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WSI News - Season Features

April, 2000.  The magic of the 2000 season was evident from the very first game, opening night, a first at Comiskey Park.

Opening Night Notes From Section 110

by George Bova

Section 110 at Comiskey Park isn't anything special.  In the furthest corner of foul territory, twenty-nine rows up where you're left sitting beyond the right field fair pole.  Of course it's one of the seating sections on the main concourse level, and that's why we bought a seat there.  There are no bad seats on the main concourse at New Comiskey Park.  From this perch on a perfect June night, which through some freak of nature occurred on April 14 in Chicago, we watched one of the most wonderful games we've yet-witnessed at New Comiskey Park.   It wasn't a playoff game or a division-clincher.  It wasn't even a glorious victory over the Cubs.  No, this game was special because we shared it with with over 39,000 other Sox fans who were there for the same reason we were -- to show support and appreciation for our Chicago White Sox.  It's been a long time since that happened.

...It's the first game of the new season so you notice everything that's new and different around the ballpark.  Comiskey's playing field looks more perfect than ever.  All the old sod was torn up last fall and a new computer-aided grader was used to smooth the surface of the base soil.  The result is a green field so rich and so perfectly flat, you might mistaken it for a billiards table... 

...The Sox have made an effort to spruce up the main concourse with a series of wall murals with oversized images of White Sox greats from the 1906, 1917, and 1919 pennant and championship seasons.  Other murals have been added in left field near the Veeckian showerhead.  A large ticker board has been added in left field, too.  Nobody bothered to update the advertising sign for the White Sox' official web site.  The sign still reads ""  Well, at least internet newbies won't get confused since the old address automatically forwards you to the new site.  Conspicuous by its absence was any advertising from the two big Chicago newspapers.  The Tribune did have an airplane circling the field advertising their new sham web site,  Hey Trib boys, keep up with this -- we ain't that stupid.  A much funnier airplane circled for local radio personality Kevin Mathews.  His banner read, "Wannstedt still sucks.  Go Sox!"  The ex-Bears coach has been gone over a year but he's far from forgotten....

...We aren't missing what else is gone, the obnoxious deejay swinging a sock, Joe Stephen.  Sox fans' loss is the wedding reception industry's gain....

...I was personally very gratified to see the Sox bring back the Soxogram message board.  They've been running a scroll of  fan greetings on the left field toteboard for several years but this year they've given it the name which Bill Veeck created back in 1960.  We at White Sox Interactive revived the Soxogram message board over a year ago.  If we've helped the Sox rediscover a bit of their forgotten heritage, we're glad we could be of assistance....

...The green frog won the second inning "hop", and Anita Quencher came home victorious in the Sparkling Spring derby during the fifth....

...Ray Durham made a spectacular catch in the top of the first inning.  In the bottom-half of the first, Frank Thomas got a terrific ovation from the fans, then lit the scoreboard with the first home run of the new season.  Paul Konerko went deep, too.  Mike Sirotka was wonderful, challenging hitters and battling into the sixth.  Kelly Wunsch was sharp, and Scott Eyre's troubles didn't hurt us in the end.  Keith Foulke was nothing short of spectacular collecting swinging strike outs from the first four Angels he faced.  The Sox were awesome winning 9-4.  The fireworks display was great and anyone complaining about being removed from their bleacher seats before the show really needs to get a clue.  Following the show the concourse behind the bleachers was littered with hundreds of charred remnants of the roman candles and other pyrotechnics used.  Those bleacher seats were not safe to sit in....

...Back at good ol' section 110, the public address speaker wasn't working, but the Comiskey sanitation crew was.  The garbage chute just behind us was getting filled for most of the last-third of the game.  If you ever get nostalgic for the aroma from the old stockyards that often rolled into Old Comiskey, you owe it to yourself to sit in good ol' section 110.  "Cubs suck" chants greeted every yahoo dumb enough to show north side allegiance.  Three kids old enough to know better were dressed in nothing but hula skirts.  An "S" "O" and "X" was painted onto their chests, each either too flabby or too scrawny, much to the disgust and pity of the rest of us sitting in good ol' section 110.  Aisle vendors were scarce and lines were long -- everybody had a great time....

...A capacity crowd at Comiskey on a Friday night wouldn't be complete without a drunken brawl, and good ol' section110 had that, too.  We can only hope the Cubs fans who were escorted out received a few close encounters about their craniums with the Chicago phone directory kept near Comiskey's holding room....

Ah, it was a perfect night.

George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.


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