8/12/08 at U.S. Cellular Field

This blog should have come long ago but I’ve been traveling and my access to the internet has been limited.  My second ever trip to the Windy City
(and Michelle’s first) included my first trip to a White Sox game.  I had
my Sox hat, my Royals hat, my glove (and the trick), Sharpies, Field tickets
and a lot of excitement.  I was unfamiliar with the train schedule, but we
were able to take the Red Line south from our hotel to 35th St.  From there, it was just a
quick walk across the bridge to U.S. Cellular.  Here’s what we saw as we
walked up:

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I was psyched for BP!  Michelle told me to just go do my thing and she’d
try to catch up.  Batting practice was pretty awful.  Sure, I was
thrilled to be in a new stadium, but the White Sox were only hitting for a few
minutes once I got to a spot in the outfield.  There were a ton of people
with gloves, AND the Royals just couldn’t hit any to the seats.  I decided
to head over to where I saw some pitchers (Ron Mahay and Gil Meche) shagging
fly balls and I donned my Royals cap.  Not only did they not even look up
at me when I politely asked for a ball, but they specifically threw every ball
they got back in–nobody got ANY from these two!  Long story short: I got
shut out in BP and I was really concerned that my streak of consecutive games
with at least one ball would stop at, well, one.  Come to think of it,
that’s not even a streak at all. 
Michelle and I headed to our seats in Section 129.  Here’s the
view:

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Not too shabby, eh?  Anywho, after we explored a bit, I saw some players
come out on the visiting team’s side for warm-ups.  Billy Butler, David
DeJesus, Mark Teahan, and a few others were right at the foul line in front of
our section.  I headed down to the field and couldn’t believe that
security didn’t bug me right away.  I was ten feet from the players! 
Again, however, I was shut out.  No ball… no autograph… nothin’. 
Man, those Royals are stingy… maybe I’d be in a funk too if I played for a
team that hadn’t had a winning season since 2003.  Not lookin’ any better
this year, guys.  I did get super-close to see them… here’s a photo:

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Well, the game started (at 7:11pm because the White Sox have an agreement with
a certain convenience store chain) and I was a bit dejected.  My best hope was to catch a foul ball or make
it down to a dugout to get one tossed to me. 
The game was one-sided from the beginning.  Get this–a home run, a home run, a home run,
a home run… then five more runs.  It was
ridiculous.  The Royals couldn’t put
together much of anything against Javier Vasquez (Javy, as Sox fans say).  And, in his major league debut, Chris Getz
smacked his first big league hit and nailed down his first RBI to boot.  He’s
below in the photo after being congratulated at first base by coach Harold
Baines.  The game ended up being 9-0.

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I won’t keep you in suspense… I DID get a ball.  One.  It
is the tenth ball in my collection… hooray for double digits!  It was from Ross Gload (on the right in the above picture), the only non-stingy
Royal I saw all night.  After the eighth
inning he jogged to the dugout, looked up to me standing just behind the dugout
in a royal blue cap, tossed the ball straight to me, and then probably went to
commiserate with the rest of his sub-par team. 
Man, at least they aren’t the Nationals.

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This wasn’t the best game I’d ever seen, but I did have a
blast.  It’s a great looking park, I had
an Italian Beef Sandwich, Michelle had her first Chicago-style Hot Dog… and we
both had a lot of fun just being in a new environment.  Note the kid on the right being way too interested in what’s going on with us.  It makes me laugh every time.

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Before we left, I got a picture of the grounds crew putting the tarp on the field because there was rain in the forecast for later that night.  It made for a pretty cool shot.

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I’m heading to Angel Stadium tomorrow (Saturday) to see the
Angels play the Twins, so expect another blog soon.

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