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hsnterprize
02-28-2003, 09:24 AM
Hey Sox Fans!!!

I was at a Borders Book Store the other day, and I happen to see "Park Life" in the baseball section. I'd read a lot anout the book from WSI contributors here, but I'd obviously never saw the book in person. When I looked through the book, it was almost like I was taking a history lesson. You see, I was only 5 years old in the summer of 1977, and I hadn't ever been to a pro baseball game at that point. I remember sitting in the car and driving past Comiskey Park a lot when I would visit relatives of mine on the south side, but it wouldn't be until 1984 when I would ever go into the park. And unfortuately, it would be the ONLY time I would see the inside of Old Comiskey Park in person. I was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina when the wrecking ball hit 35th and Shields, and was in Yongsan, South Korea when Comiskey II opened.

Here's an interesting question...what was so special about 1977 that it was highlighted so much in this book. Obviously, that's when the pictures were taken, and I read a piece about the book on this site, I learned more about that magical summer. However, I'd like to learn more. So, if any of you seasoned White Sox fans can spin the wheels in my brain about that summer, I'd appreciate it. GO SOX!!!!!!!

Dadawg_77
02-28-2003, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by hsnterprize
[

[FONT=arial]Here's an interesting question...what was so special about 1977 that it was highlighted so much in this book.

It was the year I was born. :)


The Sox had one of those magical Chicago sports team years, where they were fun to watch battled for first place but ultimately end short of that goal.

Iwritecode
02-28-2003, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77


It was the year I was born. :)[/B]

Same here! :smile:


Originally posted by Dadawg_77
The Sox had one of those magical Chicago sports team years, where they were fun to watch battled for first place but ultimately end short of that goal. [/B]

Sounds like most of the other Sox teams the past 20+ years. Especially that last line...

Juan Pizarro
02-28-2003, 10:44 AM
Oh, sweet summer that was. Of course, my feelings are colored by the fact I was 17, it was the Year of Punk and I reconnected with lifelong friends. But that's a digression.
1977 was the rebirth of hope, Rent a Player, Oscar Gamble's Natural and Richie Zisk doing the improbable.
It was Nancy Faust stoking the fire, "Na Na Hey Heys" topping imrobable comebacks -- always the COMEBACKS! The Sox Supporters in left, Chester Lemon patrolling center and Eric Soderholm introducing the brand name "Nautilus" to greater Chicagoland.
It was crazy Frankie Barrios throwing 231 innings, Steve Stone going 15-12, lefty Ken Kravec winning 11. It was the twilightof Wilbur Wood and the year of Lerrin LaGrow. It was Bobby Molinari and Bobby Coluccio; Ralph Garr chopping it up in left and Wayne Nordhagen (!) doing damage.
It was Billy Almon kicking another ball at short but winning it with a hit in the ninth. It was Brian Downing's coming-out party.
It was Bill Veeck's sweet coda on a life devoted to the fans, Harry in the bleachers, the outfield shower in that hot July. Pajamas for unis, McCuddy's beer garden, sneaking into the box seats, taunting leftfielders from the picnic area, finding a churro around the left field corner.
It was a revitalized Sox Nation charging up 94 to County Stadium for the Brewer series, prompting the local press to "lock up the women and children."
Sadly, too, it was Hal McRae waving goodbye as he rounded the bases after pricking the bubble of our gonfalon dreams in Game 2 of that Sunday doubleheader, all sold out, me down the right field line, CLOSE to the field.
It was the best time to be a Sox fan, and the worst.

Stoky44
02-28-2003, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77


It was the year I was born. :)

. [/B]

I was not concieved yet, sorry can't help. :?:

Brian26
02-28-2003, 01:31 PM
No offense, but that Park Life book is one of the most depressing books I've ever thumbed through in my life. What a let down. It doesn't even feature the '77 team or the park. Every page is focused on the fans, and who really needs a memory of the god-awful fashion or haircuts of that era? As I thumbed through it at the bookstore, looking at skanky women in 70's style tank tops, greasy-looking bums smoking Pal Mals, and hideous sweaty guys, I'm thinking, why would I pay money for this? If there were pictures of the players or the stadium or some text about the actual White Sox season, I would have bought the book in a second. I was bummed that it was nothing but a collection of ugly people in the stands wearing clothes and hairstyles I rather forget rather than display on my coffee table.

Pick up the White Sox Encyclopedia instead. It's well worth the money.

jortafan
02-28-2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
No offense, but that Park Life book is one of the most depressing books I've ever thumbed through in my life. What a let down. It doesn't even feature the '77 team or the park. Every page is focused on the fans, and who really needs a memory of the god-awful fashion or haircuts of that era? As I thumbed through it at the bookstore, looking at skanky women in 70's style tank tops, greasy-looking bums smoking Pal Mals, and hideous sweaty guys, I'm thinking, why would I pay money for this? If there were pictures of the players or the stadium or some text about the actual White Sox season, I would have bought the book in a second. I was bummed that it was nothing but a collection of ugly people in the stands wearing clothes and hairstyles I rather forget rather than display on my coffee table.

Pick up the White Sox Encyclopedia instead. It's well worth the money.

You want beautiful people? Go to Wrigley Field. Get away from us Sox fans.

CiscoCarlos
02-28-2003, 11:52 PM
That was a great summation by Juan Pizarro. Really brings back some fun memories.

Brian26
03-01-2003, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by jortafan
You want beautiful people? Go to Wrigley Field. Get away from us Sox fans.

No, I'm a Sox fan to the bone, and there's plenty of hot ass walking around Comiskey in the summertime to keep my happy. What I want is for a book to have some decent content about the White Sox if I'm going to pay 50 bucks for it. That's why I said pick up the Encyclopedia. The Park Life Book is depressing.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-01-2003, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
No, I'm a Sox fan to the bone, and there's plenty of hot ass walking around Comiskey in the summertime to keep my happy. What I want is for a book to have some decent content about the White Sox if I'm going to pay 50 bucks for it. That's why I said pick up the Encyclopedia. The Park Life Book is depressing.

I've met the photographer and have read what he has written about the subject. I've also heard him interviewed about this as well.

The book is not about the White Sox, or even necessarily about the decrepit ballpark--though clearly Elliott manages to document the delapidated state of the ballpark far more artistically than anybody before him.

The book is about blue-collar people, from an industrial corner of a rust-belt city, watching their team play inside a grimey old ballpark--and illustrate how today every bit of it is gone! The ballpark, the team, the rust-belt jobs (if not the rust-belt city itself), and the blue-collar fans, too--all gone--as I'm sure anybody who has ever walked the concourse behind Comiskey's Diamond Suites will attest.

DON'T buy this book if you're looking for great old photos of "Bumper" Johnson and "Sport Shirt" Bill. There are none to be found. However if you wish to recapture, or simply understand what you missed, the essence of the "who, what, and where" it was to see the Sox play in 1977, then this is definitely the book for you.

hose
03-01-2003, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
No, I'm a Sox fan to the bone, and there's plenty of hot ass walking around Comiskey in the summertime to keep my happy. What I want is for a book to have some decent content about the White Sox if I'm going to pay 50 bucks for it. That's why I said pick up the Encyclopedia. The Park Life Book is depressing.


I have both books, but I would agree with you about the content of White Sox Encyclopedia, it is without a doubt the best book on the history of the Sox franchise you will find. I hope to see a follow up book from 1996 to the present.

The Park Life book might have left out all the brawls that I remember in the stands at Comiskey. The beer would flow and the off duty Chicago Cops dressed in yellow security jackets had their hands full. 200 fights on a Friday night game would not be unusual.
Comiskey was similar to the old Chicago stadium , plenty of beer muscles in the crowd.

Wsoxmike59
03-01-2003, 10:26 AM
HSNterprise, 1977 was a magical and yet disappointing summer for the White Sox and their fans. We challenged the KC Royals for the West Division Crown all summer long and collapsed at the end just as the Royals caught fire.

JPizzaro gave a wonderful recap of what it was like to be there that summer. I too was 17 that year, just out of High School, and falling in love with Comiskey Park I went to 25 games that year, a personal high for me up until that point.....and the Sox were fun and frustrating to watch that year.

The Sox would almost always spot the opposition an early lead in the game, only to come back and win it with their high octane offense. The names come back to me like a flood of memories...Garr, Orta, Zisk, Gamble, Lemon, Soderholm, Johnson, Downing, Spencer, Essian, Bannister, Stone, Kravec, Wood, Knapp, LaGrow, Brohamer, Stillman, Renko, Nordhagen, and on and on.

The beauty part of it to me, was that the season before Bill Veeck had ripped out the astro turf INF in favor of grass, and taken away the CF fence and bullpen area , leaving the whole CF area IN PLAY AND THE WALL WAS 445' AWAY FROM HOME PLATE! Comiskey Park was sent back to its original state, and it resembled the park from the 1920's-40's.

His logic in 1976 was to build a team of "rabbits", speed and defense was going to be our motto, just like the White Sox teams of the Go-Go Fifties. Veeck said, "If we can't hit the ball over the fence, we're not going to let you do it!"

Then in 1977 we went out and acquired via Free Agency and trades, Soderholm, Gamble, and Zisk. The Sox hit a team record 192 HR the summer of the Hitmen. I often wondered how many HR's we lost in 1977 with the park in its' original dimensions from the dead ball era???

Wsoxmike59
03-01-2003, 10:34 AM
http://whitesoxinteractive.com/BaseballCards/Team77.jpg

The 1977 White Sox aka The Southside Hitmen
From our very own WSI baseball card of the week. :smile:

Juan Pizarro
03-01-2003, 11:15 AM
Can't believe I left Orta out!