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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Kansas City Blues

Champion rings for the South Side!

by
Guy Bacci

Sox fans have spent most of their lives being told how insignificant they are. They’ve heard all about how they don’t go to games and support their team. They’ve heard all about how Cub fans are more loyal and passionate. And—particularly from the national media—they get nothing but grief. Even the day after winning the World Series, another one of those brilliant ESPN Radio host spent an entire segment having pity on Cub fans because “they care more.”

Maybe all those insults had something to do with an estimated 1.75 million fans showing up to cheer for the Southside heroes at Friday’s victory parade. Sox players were shocked at the turnout. Kenny Williams said, “We didn’t know there were this many of you out there.” That’s because we’ve all been listening to the wrong sources.

If Chicago is exclusively a Cubs town, why were Sox fans forced to sell their car, their house, and two of their four kids for a moderately decent seat to a World Series game? Prices for the lower level reached nearly $8000. Could it be because there is a rather large, passionate fan base that reaches from coast to coast and is possibly the best-kept secret in sports?

Some cynics and Northsiders may point to a sudden surge of bandwagon jumpers and casual baseball fans who have recently adopted a fervor for the White Sox as the reason for World Series mania sweeping Chicagoland. Yet, I don’t know too many casual fans who would shell out $1000 for a lousy seat in the upper deck. Heck, I’ve loved the Sox all my life and I simply couldn’t part with that kind of money, especially since I’ve become a bit of a baseball seat snob. Any late-arriving bandwagoner who coughed up that kind of dough either has too much money on his hands or is an oddly impulsive individual who should show a little more love toward his Visa bill.

More likely, those seats were filled with life-long, diehard Sox fans, many traveling miles and miles to see their team fight for the Holy Grail. Southsiders have waited a long time to see the boys on the biggest stage in baseball. Thus far, they’ve been relegated to community theater, but for one glorious fall, they were the stars of Broadway.

And they didn’t disappoint. Neil Cotts and Bobby Jenks whiffed five batters in closing out a tight 5-3 victory in Game 1, and, of course, Paul Konerko and Scott Podsednik hit the most legendary homers in Sox history in Game 2. In hindsight, those games were worth the car, the house, and at least two of the four kids—whether you’re a seat snob or not.

Just a few days later, the quest was complete, with Geoff Blum from Group 4 delivering a homerun to end the longest game in World Series history—showing Soxdom why Kenny Williams bothered trading for him—and World Series MVP Jermaine Dye driving home the sole run in Game 5 to help the Sox win the ring. It was magically fitting to end the season with a 1-0 victory—the story ended precisely as it began.

So what does this historic October mean for the future of Chicago baseball? If anything, the 2005 World Series and resulting victory parade proved the White Sox diehard fan base is plenty impressive. What the Cubs have that the Sox don’t are the party crowd, the tourists, the mystic, the curse and the media. The Sox won’t be outdrawing the Cubs anytime soon, but the tide may start to shift ever so slightly. What 2005 has done is enchanted an entire generation of soon-to-be baseball fans. Those kids in third, fourth and fifth grade, who are too young to have an allegiance but soon will, may think back fondly on the antics of Ozzie Guillen, the clutch hitting of Paul Konerko, and the exuberance of Hawk Harrelson. And since the Cubs will continue to be the town’s darlings no matter what, the Sox can maintain their rebellious appeal as the anti-cute alternative.

Kenny Williams has often said it would take multiple championships to shift the Chicago baseball landscape. But even that may not do it, because casual baseball fans don’t give a hoot about championships, and the Cubs simply own the market on casual baseball fans.

The Northside can have all the casual fans they want. They can keep the tourists and the curse and the media adoration. Because the Southside finally has something the other side of town doesn’t:

A World Series ring that’s less than 80 years old.

Hey Sox Fans!

Who do YOU dedicate this Sox championship to?
Post your sentiments to this thread
and see them published in a book dedicated to Sox Fans for the holidays!

White Sox Interactive is cooperating with an independent publisher to make the posts in this thread available as a book to become a lasting and personal keepsake of what made the 2005 Sox world championship so special. You can have your dedication published by merely adding your sentiments to this thread to be published later this fall.

And here is the best part: 100 percent of the revenue generated by White Sox Interactive is being donated to charity. Furthermore the publisher has pledged a portion of his receipts to the same cause, Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, in conjunction with Children's Memorial Foundation and the Northwestern Memorial Foundation.

WSI is staffed 100 percent by Sox Fan volunteers. Here is your chance to join us in dedicating this extraordinary Sox baseball season to those most important in your life -- along with hundreds of your fellow Sox Fans -- and see the results help the worthy cause of cancer research here in Chicago.

And yes, the book will be available for sale in time for the holidays. No Sox Fan's sock can truly be filled without this book containing your words of dedication inside.

God Bless our Chicago White Sox and Thank You for helping make this dedication an extra special one!

-- George Bova
on behalf of the the volunteer staff of Sox Fans at White Sox Interactive

Be sure to contact all of your Sox Fan friends and acquaintances and invite them to post their dedication too, while this thread is still open!


Guy Bacci is from the north suburbs of Chicago, where he couldn't avoid growing up as a pampered and snotty Cubs fan. Luckily, he saw the light in 1985 and never looked back. He loved the hard-working, old-school tactics of Carlton Fisk, who would become his all-time favorite player. His most memorable moment was going to a Sox double-header with his grandfather, who insisted on staying all nine hours (including a long rain delay). Guy is a journalism grad from Northwestern, currently residing in Seattle, where he works as a computer programmer and freelance writer. He can be reached at guybacci@yahoo.com.

More features from Guy Bacci here!

Have a Thought about
Champion rings for the South Side?

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