I’ll admit something that may not be kosher with traditional baseball fans. I greatly preferred the experience of watching baseball on the south side of Chicago in the home of the White Sox compared to taking in a game at Wrigley. Not that Wrigley is without its charms – far from it. But a game at Wrigley is a bit like watching baseball in a theme park dedicated to what it was like to watch baseball fifty years ago.
The White Sox play at the much more modern and comfortable US Cellular Field about a fifteen minute train ride south of downtown Chicago. Given the relative lack of popularity of the White Sox, I was able to snag a prime seat right behind home for the game. I made a beeline to my seat to get a sense of how good I’d have it for the night. I was pretty happy with my selection:
I made my way around the park and started by heading down the right field line. I was amazed how nice the grass was for such an early season game. It’s not always this beautiful in Chicago in April:
I spent some time hanging out in the right field bleachers in hopes of catching a baseball. No luck, but a few went whizzing past me. If nothing else, from here you get a great perspective on just how fast a ball makes it into the seats off the bat:
It is really quite a nice ballpark. Wandering around, there wasn’t really a bad seat in the place and it had all the modern comforts. Here’s the view from centre field back toward the diamond. No one came close to hitting a ball here while I enjoyed a beer:
It was a ridiculously nice night for baseball. Although early in April, the temperature at game time was a balmy 20C. I was expecting the need to bundle up (I packed long underwear and gloves for this trip to be ready for the worst) so this night far exceeded my expectations. Just before game time, some fireworks went off in left field as the White Sox starting pitcher, Chris Sale, finished his warmups:
It didn’t take long for the last remaining day light to disappear. But even with the sun down, the temperature stayed pretty warm. It was a fun game to watch with base runners in play all night. At one stretch, runs were scored in seven straight half innings. Basically, the base paths looked like this for the whole game:
The White Sox scored early then hung on during a back and forth game. Heading into the bottom of the eighth, they were up 8-5. I moved over to a third base side seat to make my escape back to the train quicker as I wanted to catch a blues show back in the city. The seats here were pretty nice too:
Each team managed another run with the White Sox holding on for a 9-6 win. I made out pretty well on this trip to Chicago – reasonable April weather for the two games, and both an absolute blast to watch.