Sunday, May 22, 2016

White Sox

We are White Sox fans.

There, I've said it. It can be a polarizing sort of statement in this town with two teams. But we are definitely White Sox fans.

When we first moved here I was a young(er) lass from a state with no professional teams—fans of the D.C. franchises will argue this point with me no doubt, but I felt no real allegiance to their teams. Closeness in proximity does not equal closeness to my heart. So I came to the city as a tabula rasa, ready to experience all that Chicago had to offer. After attending both a Cubs and a White Sox game, however, I knew which colors I would wear.

Which is to say no colors, because the White Sox wear black and white.

Good thing, too, because then we moved into a building with a view of U.S. Cellular Field! We can watch the fireworks after home runs and wins—some years there are more than others. If we're watching the game on t.v. we actually see the fireworks before the live delay can catch up, so in a way we can predict the future!

This year for my birthday, the Little Dragans and Grant got me Pick Seven: 4 tickets to 7 White Sox games! I have wanted this for a really long time! Very strategic gift-giving, Little Dragans, as I'm sure they figured I'd need some help filling all those seats.

Happy Birthday to me.

White Sox games are a great activity for kids! Some tips (you all seem to like these):
1. Take the Red Line El and practice your "How Many Stops?" game. For us, this is easy: one.
2. You can pack one closed water bottle up to one liter in size for each ticket holder. Do it.
3. Hats. Sunscreen. And then a bit more sunscreen.
4. Check out all of the kids zone activities and cool off in the "showers." Just explore all the different areas of the stadium if they get bored with the game. I know, even super fans can get a little bored at baseball games.
5. Hot Dogs. On the 4th of July they're only $1!!
6. If the player chooses a Reggaeton walk-up song, it's obviously because he wants you to stand up and dance.
7. Go crazy and try to get on the Jumbotron. Little Guy and Grant were on it yesterday! #BucketList. Immediately afterward, one of Grant's work colleagues e-mailed him to say he saw him. It was a very Ferris Bueller moment. Except that was a Cubs game.
8. Have fun! And invite us along if you feel you need some expert-fan friends. Bring your gloves to try to catch a fly ball.

 Not this time. Six more chances this season!

I've been working with a reading group in B's class on In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord. I remember this book from when I read it in the third or fourth grade, and it is just as gorgeous as I remember. Shirley Temple Wong immigrates from China to Brooklyn in the '40s and learns how to make friends with her new classmates while Jackie Robinson breaks down barriers in the major leagues. The writing and the imagery are unmatched—and, it turns out, pretty tough for first-graders to totally understand. Thus, my work with them. 

In 1997 Jackie Robinson's number was retired from all teams. To commemorate his historic debut in major league baseball each year on April 15th, every player wears his iconic number 42.

If the first-graders have missed some of the subtleties of Bette Bao Lord's voice and unique childlike narration, they have at least gotten very interested in the historical figure of Jackie Robinson and the fantastic sport that he played. I'm going to leave you with this passage that we just went over on Friday in which Shirley Temple Wong's teacher explains why baseball is our national pastime. I challenge you not to get a little teary-eyed (by the way, I fail at this challenge every time).

     "In our national pastime, each player is a member of a team, but when he comes to bat, he stands alone. One man. Many opportunities. For no matter how far behind, how late in the game, he, by himself, can make a difference. He can change what has been. He can make it a new ball game.
     In the life of our nation, each man is a citizen of the United States, but he has the right to pursue his own happiness. For no matter what his race, religion or creed, be he pauper or president, he has the right to speak his mind, to live as he wishes within the law, to elect our officials and stand for office, to excel. To make a difference. To change what has been. To make a better America.
     And so can you! And so must you!" 
(Lord, Bette. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Harper Collins: 1984. 92)

I hope you'll make it to a game this summer, even if it's that other team in Chicago. Have a hot dog and think of us if you do!

Me, B. Soooooo sad the Sox LOST!!! They were in first place but they LOST against the Royals. I'm so bummed!


  1. Replies
    1. Me too! The first-graders liked it too, although one of them commented after I read it aloud, "You sound like 'kid president'!"—of viral youtube fame. Kids these days...