Inconsistent Ramblings

Well, Howard Camerik, on my brothers blog, recently asked what are the key things to making a trip to see the White Sox an "authentic" experience?  So here is what I have to say (Please any other Sox fans contribute):

First and foremost, know what to call it.  I am yet to meet a true White Sox fan (to qualify lets say, someone who can name all the players involved in the 1997 White Flag trade with San Fran., or the starting line-up and rotation of the 2000 Central division champion White Sox) no true fan calls the stadium U.S. Cellular field or the Cell.  I have heard some try and stretch calling it U.S. Cellular Field at Comiskey park, but I think they all came from Colorado.  Generally accepted is Comiskey or the prefered NEW Comiskey.  However, people like me and other bitter sox fans refer to it simply as Sox Park. knowing two things:  A) Comiskey Park (the original) is the greatest park to ever stand and sharing its name with what was once a featureless park is a disgrace, and B) Charles Comiskey was a prick and the main reason for the 1919 White Sox Scandal and should not be recognized. 

Things to know:  The park is no longer the bland and featureless concrete emporium it was when it first opened in 1991.  The money shared by U.S. Cellular has transformed the stadium into a glorius looking old fashioned style stadium.  Seats all green, structure mostly grey and black, to fit the team as opposed to the old blue. 

-The original exploding scoreboard from Comiskey Park stands erect outside the exit off the expressway and right by the Red line "El" (thats "fast moving silver magic train" to those of you from minnesota) stop. Take note.  Bill Veeck was a genius.

-The exact location of the home plate from the original park is enshrined in marble outside of Gate 5.  Take a moment and think of the great players who stood there.

-The base for the infield in the actual stadium was transplanted from the infield of the original stadium.  Thats dirt that could tell alot of stories.

Getting there:

Avoid driving if possible.  Usually there is still lot parking available, but you'll pay for it in cash and time.  Your best bet is to take the El.  Red Line will get you right there without any troubles.  But the best kept secret in chicago is how to get home.  What right past the Red Line El stop and the thousands who are going to try and cram onto one train.  Walk a couple blocks further down to the Green Line stop and walk right in.  But please, stay with a group.  I will be the first to admit that it's not the best neighborhood to be in late at night, but if you don't act like a drunk moron and stay with the crowd, you'll be fine.

Food and drink:

It's a well known fact that Sox park is host of the best ballpark food in Chicago.  Don't believe those signs in the stadium however that want you to have real chicago deepdish.  BULL.  Go to Giordanos after the game, or Chicagos, or any of the many fine pizzeria's in chicago, they'll set you up with Chicago deep dish, don't get it at the ball park.

The food will run you a pretty penny as it will in most parks, but if you want the cream of the crop, down the first baseline in right field on the main concourse is the steak pita wagon.  Heres the money food.  Sliced steak sauteed in a delicious sauce with onions, mmmmmmmmmmm.  A little snack?  Outfield left side, is this stand that sells a corn dish with chili pepper.  Yum.

As for libations?  Well, they got vendors walking around with a 16 oz Cuervo Margarita for like 8 dollars.  Of course the official beer of The White Sox is Miller so thats your cheap choice. (Official soft drink pepsi).  If you enjoy your beer with taste then find the Beers of the world stand.  Theres at least a couple on every level.  You have your choice of a lot of different beers.  My recomendation is a local micro-brew in Chicago, Goose Island.  Thats the best way to go. 

Enjoying the game:

a Little fun game to play is try and figure out what Nancy Faust, White Sox organist, is playing for each of the opposing players who come up.  She tries to pick a song to make fun of each persons name.  Example:  Adam Kennedy came to the plate to Hail to the Chief.  Get it?  And of course how can you mention Nancy Faust without talking about "Kiss him goodbye".  The title to the song that every sox fan will sing as the opposition makes a pitching change. na-na-na na-na-na hey hey hey good bye!

Hope that the White Sox hit home runs or win and you'll get to see some fireworks, where it all originally started. 

If it's hot out, step over to the bullpen shower located in rightfield for a quick cool down. The showers were first built at the original stadium, the concept was brought over to the new stadium as well.

Check out the patio above centerfield (a new addition) for a great place to hangout and view the game and have a few brews.

If you can get a ticket in, check out the bullpen sportsbar in right field, heckle the opposing pen and enjoy great seats.  Alot of balls are hit into the upper patio part of this especially during batting practice.

After the Game:

Stick around and watch Ozzie Guillen's postgame Press conference on the big screen if you want to listen to what outlandish things he has to say about the teams play or maybe Jay Mariotti's sexuality. 

High Five fellow fans on the way down the ramp out of the park.  If the Sox won, I guarentee you will hear at least one drunk guy being joined by a choir of drunk strangers in singing "kiss him goodbye".  Ah, alcohol.

Outside, enjoy the flinstones theme as only a street musician can play it... over and over... and over... and over... and over. 

The Southside of Chicago is not really a great place to linger after a game, sadly.  If you don't want the fun to end, high tale it up to River Forest just outside of the city, Grand and River Rd. and have some of the best hotdogs you'll ever have.  Gene and Judes.  THey have 3 things on the menu Hot Dog, Double Hot Dog, and Tamale.  No Ketchup.  Cheap, good, and theres no better place to talk about anything than hanging out by your car with a couple of dogs (oh yeah, theres no seating... sorry.)

Bars?  Well if your brave you can go to Clark street off the redline, but thats Cub territory... yeah.... careful up there.  I'm sure some of my other White Sox fans can help me out with their favorite post game hangouts.

I hope you do decide to visit our fair city and enjoy a game in our beautiful park.  And I hope my advice gives you all an enjoyable memory.  Until then na-na-na hey hey hey GOOD BYE!


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