had blocked off many of the open arched windows, leaving parts of the stands shrouded in cool shadows.

Portraits From The Park will be released by Columbia College Chicago on May 1.