Monday, August 10, 2009

Give a Nod or Not . . . to Diverse Fans

We have gone to several baseball games with friends and are accustomed to diversity. Our dear friends, Mike and Cheri have been with us to a White Sox game. They share the same anniversary date with us but each year on their anniversary they get Cubs tickets—usually for three games—wherever the Cubs are playing—this year in Philadelphia—last year in Anaheim. Romantic, huh?
Pretty close to hard core fans.

Last year we gave tickets to a White Sox vs Yankee game at Cellular Field to Bob’s son, daughter-in-law and two sons and sadly noted their abandonment of our local team indicated by all four of them sporting Yankee jerseys given to them by Kevin’s mother-in-law. I said, “Et tu Brute!” to Bob’s son. He shrugged.
Beware, beware of this kind of fan!

Before my father’s death, my Ohio farmer Dad attended a few White Sox games with us and diplomatically clapped for both his team—the Cleveland Indians or my brother’s team—the Tigers or my hubby’s team—the White Sox.
Sweet, soft hearted, good man, who enjoyed sporting events — a soft core even when it came to baseball.

Yup, diversity. White Sox fans are present but in the minority. We are surrounded by scores of Cubs fans. My first hubby was a Cubs fan. We raised Cubs fans with no-cable-necessary-WGN both on TV and radio. We were able to attend 2-4 games each season and had lots of fun especially during the 80’s cheering for our Cubby teams. I am pleased with my sons' loyalty to the Cubs. All four of my grandkids sport their own Cubs hats and shirts.
Their daddies are pretty close to hard core fans.

I must add though, I was glad that son, Andy and his wife, Amy did go with us to a World Series game cheering the AL White Sox to victory in 2005. Andy is not a cross over by any means but he was enthusiastic for his step dad’s sake. To Amy, seeing the players’ wives and new babies was as interesting as the actual game but she clapped appropriately. She also took a look at the gift shop but imagine this, everything in there had to do with baseball.
Nope, Amy is not even close to a fan but she is a good sport.

My Beekeeper Bob hubby is a White Sox fan. He grew up going to games with his Grandpa Riechart, who lived at 119th and 34th Street on the south side of Chicago. Out here in Cubs land suburbia, hubby is a quiet fan. If he isn’t watching the game, he is aware who they are playing, how many games up or down, and who they just traded and lots more. I don’t know the language but he loves to talk it. We don’t fly flags on our house or car or use identifying bumper stickers.
I am pretty sure hubby is a hard core fan but an unusual species.

I do so want the Cubs to win a World Series . . . soon! But I do so love my hubby and find that it is natural and easy to cheer for his team, too! In fact, I can’t watch a game when they are losing. I leave the room and come and type a new post for the blog.
I prefer to think of myself as a Chicago fan.

So even though we can appreciate and love diverse ball team enthusiasts, imagine our joy to find some real as life, true White Sox fans. It happened somewhat coincidentally when hubby visited the home office/shrine of our good friend, Jim. He is a grew-up-on-the-south-side, White Sox fan! I don’t think—don’t know for sure—that he has any tattoos but still . . . it is easy to figure that Jim and wife Judy are no fair-weather, I-will-see-it-better-on-TV fans. When we invited them to a Saturday game with rain predicted and dark clouds hovering and maybe tornadoes in the city, their immediate and completely serious response was, “Should we bring you two a couple of White Sox ponchos to wear?” Weather did not even enter the equation. How many people do you know that have enough White Sox ponchos for the whole row?
Hard core!

A good great time was had by all! There was no holding back on enthusiasm for each run scored even though the White Sox led all the way. Nope, we loved every hit, every base on balls, every stolen base, every run!

In homage to our team, after the game, we walked over to see the white bronze and black granite Champions monument and the Champions Brick Plaza.

Guess who found a brick engraved with their names? I’ve no doubt about what these stones mean! Hard core fans, indeed.

We were not done celebrating yet. Jim and Bob know the city and decided that we should go get some White Sox pizza. The choice for this night was the original Home Run Inn pizza place established in 1947 before most of us were born!

I photographed the yummy, incredible salad instead of the pizza but I ate both! I have an embarrassingly soft mushy core—especially today—but I will work on it MaƱana.

And I nearly forgot, we all came away with a souvenir—of sorts—a White Sox beer vendor bobble head, given to the game attendees. Yes, for real. There is a limit to my White Sox zeal! However, I am not above profiting from someone else's fanaticism. I would be glad to send them anywhere—two are available. Let the bidding begin. If you are hard core — proudly nod, nod, nod!


Diana said...

Hi Brenda,
I have been a Cubs fan for many years and have been to many cubs games. I grew up in Chicago. I have only been to one Sox game.
I was fortunate enough to see Earnie Banks hit his 500th home run.
And don't tell my mom but I used to skip high school from time to time to go watch a Cubs game!
Glad you had such a good time Brenda!

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

I was too young to remember, but apparently while my father was at MBI we lived just blocks from Wrigley Field. My parents say you could hear the cheering from our apartment. I was apparently influenced by this fact. I am NOT hard core, but definitely am a Cub fan.

I smile at the image of your dear father diplomatically applauding for both teams. SO like him.

Bernie said...

What a wonderful post, filled with fun, friendship and loyalty. I really enjoyed reading about the good times you shared together and with friends......:-) Hugs

Donna's Book Nook said...

I too am a Cubs fan. I used to think when I watched them on TV thst they were losing because I was watching them--and I would turn it off! Great post!

Gina said...

LOL!! This was such a fun post. We are (unfortunately?) Tigers fans, living in Detroit and all.

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

I had my husband read this post. He liked it :) As I re-read it, I thought your style rather like Andy Rooney's. In fact, you might submit it, giving him permission to use it verbatim (with an appropriate honorarium, of course). The second time through, I saw your resemblance to your father in the words, "I like to think of myself as a Chicago fan...."

Brenda said...

Tee hee, Rebecca on the Andy Rooney comment. You are too kind!