For the Chicago White Sox Home Opener, Soxman’s day started at 3:00 a.m. From meeting future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas to visiting various members of Chicago Media to watching the final out of the White Sox defeat of the Detroit Tigers, Soxman shares his experience with the Sportsbank.net including photos from the great day.
I look forward to the White Sox Home Opener each year as much as I do Christmas morning. As much as it can be a struggle “staying energetic” from the point my alarm clock plays “Let’s Go Go White Sox” at 3:00 a.m. to posing for my last photo before heading back to the Sox cave after 5:00 p.m., I honestly believe I’m the luckiest person in the world.
To have the opportunity to interact with so many wonderful people, to be honored by hearing people pay compliment to articles I’ve written in the paper, or laughed at our zany antics on television or to being asked to pose for a photo or have a child ask for your autograph on a baseball or jersey is without a doubt the greatest honor in the world. My only regret is that I wish there was more time to talk!
Here’s a rare view of opening day through my mask.
Preparation usually begins with selection of the costume for the game the night before.
With my newest costume this year, Soxman now has seven different costumes with interchangeable parts to hopefully keep things fresh for fans and photos. To answer a couple of questions I receive a hundred times each year: yes I sweat immensely in the costume- especially in the summer, and yes I wash the costumes as much as possible, but Febreeze does work in a pinch.
On our way to the park we gave a quick shout out to the White Sox awesome Social Media coordinator and recorded a quick piece for WhiteSox.com. The White Sox have become a team with one of the more active social media presences on the web with good reason: they get it. Our piece is not up yey but keep checking back.
We arrived at Bacardi at the Park a little before 6 a.m. and were immediately greeted by 104.3 K-Hits where Batboy and I had the honor of meeting Chicago radio legends Eddie and Jobo, who are back in their normal morning radio spot and as crazy as ever! K-Hits features the music of the 70’s through the 90’s with radio’s dynamic duo complimenting the music nicely. Despite their years of fortune and fame, Eddie and Jobo are two of the coolest, most down-to-earth guys you’ll meet. Jobo even put $300 of beverages on his own credit card for fans who came out early. They both chatted with us for a long while as well.
Then we were delighted to make a quick stop on NBC’s Morning News, where we met long-time Chicago weatherman, Andy Avalos and new reporter Lauren Petty (she’s married guys) to toast in the new season. They were all very cool to work with and techie savvy in the world of Social media snapping off photos with their phones and I-Pads and posting them to Twitter and Facebook.
A quick throw for WGN, a little more interaction with Eddie, Jobo and the K-Hits crew and we were off to film a post-opening day piece with one of the most fun and creative roving reporters you will ever meet or work with in WCIU’s You and Me This Morning’s Aly Bockler. Despite her allegiance to the Chicago Cubs, Aly still cheers for the White Sox and comes up with some of the more entertaining ideas on television while finding creative hooks to show it. The piece will air on April 16th and appear on their web page shortly after.
The day wouldn’t have been complete without continuing on the 4-year tradition of attending the WGN Morning News Opening Day Party where we were interviewed by Ana Belaval and of course had some great interaction with massively popular Pat Tomasulo. The exciting part about working with them is that you never know what they are going to ask you on live television as they transition. You are on camera and then you just roll with it!
So the questions on bringing the Sox luck, the interaction piece on Batboy not talking was pretty much all shot from the hip. Yet it seemed to work! While our interview is not online yet, you can see one of our many out-takes by clicking here: WGN Morning Show
The biggest surprises of the day however came from meeting two of my favorite White Sox players of all-time, 1983 AL Rookie of the Year, Ron Kittle and Future Hall of Famer, the Big Hurt Frank Thomas, who was promoting his post-baseball business venture in Big Hurt Beer. While Soxman doesn’t drink alcohol, fans at Bacardi at the park really seemed to enjoy it. The Big Hurt was very approachable and was even nice enough to take a picture for some fans as they posed with Pat Tomasulo!
Ron Kittle is pretty active on Facebook and Twitter and offers some hilarious perspectives on everything from baseball to standing in line at McDonalds!
Of course there was nothing better than interacting with the fans. Longtime Facebook chum September Vawter expressed she was able to scratch one item off her bucket list in getting a photo with Batboy and I. Talk about an honor. Getting the opportunity to share s simple hello, or outlook on the upcoming season with so many great people is a privilege beyond words.
After an exciting White Sox victory, we had walked back to the Sox mobile, posing for a few (dozen) picture along the way. Changed back into our alter egos and drove back to the Sox Cave, where the new Sox Dog, got a much-needed walk!
To our friends in Chicago media we say thank you for making us a part of your day. To the management of Bacardi at the Park- may your popularity continue to grow and to the White Sox Media Relations staff who coordinated all logistics—GREAT JOB and thanks for your hospitality. To White Sox fans without whom we’d be another face in the crowd, you truly are the GREATEST IN THE WORLD!
Soxman is a senior contributor to the Sportsbank.net and local journalist making contributions all through-out Chicago media. You can follow him on Twitter @thesoxman72.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks