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WSI News - Season Features

 

Special Tenth Anniversary Celebration

TOP TEN FEATURES
At White Sox Interactive

as selected by WSI Founder & Editor
George Bova

 

It's not easy to pick through ten years worth of content choosing  just ten bits as your all-time favorites.  There have been too many WSI features that have simply captured the essence of what being a Sox Fan is -- or used to be -- when published.  By no means is my personal opinion intended as the definitive "Top Ten" for the first ten years of White Sox Interactive.  I simply can't do justice to all the material I've enjoyed here through the years and I'm sending  my apologies in advance for missing anything you might believe was wrongly left out of this Top Ten list.  Obviously this list is just for fun.

True to our "interactive" name, please submit your own "Best of" list to WSI's message board.  You'll find the link below.

Have fun and Go Sox!

-- George Bova


Gone but not forgotten!
WSI's Frank-O-Meter!

NUMBER TEN.  The Frank-O-Meter.
Anybody can dream up a Soxogram (though the Sox marketing department was a full year behind WSI to bring it back to Sox Park).  What really takes inspiration is condensing down to one simple picture the countless column-inches of negative media attention devoted to the #1 Sox hitting star of the time, slugger Frank Thomas.  WSI introduced the Frank-O-Meter in 1999.  Two simple little pictures, one a smiley and the other an upside-down smiley, told WSI's totally biased Sox Fans everything they needed to know about the Big Hurt back in 1999.  It was so simple and yet illustrated the point so well.  It makes my top-ten list for the simplicity of it all. 

NUMBER NINE.  White Sox Quotables.
I found this tiny bit of code surfing the internet back in 1999.  I modified it so it would deliver a random Sox quote every time the button was pushed, then set about digging through my large collection of Sox books to find the perfect set of quotes to fit what being a Sox Fan is all about.  It really is addictive.  Try it!

NUMBER EIGHT.  You're the Sox GM.
This long-forgotten feature never got its proper due.  Created at the end of the dismal 2001 season, every totally biased Sox Fan was invited to play the role of Sox GM voting whether to "keep", "bench" or "trade" each player on the Sox roster.  It's still here at White Sox Interactive and still actively accepting votes, buried deep in the archive from 2001.  Go ahead and stuff the ballot box for Herbert Perry.  See if I care!

NUMBER SEVEN.  Royce "The Choice" Clayton merchandise.
The battles between supporters of Jose Valentin and Royce Clayton at WSI were epic.  Long before Sox GM Kenny Williams gave Clayton his unconditional release, WSI featured a whole line of merchandise for those supporting either "Manos" or "The Choice" to proudly declare their allegiance.  Was this done in poor taste?  Perhaps.  Was it fun to laugh about?  Absolutely!

NUMBER SIX.  Comiskey Park Food Guide.
Another gone but not forgotten feature from WSI's past!  I remember carrying my 3 year-old daughter Sweetpea up on my shoulders throughout the Sox Park main concourse while talking into a mini voice-recorder reciting everything on the menu boards.   (Did I mention I'm a Virgo?)  It was a lot of work but proved a hit at WSI back in 2000 where totally biased Sox Fans were invited to add their comments about their favorite Sox Park indulgences.  Who knew the Sox funnel cakes were such a hit!

NUMBER FIVE.  Sox Fans' Hall of Fame.
Unlike the Comiskey Park Food Guide, this was a labor of love.  A series of online polls was published through the spring and summer of 1999 giving WSI's totally biased Sox Fans a chance to vote their favorites into our own private hall of fame.  I've always maintained Sox Fans are smarter than average baseball fans and the results from these polls bears it out.  Sox pre- and post-game radio host Dave Wills got in on the action, doing some "Chicago-style" voting on behalf of his show's co-host, Beltin' Bill Melton during one of their Sox post-game shows.  Yes, Melton won!  

NUMBER FOUR.  WSI Interviews.
Contributors to WSI have been conducting interviews on behalf of the website since 2000.  I was simply thrilled to interview Lorelei, WLUP's rock 'n' roll siren of the past, about the fateful night of Disco Demolition.  However the real hero of the seemingly-endless series of exclusive WSI interviews is Mark Liptak.  Mark has a genuine love for the Sox and the material he covers in his interviews with Sox ballplayers and executives draws heavily from his deep knowledge of the team's history and the sport more generally.  These interviews are especially noteworthy because nowhere on the internet would a wider group of interested readers of Mark's subject be able to catch up with Sox legends we all remember.  These interviews are a big part of what makes WSI special.

NUMBER THREE.  Memories of Old Comiskey Park.
This is easily the largest feature at White Sox Interactive.  It's also the one I've enjoyed putting together the most.  I remember scanning the first set of images for this feature from my private collection of Sox books and memorabilia on what was my brand-new HP scanner back in 1999.  Years later and I'm still constantly receiving requests for copies of these images.  Many more have been nicked and now can be found all throughout the internet -- never bothering with an attribution to WSI.  I don't mind... the appreciation for this old ballpark has grown immeasurably these past ten years and even the White Sox now seem inclined to celebrate the franchise's roots rather than pave them over.  If me and my $100 scanner have played a role in this turn of events, I've gotten all the reward I would ever want.

NUMBER TWO.  Sox Audio Memories.
Another feature drawing upon the considerable historical archives of Mark Liptak.  I love these features because they encapsulate what the internet does best and what White Sox Interactive uniquely delivers to totally biased Sox Fans.  The mixture of Sox facts, trivia, pictures and audio files makes for richer and more memorable content than any mainstream media site could ever deliver -- including the official White Sox website.  They're all great, but my personal favorite is Near-Miss Sixties because of the audio files featuring sound effects from Bill Veeck's Original Monster scoreboard.  You really have no idea how outrageous this scoreboard truly was until you hear it for yourself.  Only White Sox Interactive offers this.

NUMBER ONE.  Sox Fight Songs.
I love this feature on so many levels.  It's a powerful reminder of how far ahead of the Sox marketing department was WSI to place the Captain Stubby fight song on our website a full six years before they made it the unofficial fight song of the 2005 Sox baseball season.  Listening to these clips, especially the Nancy Faust ones, brings back vivid memories to me of times past spent at Sox Park, both the Old one and the New one, too.  But neither of these is the reason why I've picked Sox Fight Songs as my personal #1 favorite WSI feature.  Rather it's because to this very day, both my son and daughter know all the words to all the songs on this page, learned nearly ten years ago when they were both pre-schoolers sitting on daddy's lap singing along to the music cranking out of the family computer.  These are special memories I'll carry forever... and not one of them could I have predicted WSI would ever deliver to me.  Fate is funny that way...

I hope you enjoy White Sox Interactive as much as I enjoy editing and publishing it for you.

Go Sox! 


George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.  You can write George at george@whitesoxinteractive.com


Our Webmaster
1998 - present

 

More features from George Bova here!

Have a thought about
Top Ten at WSI at Ten Years?

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