Chicago White Sox fans have been waiting a long time for this — seeing their team in the playoffs. 2005 was a magical season, but it also set a new standard amongst the team’s fan base. Years after that championship campaign, U.S. Cellular Field (now Guaranteed Rate Field) was rocking seemingly every season. 2008 was another great year for the franchise as they made the postseason by clinching the American League Central division crown in Game 163 in a tiebreaker (which was dubbed the Blackout Game) against the Minnesota Twins. It seemed like the trajectory of the club was upwards. However, the 2010s made it all seem like a distant memory. Then the hated crosstown rivals (a four letter word that Pale Hose fans detest hearing or see) won the World Series in 2016. It was an absolute new low for the fans and the team.
Turnaround for the Franchise
However, one quote in 2016 summed up how many fans had felt. It was also a turning point for the White Sox when general manager Rick Hahn said this:
“As we sit here today, wrestling with being a couple of games over or a couple of games under .500 for the last few weeks, we’re mired in mediocrity. That’s not the goal, that’s not acceptable, that’s not the goal we’re trying to accomplish in the long-term.”
Those three words “mired in mediocrity” ultimately kick-started a new and exciting era in White Sox baseball. That was when the rebuild began. 2017-19 were some absolutely brutal years for the devotees, but everyone of them knew what was coming. This team was about to become very good, as they had talent. There were bright young players like Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Dylan Cease. Then there were Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson, whom the team built around. The team signed players like Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, and Liam Hendriks to improve the team. They traded for Lance Lynn, Ryan Tepera, and Craig Kimbrel to solidify their roster.
It might have taken a while, but this team is finally a contender. It has brought excitement to the Southside of Chicago. 2020 was the first year that showed how much progress there was, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Pale Hose made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. That being said, it was not played amongst the fans.
Excitement on the Southside
2021 was another amazing season as the White Sox clinched the AL Central title, their fourth (sixth overall when including the AL West). They had made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history. Finally, the supporters, the same ones that had been begging for not only a winner, but a direction, had gotten what they have wanted. This is one of the most passionate and loyal fanbases in baseball (which have never gotten the recognition despite proven over and over again) and now finally there is a reason to be excited again.
Guaranteed “Rocking” Field
The Sox are down 0-2 to the Houston Astros right now in the American League Division Series. However, once the team takes the field on Sunday, the place will be absolutely rocking. It will be as if the devotees have no knowledge of the deficit they are in. These fans have been waiting 13 years for this moment and deserve to soak in every moment. Even if the Pale Hose fail to advance to the American League Championship Series, the front office will do everything they can to make sure they stay as contenders and give more exciting moments to their supporters for the next few seasons.
The rest of the country is about to be exposed to Southside baseball on Sunday. The nation is about to see what it is all about. But the Sox faithful already know and have known for a long time. Besides, it’s about time that their club is talked about more than that team that shall not be named from the Northside.