3 Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips

Chicago White Sox

3 Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

At some point I’ll cover the cool party areas in Chicago’s South Side ballpark…the new Goose Island is a pretty cool spot, and it’s near the amazing Craft Kave. But for now, let me just talk some basic Guaranteed Rate Field seating tips. I’ve already shared this important tip about the upper level here, but there’s a bit more to know about that too. Read on.


guaranteed rate field seating tips lower level

Nice not having butts in your face every inning.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, #1) The Lower Level. There are various levels of seating and pricing in the lower level, from the Scout seats to the corners, with a wide disparity in price. The corner seats are actually a pretty nice deal these days, and they’re not terrible seats.

Since the ballpark is symmetrical, there isn’t much difference whether you’re on the first or third base side, except for the fact that the sun sets behind the first base side and third base is in the shade last. There are usually 30-35 rows in lower level sections, so don’t expect much protection from the weather, especially for day games.

One nice thing is that the sections do not have as many seats in a row (usually eight) as most ballparks, so you won’t have as much of a problem of folks getting up in front of you.


guaranteed rate field seating tips outfield

Well, not bad if you don’t want someone sitting in left field to see you.

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, #2) Outfield Seating. The Lower Reserved seats in the outfield are in left field near the foul pole and in all of right field. These are actual seats as opposed to the bleacher-style benches in left center, which are cheaper.

The bleachers in left center field are bench-style seats, but they have backs on them with numbers, so you still have an assigned seat. Remember that the sun sets behind first base and it can be particularly blinding in the left field seats.

Section 100 along with the benches in Section 164 on the left field side may have an obstructed view. It can also affect Sections 101 and 163 if you’re sitting high enough. Be sure to get a low row if you get seats in these sections.

The outfield seats have a nice and wide concourse area to roam around in, and they’re close to the ballpark’s extra amenities, like the kids’ play area, the Plumbing Council shower, and the Goose Island Bar. The visiting team’s bullpen is in right field, all the better for heckling.


guaranteed rate field seating tips upper level

Yes, it’s steep. But it’s the White Sox!

Guaranteed Rate Field Seating Tips, #3) The Upper Level. Before the top eight rows were eliminated, the height and angle of the upper level seats could be downright terrifying. Fortunately, the situation has improved; you can only go so high now, and while the angle is still dizzyingly steep, now it’s just “scary”.

The Upper Corner seats are now the cheapest in the ballpark, and with good reason. As a Chicago native put it to me: “Waveland rooftops are closer!”

You probably won’t likely have to deal with obstructed views from the support poles, but just so you know: Facing home plate, Seat 1 in any section is always closest to home plate. So in the high rows down either line, seats 1-5 are likely to be the most problematic with the views. Honestly, though, at that height you’re more likely to be worried about vertigo.

And of course, you don’t have access to the lower level concourse from these seats. More about that here.


There’s three sections of Guaranteed Rate Field and some things to be aware of; stay tuned, I’ll be adding more about the seating soon enough.

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3 More Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options

Posted by Kurt Smith

I’ve talked about some of the big stars in Guaranteed Rate Field food options here, but one post isn’t enough of course. Here are some more very popular choices at the home of the White Sox, especially if you don’t have the time for a sit-down meal.


guaranteed rate field food options beggars pizza

Sometimes just pictures of pizza taste great.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options, #1) Beggars Pizza. Beggars is a local chain with 22 locations in Chicago and northern Indiana. They offer their classic thin crust here, but they’ve added a deep dish edition to rival Giordano’s at Wrigley. Beggars is generous with the cheese, as it should be…their slogan is “We lay it on thick!” You can get your slice with pepperoni or sausage at most stands.

The “Pizza Pub” in left center is the spot for unusual pizza types, including one with Italian beef and giardiniera. And a deep dish chocolate chip cookie. True. Beggar’s even has a gluten-free pizza for celiacs, which should be a nice selling point to my wife if we go again.


guaranteed rate field food options baked potato

See what they did there with the baseball reference?

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options, #2) Bases Loaded Baked Potato. The baked potato stand is where you get your fancy loaded potato…toppings include chicken carnitas, BBQ beef barbacoa, bacon, cheddar, broccoli, sour cream, butter and/or salsa. All your major food groups, including starch.

Last I checked, you could get a loaded sweet potato with butter and brown sugar. Makes a nice filling dessert.

The loaded potatoes are price, but they’re good-sized and enough of a meal in itself. Almost.


guaranteed rate field food options churros

There are plenty for everyone, but don’t depend on heat lamps to keep them fresh.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Options, #3) Churros. The Sox now have separate stands dedicated just to churros, which should tell you how popular they are around here. They’re available in quite a few flavors, including Oreo (ding!). Churros make for an easy-to-eat ballpark delicacy, especially when walking.

I’ve read that if you’re going for a churro, it’s best to get one early when they’re warm and fresh. At the ballpark you can do dessert first. It’s ok.


There you go, three more food choices at the home of the Pale Hose. Stay tuned…I’ll be adding more.

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Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants

Posted by Kurt Smith

Since the home of the White Sox is surrounded mostly by parking lots, the nearby scene is known far more for above average tailgating than a slew of eateries. (There are a few decent watering holes nearby though, contrary to popular myth.) That said, there are several Guaranteed Rate Field restaurants – as in attached to or inside the ballpark. Here are three worth noting:


guaranteed rate field restaurants chisox bar and grill

“Wait! I’ve just realized we can see the game live right next door!”

Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants, #1) The ChiSox Bar & Grill. The nice thing about the ChiSox Bar & Grill attached to the ballpark is being able to enjoy a meal before or after the game, without having to move your car.

The ChiSox draws a good crowd and the bar on the lower level gets pretty crowded. The food is popular among fans: burgers, tacos, sandwiches and appetizers like jalapeno cheddar hush puppies and pork nachos…and of course, wash it down with Big Hurt Beer. The ChiSox has appetizer specials on game days.


guaranteed rate field restaurants craft kave

This is about as good a spot for outdoor dining as you’ll find in Chicago.

Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants, #2) The Craft Kave. The White Sox turned the Miller Lite Bullpen Sports Bar into the much more tasteful Craft Kave…it’s actually a party area with seating in right field and a full bar underneath.

It used to be for groups, but you can now enter the Craft Kave and not only choose from over 70 Chicago area craft brews, but also some truly incredible craft burgers like the “Veeck as in Wreck” burger with two patties and onion rings piled on, or the “Wild Pitch” with mushrooms and Swiss. There’s even a White Sox staffer that helps you choose the perfect brew to go with your burgers. Amazeballs.


guaranteed rate field restaurants xfinity zone

Be sure to have someone on lookout for people trying to snag your seats.

Guaranteed Rate Field Restaurants, #3) Xfinity Zone. The Xfinity Zone in the lower right field concourse is a great spot for a sit down meal. There’s no view of the game, but there are plenty of TVs and you’re bound to be pretty close to one.

The menu includes superlative deli-style sandwiches such as the Ultimate Turkey Club and the Supreme Corned Beef, along with dogs, sausages and fried pickles and such. There’s a full bar with mixed drinks and domestic or craft brews.


There’s much more food at Guaranteed Rate Field to choose from…like the Comiskey Dogs and elotes, but this should help you choose a sit down spot in the absence of a nearby restaurant.

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Cheap White Sox Tickets – 3 Useful Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

When the Pale Hose struggle at the gate, there are numerous ways to find yourself some cheap White Sox tickets. Here are a few of my favorite tips.


cheap white sox tickets team alerts

They’re very nice people here, but check your inbox first.

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Tip #1) Get Team Ticket Alerts. I recommend this for every team, but the White Sox in particular offer very nice deals to their e-mail subscribers: monthly ballpark passes, flash sales of 200 or so tickets at a very nice price, and a “Sox Save of The Week”. No need to pay face price, especially when you can be flexible about when you go. Click here to sign up…


cheap white sox tickets box office

“I don’t know about the window with no line. What if it’s for farm vehicles?”

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Tip #2) Use The Box Office. Except for Opening Day and Cubs games, most White Sox games don’t sell out, and there’s no online fee for buying tickets at the box office. If you’re buying multiple tickets especially, the online fees add up, and they’re not necessary. Just go on game day and get tickets there.


cheap white sox tickets community

You don’t have to work quite so hard to get in the ballpark.

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Tip #3) Donate Blood Or Something. The White Sox hold community events and they offer free or discounted tickets to charitable groups…more so than most teams. Check the community and group tickets section of their website, because you may find a great deal for philanthropic sorts.


cheap white sox tickets seatgeek

Click the image to find deals on White Sox tickets.

Cheap White Sox Tickets, Bonus Tip!) Try SeatGeek. My friends at SeatGeek usually have great deals on White Sox tickets, and I’m not just saying that because they’re an affiliate of mine. Click here to check out their inventory of White Sox tickets…but remember that you can’t print them now. (Legal bit: That’s an affiliate link you’ve just passed, through which Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission. Thanks for your support!)

There’s three ways to save money on White Sox tickets, but there’s plenty more deals out there…stay tuned. If you’d like to know some things about seating here, check this out.

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Guaranteed Rate Field Parking – 3 Cheaper Alternatives

Posted by Kurt Smith

Chicago isn’t a cheap city, and Guaranteed Rate Field parking lots, while spacious and convenient, aren’t as cheap as they possibly could be. And while the tailgating is certainly respectable, there are some cheaper and sometimes more fun alternatives…


guaranteed rate field parking pace bus

New name, but same great service!

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Alternative #1: The Pace Guaranteed Rate Field Express. The Pace Bus is great if you’re going cheap; it’s just a few bucks each way, you can park for free in a suburb like Tinley Park, and you’re spared the traffic and parking hassles before and after the game…which can be considerable here.

Another nice thing is that you’ll be surrounded on the bus by White Sox fans.


guaranteed rate field parking reggies rock bus

You need to be seen on a bus like this.

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Alternative #2: The Reggies Rock Bus. The Reggies people tell me there is inexpensive parking near their popular music club…you can book it ahead of time with my affiliate ParkWhiz…but however you get to Reggies, you get to ride the awesome-looking Reggies Rock Bus to the game. (Note: the ParkWhiz link you just passed is an affiliate link. Feel free to use it and thanks for your support!)

Reggies (yes, there’s no apostrophe) also has specials that include a meal and game ticket, for an absolute steal of a price. Check them out.


guaranteed rate field parking red line

In case you didn’t know the ballpark is on 35th Street.

Guaranteed Rate Field Parking Alternative #3: The CTA Red/Green Lines. Okay, these are obvious – but I’ve already talked about Metra Rail here. Besides, both trains have their advantages – you can park very inexpensively at stations like Howard (or even in Chinatown for the Red Line), and from the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT station on the Green Line it’s a short walk past cool sandwich shops like Jimmy John’s to fill up your goody bag.

That’s just a few alternatives to the somewhat expensive and kind-of-boring-if-you’re-not-tailgating lots at Guaranteed Rate Field. But there are plenty of ways to get to the White Sox ballpark, so choose whatever works best for you.

(Reggies Rock Bus photo courtesy of Reggies.)

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Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field – 5 Tips For Newbies

Posted by Kurt Smith

If you’re visiting Guaranteed Rate Field for the first time to see the White Sox, there are a few things that you should definitely be aware of in this ballpark. It may not present the same challenges as Wrigley, but to some, that’s what makes Guaranteed Rate Field a fun place.

Here are some tips you should know for your first trip.


visiting guaranteed rate field ticket window

Hmmm…which window has that “generous” guy?

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #1: Get tickets from the box office. That is, unless you can find a crazy great deal from a third party seller; but the White Sox don’t sell out most games and they don’t charge fees at the box office. You can save quite a few bucks this way, especially buying multiple tickets.

The only exceptions to this rule are Cubs games and perhaps Yankees and Red Sox games on July/August weekends.


Guaranteed Rate Field seating 500 level

You didn’t check your E-Guide?

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #2: Avoid the upper (500) level seats! Yes, they’re cheap and yes they offer a nice panoramic view. They’re also restricted; fans with upper level tickets are not allowed to access other levels of the ballpark.

This can be a real downer for a traveling fan who likes to walk around an entire ballpark to see what food offerings and statues are there, and that’s most of us. 500 level seats are for people looking for a White Sox game on the cheap, not first time visitors. If you want to go cheap, go for the outfield corners.


visiting guaranteed rate field parking

Nothing but old lots that don’t take coupons to the right.

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #3: Drive only on Sundays. The CTA Red and Green Lines both serve Guaranteed Rate Field well, as does Metra Rail. All three have stations close enough to the ballpark that it’s in view from the station platform.

You can drive to the game if you want to be a part of a tailgating scene that is certainly respectable, but it’s a fairly high parking cost. Parking is much cheaper on Sundays, though, so save the brats and grill for the Sunday afternoon games and use CTA or Metra (or the Pace Express!) for the rest of them.


Guaranteed Rate Field food comiskey dogs

Chicago dogs in Chicago. When common sense just works.

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #4: Have a Comiskey Dog. Or Burger. The Comiskey dogs are the Chicago-style dogs at the ballpark; it’s a dog the way it’s meant to be in Chicago, with yellow mustard, chopped onions, neon green relish, pickle spear, tomato chunks, sport peppers and celery salt. Or get the Comiskey Burger…with cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and other Chicago Dog ingredients.

There’s other great food here like Bobak’s sausages and elotes, but the Comiskey dogs and burgers are the true taste of Chicago.


visiting guaranteed rate field with the kids

The short porch will jack up your kid’s power numbers.

Visiting Guaranteed Rate Field Tip #5: Bring the kids. Guaranteed Rate has one thing on its neighbor in Wrigleyville; it’s much more kid-friendly. Not only is it a whole lot cheaper to bring the little ones to a game, there’s a terrific Xfinity Kids Zone in left field, with interactive games and a wiffle ball field on the upper level.

And not to be derisive of the smaller crowds the Sox are drawing, but it is a bit less worrisome with little ones to not be in a concourse jammed with people as Wrigley so frequently is. Wait until the kids are a little older for the Friendly Confines…for now take them to a game on the South Side.

There you go…some first time tips for visiting Guaranteed Rate Field. There’s a whole lot more to know of course, but this should help you get started.

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Guaranteed Rate Field Seating – An Important Tip

Posted by Kurt Smith

Here is a very important tip for Guaranteed Rate Field seating, especially if you want to explore the place: get a lower level or bleachers ticket. The White Sox do not allow upper deck patrons in the lower level of the ballpark, and the rule is strictly enforced. Well, most of the time, anyway.


Guaranteed Rate Field seating 500 level

Not even the Rain Room? Rats!

I don’t know the exact reason for this policy, which has been in place for some time now. From what I’ve read, the White Sox had trouble with upper deck patrons going out onto the field and attacking coaches and umpires, but that seems a pretty thin reason to enforce a policy that no other team has to my knowledge.

My guess is that with the White Sox drawing about 20,000 a game or less, they would have troubles dealing with the occasional seat poacher and decided to free up their security for other potential problems.

Lower level seats are more expensive than upper level seats, and the lower level has a much wider variety of concessions, souvenirs, photo-ops and other attractions, like the huge center field concourse.

The upper level is just okay with its food selections, although they do have a Leinenkugel’s beer kiosk that sells some strange combinations of Leinie’s brews.


guaranteed rate field seating leinies

You’re not the first to think of lemon in beer, guys.

Whatever Sox fans’ opinions about it, it is what it is, so it’s a key thing to remember. You don’t want to make a pilgrimage to a ballpark and miss most of it because of a restrictive policy that you’d never heard of.

There are some ways to beat the system, though. Or at least try.

The first is to simply try getting in at a gate that leads to the lower level. When the gates open and there are lines, chances are that the ticket scanner will simply let you through without bothering to check the ticket. I read this in a forum post from 2002, however, so I’m not sure whether that would work today. The White Sox may have updated their scanners to not allow this.


guaranteed rate field seating main concourse

Anyone got an extra ticket to the Skyline Club?

Another method is to find someone you know who has a lower level ticket to the game, get a copy of it, and once you’re in the ballpark, use the copied lower level ticket to get into an area otherwise restricted to riffraff like you whenever an usher asks to see your ticket. This should work fine, but if you get confused and use the wrong ticket to get in, you risk personal injury that wouldn’t entirely be unjustified.

Sometimes, in later innings, if you explain nicely to an usher that you are visiting and just want to see the Harold Baines statue, they might let you through. But obviously, this isn’t something you can count on.

So really, sorry to say, the best option at Guaranteed Rate Field is to simply get a seat in the lower level; it’s a little easier now that the Sox offer cheap tickets in the outfield corners. There’s a lot to see, between the statues and the outfield concourse and the interactive games and such. Plus there is a much wider variety of food choices in the lower level, and there’s a lot of good grub here.


guaranteed rate field seating view of chicago

Well at least this view is nice.

The upper level has some perks—there’s a great view of the city from the ramps, a nice breeze on warm days, and murals of Sox history on the upper concourse walls. But honestly, between the nerve-wracking agitation from possibly the steepest upper deck in baseball and the limits of what can be accessed, I wouldn’t get an upper level seat unless I was just going to a game and didn’t care about seeing the ballpark.

Many White Sox fans are perfectly fine with that. But you might not be if you had driven hundreds of miles to see the place. Better to know ahead of time what type of seat to get.

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Get To Guaranteed Rate Field: Metra

Posted by Kurt Smith

To get to Guaranteed Rate Field isn’t near as challenging as getting to Wrigley, its venerable neighbor to the north. There are a few reasons for this: the White Sox offer more parking, they don’t draw as well as the Cubs, and there isn’t much else in the area drawing crowds, at least not at the moment.

But this isn’t to say that you won’t run into difficulties on the South Side. The Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) in Chicago was recently called one of the worst bottlenecks in America by Some Highway Commission; the Red Line gets packed before games—and people often complain of the odor of urine, although I don’t remember it; and the neighborhood, while improved, is not a place where many folks remain after the game.

But as of 2011 the nice folks at Metrarail, one of the public transportation arms of Chicago, have introduced a new remedy to all of this.


Get to guaranteed rate field metra

Lou Jones, apparently, was into stairways and ramps.

Metra is the commuter rail service serving the metropolitan area. Train lines run from towns as remote as Kenosha, Wisconsin and Manhattan, Illinois. It is a highly regarded service for commuters, with quiet and efficient cars.

It can be used for getting to Sox or Cubs games, but from most routes it involves a transfer to the CTA Red Line downtown, and sometimes that includes a walk of a few blocks.

In 2010 Metra feverishly worked on a station located at 35th and LaSalle Streets, which requires a very short walk to get to Guaranteed Rate Field. The new station is called the “Lou Jones/Bronzeville Station” named after Lou Jones/Bronzeville (snort), a state majority leader who passed in 2006.


get to guaranteed rate field metra tracks

See you in the Loop.

The new station is part of the Rock Island Line, which has its suburban terminus about 40 miles southwest of Chicago in Joliet. The daily fee for parking is usually just a buck or two, and it’s free to park on weekends—a much better deal than you’ll get anywhere close to the ballpark. Depending on how far away you start, the fare for the train one way can be between $2.25 and $7.75.

By yourself or with maybe one other person, it’s probably cheaper than gas and parking, not to mention the saved aggravation of driving in downtown Chicago, which can be irritating for a Sox game. Far better to enjoy a beer on a train.

There are, of course, many other cool, cheap and fun ways to get to Guaranteed Rate…like the venerable Red Line, the Pace Express Bus, the Reggies Rock Bus, or just driving you car. Stay tuned for more…

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Guaranteed Rate Field Food – 3 Things To Try

Posted by Kurt Smith

There is a lot of interesting variation on the Guaranteed Rate Field food menu. The White Sox, like most teams, offer a lot of local iconic eats, but they also feature a few items that acknowledge the Latin community in town, like elotes, Cuban sandwiches, hot tamales and walking tacos.

Here are three items worth trying at the ballpark…get your Chicago fix in and have some Latin flavor with it.


Guaranteed Rate Field food comiskey dogs

Comiskey Dogs? Wasn’t that a Quentin Tarantino movie?

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Tip #1: The Comiskey Dog. Well, yes. Chicago, as a city, worships the hot dog, and they have their own popular variation of it. The city is home to any number of hot dog joints, most all of which will hand you a dog cooked Chicago-style, or “dragged through the garden” as frequent Chicago visitors call it.

So it follows that you have to have a Vienna Beef classic on a poppy seed roll, topped with…in order…yellow mustard, chopped onions, neon green relish, pickle spear, tomato chunks, sport peppers and celery salt.

There are plenty of places to get ordinary dogs or Bobak’s sausages at Guaranteed Rate Field. But if you want the authentic stuff from the Windy City, Comiskey Dogs has it.


guaranteed rate field food comiskey burgers

The Chi-town pico is a nice healthy offset to bacon on a stick.

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Tip #2: The Comiskey Burger. Whoa, that was a curveball, right? Comiskey Burger? Did they even have burgers at ballparks in Comiskey’s day?

Well, the idea behind the Comiskey burger is to create a burger offering that is every bit as Chicago as the Comiskey Dog, which it is…the Comiskey Burger is two decent sized patties with cheddar cheese, topped with pico de gallo and the Chicago Dog ingredients, sport peppers and all.

Again, they have ordinary burgers at the rest of the stands, and you can get turkey or black bean burgers, but man, if you’re gonna get a burger, get that Chicago-style too. It’s worth the couple extra bucks.


guaranteed rate field food elotes

We keep the cobs and pass the savings on to you the consumer!

Guaranteed Rate Field Food Tip #3: Elotes. Elotes is another word for corn off the cob…yes, off the cob. At Guaranteed Rate (I’ll never get used to that name), the shucked corn comes with a load of toppings: salt, butter, cayenne pepper, cheese, and mayo. They call it a “healthy” option…I don’t know about all that, but they’re tasty and popular here.

If you’re wondering why corn off the cob isn’t just called “corn”, it’s because it’s shucked off the cob right there in front of you, as proof that it didn’t come from a can.

I’ve heard the White Sox wouldn’t sell actual corn cobs because of their weapon potential. But their selling of mac and cheese bites now kind of negates that theory.

There you go…three Guaranteed Rate food menu items worth trying at your next Sox game. Not only are they unique to this ballpark, they’re pretty unique as variations on classics too. But there’s also the burgers at the Craft Kave, the Southside Italian beef (sandwiches), the Wok-Off noodles, and Cuban Comet sandwiches…stay tuned.

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3 Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips

Posted by Kurt Smith

Hopefully this website has helped you with some decent Guaranteed Rate Field tips…I would have liked to know about that Comiskey Burger. But here are a few extras things you might like to check out while you’re at the “Rate” (sigh).


guaranteed rate field tips fundamentals

Because when you think youth baseball, you think Xfinity.

Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips, #1: The Fundamentals Kids Zone. The Comcast FUNdamentals area is located in the left field corner…kids can play on a wiffle ball field, and learn all kinds of baseball skills completely free of charge. It’s really impressive, as if the White Sox were attempting to make up for not having a kids zone for years.

It is also accessible from the upper level, so you don’t have to spend for a lower level seat just to bring the kids to happy zone. Nearby is a “Rookie’s Club” selling kid-sized portions of food.


guaranteed rate field tips view of chicago

Before all those big buildings were there, you could see Wrigley from here.

Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips, #2: The View From The Upper Level. As mentioned before, if you have an upper level seat you aren’t allowed in the lower sections. But it’s not all bad, since the ramps are on the northern side of the ballpark, and at the top on a clear day you can have a fine view of the Chicago skyline. This is even worth the trip if you’re sitting in the lower level to begin with.


guaranteed rate field tips rain room

When they put lockers in for towels, it’s gonna rock.

Extra Guaranteed Rate Field Tips, #3: The Rain Room. The Rain Room in the large outfield concourse area is a throwback to the days of late White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who never ran out of ways to improve the baseball experience for fans. It is a small area where fans can duck out of the heat and have a cool mist sprayed on them. The original shower was brought over from the old Comiskey, but is only on display now as an ad for some plumbing outfit. If you want to get some odd looks, head for the Rain Room during an April night game.

There are also the player statues in the outfield, the tailgating scene before the game, and the humorous special promotions the White Sox feature, like 80s Mullet Night (OK, my past mullet isn’t something I’d admit to…not for upper level tickets, anyway). All good stuff. But these are three of my favorite Guaranteed Rate Field tips.

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Where’s The Love For White Sox Fans?

Posted by Kurt Smith

I have great respect for White Sox fans. It can’t be easy. For all of the romanticizing of the 86-year championship drought endured by Red Sox fans and the continuing looking to next year that Cubs fans endured, White Sox fans never seemed to garner any sympathy for the 88 seasons that they pulled for the Pale Hose without seeing a championship.

Surely, thousands of fans attended games through their entire lives without ever once seeing their heroes on top of the baseball world.


white sox fans 100 years

2001 was year 84 of the drought.

In the years from 1919 to 2005 after the Black Sox, the White Sox had four playoff appearances, losing in the first round of each one…the World Series of 1959, the American League Championship Series of 1983 and 1993, and the League Division Series of 2000. They had experienced almost every bit the level of futility as the Red Sox or Cubs, if not the devastating near misses. Yet the White Sox seemed to garner nowhere near the compassion.

One possible reason is, of course, the so-called Curse of the Black Sox. Bambino and Billy Goat curses are easier for fans to pour their heart into…after all, what did Ted Williams or Carl Yastrzemski or Ernie Banks or Ryne Sandberg do to deserve to never win a title in their careers? But it seems more just for the baseball gods to punish a team that desecrated the sanctity of the World Series.

To this day the biggest names associated with the White Sox to most fans are Charles Comiskey, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver and Eddie Cicotte…names that are just as well known (thanks partly to Eliot Asinof and Hollywood) as Frank Thomas, Luke Appling, Harold Baines or owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who paid for the 2005 championship drought-ending team. Even if you are sympathetic to Shoeless Joe, as many fans are, that can’t be an easy legacy to champion.

I’ve asked some White Sox fans what they think is the reason the Sox’s drought gets dismissed in comparison. The consensus is generally that while the Black Sox may have something to do with it, there are some other possible reasons too.

For one, White Sox never seemed to suffer the colossal near misses that the Red Sox did.


white sox fans red sox

They probably figured they’d be putting up another banner well before 2004.

The Red Sox made four World Series in their 86-year drought; each one went seven games and ended in a Red Sox loss. In 1986 the Red Sox blew a two-run lead in the tenth inning of Game 6, coming within one strike of winning the Series before a ground ball trickled through Bill Buckner’s legs.

The Curse of the Bambino was by far the easiest of all to really believe in, given the crushing defeats that always seemed to befall the Red Sox. Until the NLCS of 2003 and the infamous Bartman game, the Cubs seemed to simply suffer from a usually incompetent roster more than a black cloud waiting to unceremoniously deflate fragile hopes.

Another reason a White Sox fan suggested to me is the lack of a well-known rivalry with a team whose success on the field has been the opposite of futility. The Red Sox have, of course, the fierce rivalry with the Yankees that has lasted ever since the sale of Babe Ruth to the Bronx. The Yankees are the most successful team in major sports history, with 27 World Series championships.

In second place in World Series titles is the St. Louis Cardinals…who scored a miraculous 11th in 2011, and who were for many years the Cubs’ biggest rival. While interleague play has turned Cubs and White Sox fans into snarling crosstown enemies, the Cubs fans rivalry with Cards fans is still going pretty strong.


white sox fans indians

Don’t worry, we’ll get another star pitcher when Feller retires.

By contrast, the White Sox have never had a team in their division racking up titles and bringing crowing fans into Comiskey/U.S. Cellular/Guaranteed Rate from out of town.

There’s a rivalry of sorts with the Indians, but the Tribe has been enduring a pretty long championship drought of its own—64 years as of this writing and probably counting. White Sox fans don’t care much for Tigers fans, but the Tigers have only put four titles on the board, just one more than the Sox.

Then there’s the characterization of the teams’ fan bases.


white sox fans cta

Two directions…two entirely different baseball worlds.

Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago are separated only by a half-hour train ride on the CTA Red Line. But they might as well be in different countries. At Wrigley a baseball game is a celebration that engulfs the entire neighborhood, from the rooftops of nearby houses to the drinking establishments where the party often continues, win or lose.

At Guaranteed Rate, fans are there to see a game, and the only partying is in the parking lots—although there is a considerable amount of happy times there. There is almost no ballpark neighborhood to speak of, and the South Side has a reputation for being a place people don’t want to be at night, so if you’re not interested in baseball, you’re less likely to enjoy yourself at a White Sox game. But at least won’t be surrounded by mai-tai drinking cell phone users, and you can better follow what’s going down on the field.

Sure, what the Cubs endured was rough, and being a Red Sox fan for those 86 years could have made normal people suicidal. That aside, it’s not like White Sox fans haven’t had to endure more than their share of heartache.

They won 99 games in 1983, only to lose an ALCS to a seemingly destined Orioles club. They had to face a well-funded Blue Jays team in 1993 and hung tough until a six-game ALCS loss. The 2000 Sox won 95 games, the best in the American League, but fell to the Mariners in four games of the ALDS.

For 40 years, Sox fans had to live with their team corrupted into a loss in their last appearance in the World Series. The 1959 World Series loss to the Dodgers had to be tough too…Sox fans knew very well by then how long it could be before their team could make it back to the Big Show, and indeed the White Sox wouldn’t be back again for another 46 years.


white sox fans world champs

So what’s a measly 88 years?

That the Sox swept the Astros in four games in the 2005 Series probably saved the hearts of some older Sox fans, who would have had enough without a nail-biter seven-game Series.

To grow up in the city of Wrigley Field and the Cubs and become a White Sox fan, one must acquire or already possess a nonconformist nature. It could be argued that White Sox fans are more dedicated than most in baseball, even if the White Sox aren’t among league leaders in attendance. Not only did they go 88 years without a title, they did it without soulful books and poetic tributes from sportswriters about a suspected hex that had been placed on their team.

So here’s to the White Sox fans…and all their loyal dedication to the Sox without forming support groups.

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Old Comiskey Park – Book Review

Posted by Kurt Smith

Most baseball fans will tell you that the demolition of their old home ballpark was a very sad day in their lives, and Old Comiskey Park was no slouch in its historical value. As an Orioles fan I still feel that way about Memorial Stadium. But time moves on, and the job of an author is to capture what was.

My friend Floyd Sullivan, author of “Waiting for the Cubs”, has done an outstanding job of just that, with his collection of essays from writers, players and fans about the old ballpark on the South Side of Chicago. The full title of the tome is “Old Comiskey Park: Essays and Memories of the Historic Home of the Chicago White Sox, 1910-1991“.


Old Comiskey Park book

Old Comiskey Park, by Floyd Sullivan of the Waiting For The Cubs blog.

If you are an older Sox fan especially, this book should be your Bible when it comes to their beloved former home.

The book begins with a terrific piece from Carl Rinder, describing the early history of the area and the three neighborhoods bordering Comiskey: Bridgeport, Douglas, and Chinatown. This is followed by Richard Smiley’s essay of the construction of the new ballpark in 1910, replacing the then state of the art Sox Park.

From there the book details the history of events that took place at Comiskey…like the first ever All-Star Game, with the two teams led by the heavyweight managers of the day–John McGraw and Connie Mack; the Negro League games played by the American Giants of Chicago and the popular East-West games that were often played there; the 1919 “Black Sox” World Series, the 1959 World Series, the 1983 ALCS, and three other All-Star Games.

Sullivan himself contributes a section dedicated to other events held at Comiskey. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Cinderella Man”, you know that Joe Louis claimed James Braddock was the toughest fighter he ever fought. That fight took place at Comiskey. There were legendary wrestling matches, it was the home of the Chicago football Cardinals, even roller derby events. And of course, the Beatles played Comiskey Park.

My personal favorite parts of the book are the bits about the inimitable Bill Veeck, who owned the Sox for a spell and was known for his imaginative promotions.

Dan Helpingtine contributes a great bit about Veeck…including, of course, the story behind “Disco Demolition Night”. It wasn’t Veeck’s finest hour.


old comiskey park book veeck

Veeck as in wreck.

But Veeck’s contributions to the game are often underappreciated…such as the home run celebration, extremely common today but unusual when the scoreboard first exploded at Comiskey. That was not a popular celebration among other teams…which was precisely why it stayed.

And I didn’t know this: the tradition of Harry Caray singing ”Take Me Out To The Ballgame” started at Comiskey. Caray was the White Sox announcer, and Bill Veeck urged him to lead the crowd, knowing that everyone in the stands could sing it better than he could and wouldn’t be afraid to join in. If that doesn’t cement Veeck as a promotional genius, I don’t know what does.


old comiskey park book shower

Guaranteed Rate Field does indeed have the shower.

Another excellent piece comes from Greg Prince, author of the popular Mets blog “Faith and Fear in Flushing”. Prince tells his story of being in Chicago on business and wanting to visit Wrigley, but with the Cubs out of town he decides reluctantly to visit Comiskey instead…and while there he is shocked by what a true gem Comiskey turned out to be as a home of baseball, and to this day favors it to Camden Yards and PNC Park.

Towards the end are the somber reflections of players, personnel and fans as they share their memories and the emotion of losing their childhood second home. Interestingly, there is a consensus that it needed to be replaced among most, very unlike the angry fan reaction to the demise of Tiger Stadium. But this isn’t of much comfort to fans. There are quite a few tearjerker moments, something older Tigers and Orioles fans can certainly understand.

“Old Comiskey Park” is a large volume, and it works best as a coffee table book that you can open to any page and read a story about something that happened at Comiskey…like the first All-Star Game, the East-West Negro League games, or Disco Demolition Night. Or the great White Sox teams, like the Go-Go Sox or the South Side Hitmen, or the personalities like Charles Comiskey, Al Simmons or Bill Veeck.

For anyone who loved the old park, it’s an absolute must have…and for any White Sox fan or student of baseball history, it’s a great read. Check it out.

(Legal bit: This article contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. Should you use the links here to make a purchase, Ballpark E-Guides earns a commission. Thanks for your support!)

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