As we wait for the 2020 baseball season to kick off, we got a special treat on Thursday morning with the release of the 2021 schedule. Upon its release, I did what I always do — I perused the schedule and started plotting out what road trips I am going to take the following year (assuming we can see games in person again). Fellow On Tap Sports Net contributor Patrick Comiskey had the same thought, so we decided to collaborate on an article to bring both perspectives into the fold. Before we begin, here’s a look at the complete slate of games for the 2021 White Sox.
For my list, I prioritized the five ballparks that I haven’t been to and a few others that I truly enjoyed in my previous travels. Without further ado, here is the definitive guide to White Sox road trips in 2021.
5. Toronto: August 23-26
The city north of the border is one of the five remaining ballparks I need to check off my list. The Blue Jays are similar to the White Sox in that they have an exciting core of young positional talent headlined by the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Teoscar Hernandez. Plus they have highly touted flame-throwing prospect, Nate Pearson who will be ready to compete in the big leagues with his triple-digit fastball and power curveball.
I’ve been told Toronto shares many similarities with Chicago in that it’s a city located on a Great Lake (Ontario obviously), has a bustling nightlife, and is a blast to visit in the summer. Plus during the day, you can always go check out the Blackhawks artifacts at the Pro Hockey Hall of Fame.
4. Texas: September 17-19
I was supposed to go check out the new warehouse, I mean stadium, in Arlington last week for the 4th of July holiday, thanks COVID-19. Next September will represent the first opportunity for us to go see the Good Guys in the new home of the Rangers. I’ll admit that after looking at the photos of the completed ballpark, my enthusiasm has been tempered but it would cross another ballpark off the list for me. Thankfully because of the roof, I won’t succumb to the Texas heat.
3. Pittsburgh: June 22 & 23rd
This is unequivocally the best ballpark in baseball. Anyone that tries to tell you that some old ballpark built before the first World War needs to have their head re-examined. PNC Park is absolutely flawless. It has the modern amenities of a state-of-the-art ballpark, but the look and intimacy of an older neighborhood ballpark. The downtown setting with the skyline, bridges, and rivers in the background is the best in all the league.
The Sox should be stepping on the throats of those little pissants next year as the Pirates will be, how you say, real bad in 2021. Plus as an added treat, you can go to Manny Sanguillen’s sandwich stand outside the right field bleachers and get a pulled pork sandwich topped with pierogi on a pretzel bun. It is by far my favorite food in any visiting ballpark.
2. Cleveland: September 23-26
Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate the Cleveland Indians, so why would I want to willingly go to Cleveland?
Well, it would knock off yet another ballpark from my list, leaving me with only two to go. Aside from that, there is another reason why I have this trip circled. Because around this time, our Sox should be getting ready to clinch the 2021 American League Central Division title. I can think of nothing I would enjoy more than watching our White Sox celebrate on the Indians’ home field while those cretins who inhabit that cesspool of a city have to watch.
1. Milwaukee: July 23-25
This is by far the easiest road trip for the overwhelming majority of Sox fans to make. It is a short trip up I-94 into the land of cheese and brats. I’ve been to Miller Park (I’m still calling it that) on two separate occasions and it hasn’t disappointed either time. In fact, the first time I went back in 2009 to watch the Gordon Beckham-led White Sox, I was overserved to the point where I lost my ID somewhere in the park. Subsequently, I had to borrow my friend’s military ID to get into the bars post-game, which was a sea of Sox fans.
As Sox fans we share some similarities with Brewers fans: we love to drink, we love to tailgate, and we hate that other team that shares the city with the Sox. Miller Park is an absolutely ideal setup for tailgating and I can tell you that Brewers fans take it very seriously. Within hours of the schedule being released, there are already plans being made by various groups for party buses to make the trek up north for the weekend. This has the makings for an On Tap Sports Net field trip of epic proportions. Plus, after the game, the bars on Water Street are a pretty good time.
The Just Missed List
Kansas City: May 7-9
Going to Kansas City in early May is the ideal time on the calendar. If you go in March or April, you run the risk of being trapped in a typical midwest snowstorm that we can witness at home. If you go after the calendar flips to June, you’ll think you’re in one of Dante’s Seven Circles of Hell.
This series happens to fall on Mother’s Day weekend, so I’m sure your mothers or wives would probably have issues if you told them you were going to watch the Sox and eat BBQ in Kansas City for the weekend.
Detroit: July 2-4
The idea of watching the Sox in a different city and celebrating the birthday of our great nation is pretty appealing normally. As I mentioned earlier, I was supposed to be doing that in Arlington, Texas last week. But next year that would take us to the city of Detroit. That weekend is supposed to be about celebrating the greatness of our nation and all the terrific things it has to offer, highlighted by our national past time. However, the idea of celebrating our nation’s birthday in the worst city our nation has to offer just doesn’t cut it. I think all of us at On Tap Sports Net can agree: DETROIT SUCKS!!!
Oakland: September 7-9
Oakland Coliseum has been a house of horror for our Sox as long as I can remember. I still have nightmares about the September series in 2006 when fellow South Suburban College Bulldog, Rob Mackowiak, starred in a horror film in center field so ghastly that it essentially ended the Sox dreams of repeating. I don’t think I can stomach the thought of witnessing such horror in person.
Comiskey’s Park List
Right away, allow me to mention that I have not been to nearly as many ballparks as my guy Steve here. However, I have visited eight Major League stadiums in my time. I too would like to hit all 30 of them, so we have a ways to go yet. I hit PNC Park and Fenway both in the same week two years ago, and that was one hell of a week.
Baseball stadiums are great in the sense that each ballpark is unique (or at least they should be). Parks like Wrigley and Fenway take your breath away. PNC is the model for how modern stadiums should be built. And then there are parks like Great American in Cincinnati that are bland as all hell. Nonetheless, baseball road trips are the way to go, so let’s dive in.
5. Houston: June 17-20
There is a lot to say about what is going on down in Houston these days. First and foremost, they have a beautiful stadium. This place looks great with the roof open or closed. It’d be nice to see a game both ways. This place is high up on my list of parks to visit.
Now, the fun part. Bring a batch of your Sox fan buddies, dress like garbage cans, and beat the hell out of each other. To hell with doing this when the Astros come to Guaranteed Rate Field, bring that shit to their doorstep.
4. Baltimore: July 9-11
Well, if you’d like to go see some garbage baseball, look no further than Baltimore. The Orioles are nothing short of terrible. However, they play in a beautiful stadium.
Hey, remember when the Sox played here about five years back with no fans? I wonder if we’ll ever see something like that again.
3. Boston: April 16-19
Is it old? Obviously. Is it cramped everywhere you go inside? Absolutely. But don’t get it twisted, Fenway truly lives up to the hype. From the moment you walk inside, you are absolutely star-struck.
Barney Stinson famously said that “new is always better.” However, ol’ Barney was wrong. Fenway is older than most of your grandparents but still cooler than all your cousins. The bar scene around the park is great, and Boston as a whole is a great city to visit.
2. Milwaukee: July 23-25
Now this, this is the perfect weekend getaway for White Sox fans. You can make the quick drive up to Milwaukee, tailgate, hit the bars, and watch some quality baseball.
An added bonus is that in a park populated by Sox and Brewers fans, everyone will hate the Cubs. You know what they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
1. Pittsburgh: June 22-23
Every baseball fan should visit PNC Park. You could certainly make the argument that this is the best ballpark in baseball. The view of the Pittsburgh skyline and the Roberto Clemente Bridge is unmatched.
And then there is Pittsburgh itself. The city is clean, friendly, beautiful, and offers plenty to do. The area around PNC and Heinz Field is lined with an assortment of bars and restaurants. Do yourself a favor and swing by Primanti Bros for one hell of a sandwich.
That’ll do it for our 2021 White Sox road trip suggestions. Obviously all of these potential out-of-town trips depend on whether or not fans will be allowed to attend games next season, but let’s keep our fingers crossed. The White Sox should be competitive and it would be a blast to have a large contingency of South Siders celebrating White Sox winners no matter where the Good Guys play.