When the White Sox made it to the playoffs in 2020 for the first time since 2008, COVID-19 restrictions meant fans could only watch on television.
That makes it mean all the more to Darien resident and lifelong Sox fan Jason Brown that this year, he’s been able to go to games all season.
“Everybody has a little gleam in their eye because the team’s doing good, and also, too, a lot of this stuff you can’t take for granted because last year we weren’t afforded this chance to come out,” Brown said. “Everything in life, when you got people cheering you on — literally cheering you on, you can hear ‘em, you can feel the energy — you do better when you got folks behind you.”
Brown said he wanted to take the time Monday to show the team that “I’m behind ‘em and I love ‘em,” by attending the Sox’s “Change the Game” postseason kickoff rally.
It had a “family reunion” feel, Brown said.
Thousands of fans showed up to win shirts and hats, play trivia and take photos with mascot Southpaw for the event held just outside Guaranteed Rate Field.
MeMe Bracey grew up near the stadium, but said this was the first year she actually went to a game for her birthday Aug. 27 which was a Crosstown Classic that the Sox won.
“It means a lot to us to be able to reunited, I know a lot of us are much more appreciative after everything that went on,” she said.
The American League Central Division champs will face the AL West winners Astros in Houston for two games starting Thursday, before returning to Chicago for a home game on Sunday.
“It’s so much fun when you’re inside that stadium, you feel that energy, you feel that vibe,” said fan Ozzie Chavez.
Ozzie isn’t his given name, but it’s what he’s gone by it since his uncle started calling him that in ‘05, when manager Ozzie Guillen led the team to their first World Series win since 1917.
He’s among the fans who believe the Sox have what it takes to do it again this year.
“You gotta stand next to your team … you’ve got to have loyalty and that’s what we have for this team right here,” Andy Kohn said. “There’s only one team in Chicago: 35th and Shields, right here.”
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