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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Warming up for SoxFest!
by Hal Vickery

Winter is the season of the year that seems as if it will never end. When youíre not getting snow dumped on you, youíre living through interminably long periods of time where you donít see the sun. Of course, when the sun does come out, itís only out for a few hours before the long night settles in once again.

During the winter it seems as if spring will never come. Leafless trees and brown grass, when the snow melts and you can actually see the grass, present a desolate landscape. The fields, burgeoning with crops in the summer, are barren.

As this is being written, the temperature outside my house is all of three degrees above zero. Iíve already been outside a couple of times and will have to go out a couple of times more. It positively makes you long for those April nights where you sit outside watching a ball game in forty degree weather. Right now forty degrees would seem balmy. Iím just glad that Iíll be sitting at home in front of my TV watching it. Football was not meant to be played in Green Bay in January.

Of course there are sports that we associate with winter. There is basketball. There is hockey. I guess those are good games, but theyíve never equaled baseball in my own estimation. For me, they just exist as filler between baseball seasons. They make winter seem shorter, but not all that much shorter.

The one thing that makes my winter seem shorter, the one thing that makes me realize that spring isnít all that far away, is SoxFest. When SoxFest rolls around, at least I know that itís only a couple of weeks until pitchers and catchers report. Soon after that, the rest of the team reports to camp. Then in a little over a month, the regular season begins.

At SoxFest you can get at least a glimpse of the people who will be on the field when spring finally does come around. You can see the players and coaches. You can see Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams. You can see Hawk and D.J. If youíre really lucky you might even see Jerry Reinsdorf or Eddie Einhorn.

Seeing them makes you realize that baseball season is really just around the corner. It makes you see that every long, cold January does have an end, that summer isnít all that far away.

SoxFest became a reality for me this weekend. I spent part of Saturday afternoon painting pencil tips for the Windy City Sox Fansí ďWorld Famous Pencil Pull.Ē SoxFest is the first opportunity of the new year to engage in our fundraising, and it comes just four days after the culmination of the previous yearís fundraising.

This Monday, January 21, the Windy City Sox Fans will present a check to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities for $11,000, earmarked for Childrenís Memorial Hospital. This raises our total contributions to CBCC since our founding in late 1995 to $109,000.

Our booth, featuring the ďpencil pullĒ will be right next to the food court at SoxFest. You can sign up to join the club or renew your membership or you can pull a pencil to win a prize. The pencil pull is our first big fundraiser. For a dollar you keep the pencil and win any of a variety of prizes, including autographed Sox memorabilia.

For $30.00 you can join the club and be a part of our luncheon series during the summer that features Sox players and coaches, or you can join the club on a road trip to watch the Sox play. But most of all, your donations go to a worthy cause, helping kids suffering from cancer.

So stop by the booth, say hi, pull a pencil, or better yet, join us. Every cent over and above our expenses (such as booth rental at SoxFest or meals at luncheons) goes to CBCC to donate to Childrenís.

If you canít make it to SoxFest, you can send your membership fee to:

Windy City Sox Fans
9923 S. Ridgeland
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415

If youíd like more information, you can call the clubís Info Line at (708) 424-8520.

Because Iíll be at SoxFest, youíll get a brief vacation from my weekly rantings. However, if you see me there, be sure to say hi. Iím always happy to discuss the Sox.


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at

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