Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Nation Invades Chicago (and for some they have no choice)

A long weekend of baseball on the south side of Chicago and the final result was the Sox won all 4 games.
(Red Sox 2 White Sox 2 )

Red Sox Nation was at U.S. Cellular Field in force all weekend and for the most part was very well behaved.

We met a couple Monday night and their reason for being in Chicago saddened me. They are from Randolph and ardent Red Sox (and especially Coco) fans. I asked if they get to Fenway often and their reply stunned me. They don't go to Fenway *NOT* because they can't get or afford tickets but because they fear for their safety because of their race.

'The Cell' as the park is called by the locals is a very nice place to watch a game and unlike the ballpark 8 miles to the north the fans know exactly what is happening on the field. This was proven in the sixth inning when White Sox pitcher John Danks hit Jacoby Ellsbury with a pitch and a loud groan was heard as Danks' perfect game was gone. These fans know their baseball and the only pink hats I saw were Boston ones. The concessions I sampled were quite tasty and priced far more reasonably than Fenway. One nice feature for those who like to keep score is you can buy a scorecard for only $1 and they also sell beer at the seats.

One thing Red Sox and White Sox fans share is Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk. His number 27 is retired at Fenway and the number 72 is retired at USCF. In the center field bleachers there is a statue of Fisk.

In some ways a White Sox game reminds me of minor league games in Lowell or Pawtucket as their are a lot of gimmicks between innings from hamburger races on the scoreboard to a goal scoring contest sponsored by the hockey Blackhawks and the fans seem to enjoy them.

Leaving the park we saw a sign that would make Yogi Berra proud. I mean how can you enjoy the game when you have left?????

The park is located 5 miles south of 'The Loop' Unlike Boston there is plenty parking and the park is located just off the Dan Ryan Expressway. The park is also served by 2 subway stations. The lines at the SOX-35th St station after the game is just as bad as Kenmore.

Overall if you ever want to see The Olde Town Team on the road I would highly recommend Chicago. It might be the finest city in the United States.


me said...

"They don't go to Fenway *NOT* because they can't get or afford tickets but because they fear for their safety because of their race."

Please elaborate. (Maybe deserves a post all its own?)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, more detail please. As a Fenway regular I was shocked to see something like this. I'd need more detail to believe it.

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