,
|
The White Sox home opener at Guaranteed Rate Field was a rainy affair on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (WTTW News)

For the first time since 2019, fans are back at Guaranteed Rate Field to watch the White Sox in person. As part of our community reporting series, we visit the area to see how fans are settling in — and how the area is faring one year into the pandemic.

|
Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu (79) high-fives Yermin Mercedes (73) after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of an MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, April 2, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. Mercedes, Tim Anderson, and Luis Robert (88) also scored. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Yermín Mercedes got his first five major league hits and drove in four runs, and José Abreu hit a grand slam for the Chicago White Sox in their 12-8 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

|
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the return of fans to baseball stadiums with a video posted Monday, March 8, 2021 on social media that showed her playing catch with Cubs mascot Clark and Sox mascot Southpaw. (Credit: Chicago’s Mayor’s Office)

As the spread of COVID-19 slows, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday that fans would soon be allowed back in the stands at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. But the ballpark experience will be significantly different.

|
In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, former Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque before the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton, File)

White Sox manager Tony La Russa says he doesn’t have a drinking problem. He also says he has to prove that with his behavior.

|
Former Philadelphia Phillies’ Dick Allen waves to the crowd before a baseball game against the New York Mets in Philadelphia, in this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo / Matt Slocum, File)

The Philadelphia Phillies, the team Dick Allen started out with, announced his death Monday. The seven-time All-Star, 1964 NL Rookie of the Year and 1972 AL MVP started out with the Philadelphia Phillies, who retired his No. 15 in September.

|
In this July 28, 2020, file photo, Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu looks up after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning in the second baseball game of the team's doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak, File)

The first baseman from Cuba got 21 of the 30 first-place ballots in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

|
In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, former Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque before the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton, File)

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa blew out a tire on the grey Lexus he was driving in a collision with a curb that left the vehicle smoking when he was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in February, according to an affidavit filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

|
In this Aug. 30, 2014, file photo, former Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque before the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton, File)

Tony La Russa, the Hall of Famer who won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals, is returning to manage the Chicago White Sox 34 years after they fired him.

|
Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria watches as players practice during a baseball workout in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu)

The White Sox announced Monday Renteria won't return after he led them to a 35-25 record in his pandemic-shortened fourth year. They ended a string of seven consecutive losing seasons with their first playoff appearance since 2008.

|

All season long, a fan in the south suburbs has scored all 63 games – and then illustrated the scorecards with original artwork.

|
(WTTW News)

Amid uncertainty in Chicago and across the nation, a ray of hope: Chicago’s baseball teams are in first place, and the city’s beloved Bears pulled off a miracle comeback. Can professional sports actually be a tonic for tough times?

|
In this July 22, 1977, file photo, people portraying ghost players emerge from a cornfield as they reenact a scene from the movie “Field of Dreams” at the movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.  (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall, File)

The game at a newly constructed ballpark on the cornfield adjacent to the site of the 1989 movie had been scheduled for Aug. 13 in Dyersville, Iowa.

|
Tyler Saladino (Courtesy of MBC Sports Korea)

Tyler Saladino had some exciting moments on the South Side when he spent parts of four seasons with the White Sox. Now he’s on the field in South Korea.

|

As Chicago baseball fans hunker down and hope for the return of their favorite summertime sport, a viewer wonders how Chicago sports soldiered through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

|
Ed Farmer, White Sox Broadcaster, Former Pitcher, Dies at 70 In this April 28, 2008, photo, radio broadcaster Ed Farmer is shown in the broadcast booth before a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox in Chicago. (Rich Hein / Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

Ed Farmer rooted for the White Sox growing up on Chicago’s South Side and went on to become an All-Star reliever for them.

|
White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

There is no joy in Mudville (or in Chicago for that matter) as the coronavirus pandemic has struck out Major League Baseball. Jason Benetti and Len Kasper talk about what might have been — and what may happen in the weeks to come.