The storied franchise of the Chicago White Sox has been around since the early days of the American League. The Sox are probably most well known for their 1919 team known as the Black Sox who saw eight of their players banned permanently from baseball for conspiring to throw games in the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Sox played in Comiskey Park which was named for owner Charles Comiskey from 1910 to 1990. Comiskey owned the team during those glory days that saw the Sox win World Series Championships in 1906 and 1917. The 1919 team was an overwhelming favorite to win another but after the fix and the subsequent breaking up of the team, it was 2005 before the White Sox would win another World Series.
The Sox would move out of Comiskey Park and into their new ballpark in 1991. It was named Comiskey Park as well despite the former owner’s extremely cheap ways which are reported to be one of the biggest reasons for the Black Sox scandal. It was renamed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003 when the cell phone company bought the naming rights. Two seasons later, the nearly 90 year drought ended when the Sox beat the Houston Astros in the 2005 World Series. Coincidence?
U.S. Cellular Field holds 40,000 fans for White Sox games. There are normally very few empty seats for Sox games and the fans are very knowledgeable. The White Sox play in the working class section of the city which means the fans there are not fans of the Cubs, who play in the more upscale part of town. White Sox fans are blue collar and their ballpark is rather blue collar. The fans of the Sox like it that way.
U.S. Cellular was built before many of the newer “modern” ballparks, so it does not have all the bells and whistles that many ballparks now have. You go to U. S. Cellular to watch the game and that’s it.
Of course, if you like to eat, then Chicago is your kind of town and therefore a Sox game is a great place for food. There is no shortage of restaurants neat U. S. Cellular including many good Chinese restaurants in the area. At the ballpark, there is grill items such as hot dogs, sausages and Bratwurst you can get piled with grilled onions. I am picturing Chris Farley and George Wendt eating until they have a heart attack while someone performs CPR until they come to and everyone gives a loud “Da Sox” cheer.
The concourse areas are nice and wide so you can walk around and shop for your souvenirs and favorite foods and beers. The seats are like all other MLB parks now with chairs with cup holders and arm rests and ample legroom. In 1991, park was considered very modern. Now with all the other parks that have been built since, it seems a little bit bland. But that is alright with White Sox fans who are content with being the “other team” in town. Their attitude is let the tourists go to Wrigley Field. This place is ours. I like that.
So while in Chicago, after you go to Wrigley Field, and you should do that, don’t automatically pass up a day trip over to U. S. Cellular Field to catch a White Sox game.
Graphics via wikipedia, inetours