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Food for Thought

Posted 01-12-2012 at 02:28 PM by October26

My family and I emigrated from Cuba in 1971. My parents brought me to the United States seeking a better life. As the oldest daughter in blue-collar, working class family, I was encouraged to focus on my studies and do well in school. My parents were kind and generous people who showered me with love and attention, and rewarded me by taking me to baseball games at Old Comiskey Park. I have been a White Sox fan for as long as I can remember.

When I was 10 years old, the one thing I wanted the most in the entire world was a White Sox lunchbox, one that I could take to school every day to show all of my friends how much I loved my favorite baseball team: The Chicago White Sox. I also dreamed of owning White Sox stickers, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, calendars, shorts and sweatpants, none of which were available for purchase at that time. For every birthday and at each Christmas, I continued to ask my parents for the one thing they could not give me: a White Sox lunchbox.

Why, you ask, was this request so difficult to fulfill? Well, back in the 1970’s Major League Baseball (MLB) had not yet discovered that sales of licensed logo products could generate tremendous revenues. And because this was the 1970's, MLB gave little thought to the marketing of a certain South Side franchise. MLB may also have chosen to ignore the White Sox of the 1970's because, as a franchise, they were in constant flux. During the 1970’s, the White Sox featured several ownership changes, with owners who cried poor, a much neglected Comiskey Park, and losing teams, all of which resulted in dwindling attendance. And as White Sox fans, we lived with the never-ending threat that our team would move to another city. White Sox fans were also very disconnected from each other. Today, we live in a time of great communication and connectivity; and the internet, with its numerous search engines, allows us to search for and purchase just about anything our heart desires and to stay in touch with one another. But back in the 1970’s such advances in technology had yet to be developed. Oh, what I wouldn't have given to have a forum like White Sox Interactive (WSI) back in 1975!

And so it is ironic to me that my family and I would come to love the White Sox so much in a decade (the 1970’s) during which they had such little success as a franchise. During the 1970’s the White Sox fan base took a serious hit as Sox teams lost more games than they won and had little or no hope of making the playoffs (except for maybe the 1972 Dick Allen team & the 1977 South Side Hit Men team). Regardless, my parents and I attended games on Sundays and we enjoyed our time together as a family. My father taught me the intricacies of the game of baseball, how to keep score, and what it meant to be a baseball fan loyal to a team. Win or lose, we loudly and enthusiastically expressed our support for the Sox.

Years later, I was finally able to purchase my very first White Sox lunchbox. By this time, I was an adult and probably appeared ridiculous to my co-workers, proudly toting my White Sox lunchbox to work (it’s actually a small, vinyl cooler). I did not care. My love for all things White Sox continues to this day and I now own quite a few items of White Sox memorabilia. Several years ago, I discovered WSI and truly enjoy all of the benefits it has to offer. I am sincerely grateful to all of the persons responsible for keeping WSI going; this really is a fantastic website/forum. Recently, a friend, who I greatly admire, encouraged me to share my White Sox stories. So, today, I’m posting my first blog entry and I would love to hear from you:

• Were you raised in a house full of White Sox fans? Or were you “converted” by a special someone in your life?
• What logo merchandise, if any, did you secretly or openly wish for as a child?
• What is your favorite item of White Sox (or other team) memorabilia that you’ve purchased or received as a gift?
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  1. Old Comment
    Daver's Avatar
    No one in my immediate family liked baseball besides me, I played it, my uncle, who was trying to help a single parent home by watching the kids in the evening got me hooked on the White Sox.

    I'm not a big fan of team merchandise, I don't collect it, and give away the things that I do run across to actual collectors.

    I have an authentic 2005 Man Soo Lee jersey that was an anniversary gift from my wife, it is the only memorabilia I own aside from a few t-shirts that I wear for work.
    Posted 01-13-2012 at 12:10 AM by Daver Daver is offline
  2. Old Comment

    I enjoyed reading the story about your uncle (it's wonderful) and how he played such a key role in you becoming a Sox fan.

    It's also interesting to read your perspective on memorabilia and I appreciate that we're different types of people in that regard. I have a small alcove in the second floor of my house where I keep all of my White Sox treasures. I wish I could say that it is something spectacular, but it's not. It is simply my collection of Sox stuff. My favorite item is a scrapbook I made of my family & I celebrating each milestone the Sox reached in October 2005.

    I see that you are the Administrator for WSI. Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart for everything you do to keep this wonderful website running for everyone. I appreciate it!
    Posted 01-13-2012 at 08:20 AM by October26 October26 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    tebman's Avatar
    My dad and my older sister were both Sox fans. He because of his industrial-workplace experience, she because she had a crush on Nellie Fox. I became a bigger fan than either of them and I don't know why, except that baseball rings a bell in me that other sports don't, and I was a sucker for Bill Veeck's exploding scoreboard.

    I'm not a collector as much as a pack rat. I keep (or try to keep) baseball-related stuff and I've got several boxes in my basement with scorecards, programs, magazines, ticket stubs, and other paper goods. Pennants, bobbleheads, and other stuff occupy space on shelves. My wife thinks it's clutter; I think it's a priceless collection of historical artifacts that generations hence will study carefully and hold in treasured esteem. Or not.
    Posted 01-16-2012 at 11:00 AM by tebman tebman is offline
  4. Old Comment

    I enjoyed reading your post. And you're absolutely right, that Bill Veeck exploding scoreboard was something else. I remember the feeling of excitement that would overcome me every single time I walked up the stairs onto the lower deck at Old Comiskey Park and looked up and saw those pinwheels. And when the scoreboard exploded, lookout, I was like a kid in a candy store! :bliss:

    Like you, I am also a White Sox pack rat. Funny how I can easily part with old items I no longer use, but my husband will ask me to throw out a 1975 Sox program book/scorecard and that conversation is immediately over. The older I get the more I realize, however, that my "historical Sox artifacts" have value only to me. And that's okay. As I type this, I'm looking at an autographed photo of Billy Pierce, which brings a smile to my face along with the wonderful memory of the day that I met Billy. :D:
    Posted 01-16-2012 at 05:51 PM by October26 October26 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    I come from a large family (re: my dad has 44 first cousins on my grandpa's side) that is predominately Cubs fans (they really don't like my FB profile pic in our family group :D:). But my dad has always been a Sox fan. There was never a time I ever thought about being anything but a Sox fan. That was the baseball that was on in the house so that was my baseball.

    Nothing specific but something that I could wear to school to show I was a Sox fan. My cousin (from my grandma's side, lots more Sox fans over there) and I, both Sox fans to this day, were in the same class and were the only Sox fans. We'd get into fights about who was the better team. So I always wanted something that showed who I was rooting for.

    I have many items I've gotten from my WSI Secret Santa's that I really love and appreciate. I also have a zippy hoodie with the WS patch on it that I love but is now so huge on me. I'll never get rid of it though.
    Posted 03-02-2012 at 10:18 PM by manders_01 manders_01 is offline
  6. Old Comment

    Now I understand why you and I connected instantly - we have both been Sox fans forever! Well, me longer than you but who's counting?

    And I think it's great that your dad taught you to love the Sox. So did mine. :smile:

    I laughed when you said in your post that you would get into fights about who was the better team and wanted to show who you were rooting for. This was me as well! As I said in the blog entry, there was not much logo merchandise available for purchase back when I was a kid. One time I remember cutting the Sox logo out of the newspaper and taping it to my notebook. I thought I was so cool. :cool:
    Posted 03-03-2012 at 03:16 PM by October26 October26 is offline

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