A good contingent of Northwest Indiana fans took advantage of specially priced tickets for residents of the region at the Chicago White Sox’ May 30 home game against the San Diego Padres.
And even though the home team could not come through with a victory, dropping a 4-1 decision, fans still had plenty to be excited about on a perfect night for baseball.
The Guzman family, from Highland, planned to attend “Northwest Indiana Night” as a way to celebrate the end of their son’s school year by taking him, a huge White Sox fan, and his friend out to the ballpark.
“I think this is a great ballpark for families, there are plenty of things for the kids to do,” said the Guzman mom, who noted she originally came for the park’s reputation for great food.
“The nachos are awesome,” her son said, while his friend said his favorite item on the menu is the always-popular and legendary hot dog.
It truly was an ideal night for baseball, with a game-time temperature of 68 degrees and clear skies.
And Northwest Indiana fans were not the only ones celebrated. Richard and Rhonda, a couple from Chicago, were both making their first trip to the south side baseball haven in years as Richard received a special price for being a government employee on Government Employee night.
“I haven’t been here in a long time,” Richard said. “The last time I was here, this place was called Comiskey Park - that’s how long its been for me.”
While it has only been “five or six” years since Rhonda attended a Sox home game, she says she’d like to make this happen more often.
“The atmosphere is just great. I just wish it were a little warmer,” she said.
While Rhonda described herself as “absolutely” a White Sox fan, Richard admitted that through Rhonda he is “becoming one.”
Chicago’s only run came in the bottom of the fourth when Conor Gillaspie advanced to third on a mental error and then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at one. Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer and Cameron Maybin a solo shot for San Diego.
Back in the stands was Eva, from Granger, Indiana, a White Sox fan of 34 years, hoping to provide the good guys some luck.
“I was here last month when (Jose) Abreu hit a grand slam and then again when (Adam) Dunn did it,” she said. “I wanted to come back for more fun.”
There would be no such luck, though as Ian Kennedy was solid on the mound for the Padres, striking out nine in six innings pitched. John Danks countered with seven innings pitched, four strikeouts, yielding eight hits.
Bringing it all home
On the field level, one woman about 12 rows up on the third base side motioned to myself, donning an Ideas in Motion Media polo.
“Are you from Valpo?” she stood up and asked me. I responded with “Yes, Valpo Life” before she gave me a thumbs up.