I don’t know if I should put this in the travel category or not. I did have to cross a border to the Southside so technically…I mean, it’s a long way from Wrigleyville. Especially metaphorically. Northside, Southside, I really don’t have a dog in this baseball fight since I’m a born and raised NY Yankee fan (go ahead, hate away), but I am a baseball fan and love going to the ballpark. When the opportunity arose to attend the Sox home opener, I took it.
My friend Erik is a big Sox fan and he kept telling me the Sox home opener is really fun, and since this year it also fell on his birthday it’d be doubly fun. One thing I’ll say about Midwesterners is they’ll tailgate for anything and they don’t do it half-assed. Wouldn’t be surprised to see an RV, a grill, and tent at a Walgreen’s grand opening. Now, I’d never seen tailgating like this at a Yankee game (or Mets game either). There, we’d just show up, grab a hot dog outside the Stadium and go to Stan’s across from the bleachers under the subway for some pre-game beers (at old Stadium that is, haven’t been to the new one yet). I’d also never been to a home opener in all my years of attending baseball games so this was going to be special.
Isn’t that just great? The whole thing was. They had tons of food, beer, and liquor behind that bar. Note the brass foot rail. Nice touch. The grills were all fired up behind the RV. That’s right, plural grill. We had sausages, brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, steak tacos/fajitas, chips, dips, pasta salad, pulled pork, pork chops, well at least that’s what I ate. And drank lots of beer. Even snuck in a few tequila shots before game time. The whole parking lot was jumping like this. Some people started off too strong like this guy:
It wasn’t even noon when I snapped that photo. He was snoring and everyone was taking his picture. Just your regular home opener on the Southside. Fun day, Sox beat Detroit which is always a good thing. (I still can’t understand how Detroit calls themselves “Hockeytown.” They haven’t even won the most Stanley Cups!)
During the game I noticed the fans seemed to be actually paying attention to the game and the players. As a baseball fan I really appreciated this. I guess I’ve been to way too many Nationals games in DC where the crowd comes late, leaves early, and no one watches the game. Sitting directly in front of me on Friday were these two old timers who were keeping score, but they brought their own pad to do it on! Impressive. Not to mention the fact we were sitting in center field. I’m pretty sure you’d be hard pressed to find anyone keeping score in the Wrigley bleachers.
For my first White Sox game it was quite an experience. I’m sure they’re not all like this but for a home opener on a sunny Friday afternoon it was pretty awesome!