The Cleveland Indians kick off a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox this week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night, the games begin at 7:10pm CT, with the final matchup scheduled for 1:10 pm CT. Based on a couple of recent FanPosts, it appears that many members of Let's Go Tribe plan on attending the game. While I'm not the foremost authority on Chicago-things, I've been to quite a few games at
Comiskey US Cellular Guaranteed Rate Field. I'll provide a few tips and opinions for enjoying your stormy, husky, brawling stay in the City of the Big Shoulders.
Under no circumstances should you drink Old Style
According to its website, "Old Style is a beer that revives the crisp rich freshness of a classic Pilsner: light in color and body, medium in aroma and bitterness, full flavored with a delicate aftertaste."
The delicate aftertaste is typically vomit. The only beer I've ever had that's worse than Old Style is Beer 30 light.
It tastes like regret, by the way. I once bought a 30-rack of these for a college party, and I lost my beer-buying privileges for the rest of the year.
Not that there's anything wrong with light beers, whether in calorie count or brewing method, it's just that there are many, many better options available. The White Sox have long been better than their friends to the north when it comes to supporting local breweries. When you're on the hunt for a cold one, look for the Midwest Brews stands. Also, you're not going to pay $9.50 for a 12 oz cup like you would at Wrigley.
If you really want to drink Old Style, there's nothing I can do to stop you, but remember that I tried to warn you when you wake up with what feels like a hatchet driven into your forehead.
There really aren't any bad seats
You don't need to worry about getting stuck behind a pole or anything like that. Even if you end up in the nosebleeds behind home plate, it's easy to see the action, and they keep a good number of concession stands open right behind those sections. More importantly: they keep the bathrooms up there open. Usually, you can score these seats for six bucks or so if you check StubHub, SeatGeek, and other ticket resale sites.
Should you decide that you want to sit in the lower bowl, tickets are still pretty competitively priced. I ended up getting a ticket for the first three games around section 141 for about $50 total, and the prices might be even lower now. As an aside, the ushers at White Sox games don't usually check for your tickets when you walk down into the lower bowl sections. If they do, you can usually go one section over and try again with success. I'm not saying that you should buy cheap seats and sneak down, but you totally could. The White Sox do not draw a lot of people during the week.
Bunting is stupid
I know that this isn't really related to the White Sox series at all, but it's good to be reminded every so often, isn't it?
The food in the stadium is solid, but can't touch Progressive Field
After this year's expansion, there really aren't any stadiums that can hold a candle to the food choices at Progressive Field. Not only is everything in Cleveland's stadium local, but it's also delicious. Progressive Field is basically the world's greatest food court from which one can also watch a Major League Baseball game.
The Sox aren't slouches when it comes to the munchies, either. There are Tex-mex stands in several different sections that allow you to build-your-own nacho helmet. You can find Elotes/Corn off the Cobb at a few spots as well, which is a bit of an unusual offering, but tasty nonetheless. 35th Street Tacos has one spot, but is allegedly delicious, and you know you will end up ordering maple-glazed bacon on a stick at some point. Just give in to the pig.
This is possibly unpopular opinion, but I really hate Beggar's Pizza. It's a South Side institution, so it feels bad for ripping on a local standby, but the slices I've gotten at the ball game have all been miserable.
Since we're discussing pizza, it's likely that you'll be looking for some of Chicago's legendary deep dish while you're in town. My vote for the best standard deep-dish in town goes to Lou Malnati's, but you can't go wrong with Gino's East. Giordano's is good, but it's technically "stuffed" pizza, and the crust just isn't the same. It's all about the crust. If you're interested in something a little different, check out Pequod's. It's a deep dish with caramelized cheese in place of a traditional edge crust, located at 2207 N Clybourn Ave. I'm not sure there's anywhere else you can eat this type of pie other than Burt’s Place in Morton Grove. For all deep dish places, I recommended calling ahead of time to check the wait and seeing if you can order early; it takes 45 minutes or so for the pizza to cook. Nomz.
What's up with the pinwheels/peppermint candies?
Bill Veeck took over the White Sox as the head of a syndicate in 1959. They won the pennant, and the following year Veeck installed an "exploding scoreboard" in center field. Measuring 130 feet wide, it was the first scoreboard from which fireworks exploded after every one of the home team's dingers. The pinwheels "spun" and flashed prominently during these celebrations, and as an homage to the old park they retain their spot above the scoreboard in the new park.
I'm not sure that anyone has ever actually used the XFINITY Fundamentals plaza
Allegedly the large pavilion above the concourse in left field exists is "devoted to young White Sox fans, providing them with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of baseball from Chicago White Sox Training Academy coaches." I've never seen anyone scale the 900 stairs to get up there and actually use it, however. Instead, it serves as an enormous advertisement for Comcast's cable services, which is something that we all love dearly.
Have fun! It's a baseball game
The weather looks to be fantastic for the coming week in Chicago, so no worries at all about bringing a poncho, unless it's a victory poncho. It'll be fun to see how many Indians fans we can pack into the place, and maybe we can help Let's Go Tribe get some STO love. See you at the game!