Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Preparations are well underway to kick off another season of White Sox baseball at U.S. Cellular Field. Staff are putting the finishing touches on the ballpark for what promises to be a fantastic home opener (weather permitting, of course). Although the traditionally superstitious may take exception with the date, here we are looking forward to LUCKY Friday the 13th of April at 1:10 p.m.
For the home opener vs. Detroit, all fans in attendance will receive a 2012 White Sox magnet, presented by U.S. Cellular, as they enter the ballpark. To avoid missing out on any pre-game ceremonies, we suggest fans arrive by 12:30 p.m. The National Anthem will be performed by national recording artist and Academy of Country Music Award winner Jack Ingram.
Grammy award-winning rapper, actor and South Side native COMMON has this season’s honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener. COMMON, a lifelong Sox fan and former Bulls ball boy, is the founder of the Common Ground Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower underprivileged youth to be strong citizens and includes programs dedicated to leadership development & empowerment, educational development, creative expression, as well as a book club. He is hosting the foundation’s annual Awards Gala and Fundraiser on Saturday night at the Ritz Carlton here in Chicago. For making the South Side proud, the White Sox are honored to have you COMMON!
The fun continues on Saturday, April 14 at 3:10 p.m. The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a White Sox knit bomber hat (see image below).
Also for Saturday’s game, Kierra Franklin, a Girl Scout Ambassador in troop 60823 of Chicago, will throw out the first pitch. She is currently working on developing a career camp for middle school-aged girls for her Gold Award project.
The final game of the opening series is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. on Jackie Robinson Day, an extremely important day across all of Major League Baseball.
White Sox players, coaches and manager Robin Ventura will wear No. 42 to honor Robinson. There also will be a very special ceremonial first pitch honoring four generations of African American contributions to baseball. Additionally, April 15 is the first throwback Sunday, where the White Sox will wear red pinstriped throwback uniforms and red Sox caps to honor the 1972 team for their 40th anniversary. The Sox will continue this at the remaining Sunday home games this season.
Finally, this Sunday is the first Kids Day of 2012. Tickets for kids 13 and under are available for only $1 (with a fully paid adult) at the ticket window on the day of the game. Before the game, players will sign autographs and the kids will be able to run the bases after the game (weather permitting).
We are all looking forward to a great season of White Sox baseball. If you can’t make it out to the ballpark this weekend, you can watch Friday and Saturday’s games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Sunday’s game will be aired on WGN-TV.
Road Trip Notes
PK currently is tied with Hall of Famer Luke Appling for second in franchise history with 3,528 total bases. With his next hit, Konerko will move into sole possession of second, trailing only Frank Thomas (3,949).
- Alejando DeAza’s lead off home run last night was the first lead-off shot of his career and first by a White Sox hitter since Scotty Pods did it on 10/2/09 at Detroit.
- How did Robin Ventura celebrate his first career managerial victory on Saturday night, with tons of calls and texts from friends and a bottle of Dom Perignon from Adam Dunn.
- When Ventura won his first game and Hector Santiago earned his first career save, it marked the first time in Major League history a manager netted his first victory and a rookie pitcher his first save in the same game.
- Adam Dunn’s Opening Day home run in Texas was the eighth of his career, tying Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson for the most in baseball history.
Friday: Max Scherzer vs. Jake Peavy
Saturday: Adam Wilk vs. Gavin Floyd
Sunday: Rick Procello vs. Chris Sale
Home Opener Notes of Interest
The White Sox have won nine of their last 10 home openers (2007 the exception) when they face the Tigers Friday at 1:10 p.m. (the only tickets remaining for the opener are standing room, available at www.whitesox.com.
The Sox are 12-9 at U.S. Cellular Field and 12-11 vs. the Tigers all-time in home openers. Sox starters are 7-1 with a 3.62 ERA over the last 10 home openers as Jake Peavy becomes the sixth pitcher to start in the last 10 years (joining Mark Buehrle, Esteban Loaiza, Jose Contreras, Javier Vazquez and Edwin Jackson).