The 2018 season for Chicago’s South Side team was one of disappointment. Injuries to Michael Kopech and Jake Burger demoralized the fanbase. Struggle-infused seasons from top prospects Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito sent warning signals all over the rebuild dashboard. A 100-loss season sent fans wondering if the ship would ever get on course.
2019 has been a totally different story. Yes, the White Sox sit at two games under .500 as they enter a two-game series with the Cubs Tuesday, but everything feels different about this team. Giolito has been the best pitcher in the American League. Moncada has turned everything around. Eloy Jimenez is beginning to find his swing and send baseballs into orbit. The light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to become visible.
The White Sox currently sit at 34-36 behind the strength of their young players. Last year at this time, they were 24-46. A ten-game improvement in one calendar year shows promise. It shows something to believe in and Sox fans are taking notice.
White Sox fans have gone from defeated to pissed to excited to defeated again and finally to hungry and hopeful. Over half of the league’s teams, including the Cubs, have seen a decrease in attendance this season. The White Sox are up 17.6%.
Now sure, they still have a long way to go, as they currently stand at 20th in the league in overall attendance. However, the signs of a turn-around are evident. Fans are excited to watch baseball at Guaranteed Rate Field for the first time in quite some time. A four-game series this weekend produced huge crowds.
It’s been quite some time since Sox fans have had a team to get excited about. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2008. The attendance champions on the North Side will still try to poke their witty remarks, even though many of them probably haven’t been to Wrigley in years, but don’t let that distract you from the point. The Sox are on the upswing.
There’s no better place to be than the ballpark. It’s an even better place to be when there’s a solid product on the field. Make the trip down to the South Side. Take in a game or two. More and more people are starting to realize how much fun this team is. Be sure to hit up the On Tap crew as well and we’ll have a great tailgate together.
As the crosstown series opens Tuesday, be sure to throw your Sox clothing on and wear it loud and proud in a “Cubs Town.” Special things are coming soon on the South Side and fans are already taking notice. As the team continues to grow, so will attendance. It’s only a matter of time until the White Sox and their fans put baseball on notice.
Featured Photo: Shane Harmon/Twitter