According to someone who was at a concert by the Chicago Philharmonic at Northwestern University on the night of the second World Series Game, all the male members of the orchestra were wearing very formal attire -- tie and tails -- until you checked out their socks. They were white. And the conductor began the evening by turning to the audience and saying, "Go Sox!"
Slugger's is a
diehard Cubs hangout on the north side across from Wrigley Field. There
are also several diehard White Sox hangouts on the south side near The
Cell like Schaller's and Jimbo's.
But guess which place is getting all the publicity on TV during the
World Series? Slugger's. Apparently the northside sports bars
have been empty. So in a moment of marketing genius, dammit, the owners
of Slugger's hired Sox legend, Minnie Minoso, to host parties at their
place during the World Series.
This morning the local NBC affiliate featured a remote broadcast from
Slugger's with a bunch of Cubs fans and Minoso singing a Sox theme song
-- NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA Hey Heeey, Good bye.
Harry Carey was the voice of the
Cubs for years. He used to lead the fans singing Take Me Out To The
Ballgame during the seventh inning stretch. It has become a big part of
the experience of going to Wrigley, continuing with celebrities leading
the singing since Harry died.
People forget he was the voice of
the Sox for eleven years before that and started the seventh inning
tradition when he was broadcasting from Comiskey Park. That
should give you an idea of how uninspired the Sox marketing department
has been in recent years. At least, since White Sox owner and
promotional guru, Bill Veeck, passed away. Veeck owned the Cubs at one
time, too. He was the guy who had the ivy planted on the brick walls at
Wrigley. There's been lots of incest between the teams for years.
The United Center, which is where
the Bulls play, has invited Chicago to watch the fourth and fifth games
on their Jumbotron, while the Sox are down in Houston. Just $15 a
ticket. It's a nice gesture to all the folks who can't afford the
Donald Trump prices at The Cell. Of course, those tickets will probably
get scalped, too. It is worth noting that Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns the
White Sox, also owns the Bulls.
The general manager of the Astros
grew up in a south Chicago suburb. There is a picture of him and
his wife at their wedding reception with Sox banners.
After spending the first ten years
of my life growing up on the south side of Chicago and becoming a White
Sox fan, my family moved to the north side, specifically the northern
suburbs. Up to that point I had only watched the Sox on TV, so I was
beside myself with little kid joy, when our new neighbors had an extra
ticket to see a ballgame and invited me to join them. It was going to
be my first time ever at Comiskey Park, and I spent the whole week
looking forward to it, at least until we were actually on the road and
I said how excited I was to be going to a White Sox game for the first
time. Silence. "We're going to a Cubs game." The disappointment on my
face was so apparent, they actually apologized to me for going to see
the Cubs, instead of the Sox.
I was watching the second World
Series game last night with my cousin from LA at a great old White Sox
hangout in Chicagp's Loop, Miller's Pub. The place has roots back
to Bill Veeck, so it was good place to be if you couldn't be at the
park. When Konerko came to bat in the seventh with the bases loaded, I
was asking my cousin to get out his camera and take a picture of us
with the bottle of his dad 's ashes. He said, "Right after Konerko hits
a grand slam." Cosmic.
When Paulie hit the grand slam the
place erupted and I screamed so loudly that I got hoarse. My throat
still hurts. But I noticed that the guy next to me at the bar was not
cheering, just sitting there. When things quieted down I asked him if
he was an Astros' fan. "I'm British."
It turns out he knew as much about baseball as I know about cricket.
But I did my best to explain what I could. Nothing I told him seemed to
make sense, however. Even to me. He wanted to know if the batters had to
swing and miss three times to strike out. And I tried to explain foul
balls and how the umpire can also call a batter out on strikes, even if
he doesn't swing. Sheesh. His eyes glazed over. So did mine.
He did say that they get the World Series live on cable over in London,
which means that my daughter living over there might be watching, too.
Assuming she was up in the middle of the night with food poisoning or
Some Astros' fans showed up behind
us. We could tell by the cheering when the game got tied up in the
ninth. I was wearing a dark navy baseball cap with a big "C" on it. I
turned around to give the Stros' fans a hard time and they accused me
of being a Cubs' fan. No, baseball breath, this is a Bears hat.
I have to say it hasn't been safe or comfortable for me to wear anything with a White Sox logo
in public, living as far north as I do. But for the first time in years
I have seen brave people around my neighborhood wearing White Sox
paraphernalia outside their homes Even putting stickers on their
cars. And humming na na na na na na na na. . .
After the game my cousin and
another Sox fan started a conversation that sounded like "Can You Top
This?" Who had been a fan longer. Who knew more names of players
from the fifties. Who had their father's ashes in a little bottle in
their pocket. That kind of stuff. I was waiting patiently for them to
finish when the guy talking to my cousin stopped and introduced hmself.
He heard my name and repeated it like it sounded it familiar. I asked
if he was an attorney. Yes he was. I said my ex had been president of
the Chicago Bar Assn at one time. He said, yes, I know him.
Seven milliion people in Metro Chicago and this guy was on the swim team with my ex in high school. Cosmic moment II.
A young artist who is a Yankee fan
has been comimissioned by the MLB to paint this World Series.
Apparently he has painted several other World Series games, too. Hehas
seen all the recent ones with the Yankees and said that last night's
White Sox Astros game was the best World Series game he's ever watched.
He's right, of course. He even said GO SOX on the air.
All right, I'll give it a rest.