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First Time Since 1959

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 21, 2005 11:36PM

For the first time since 1959, Chicago will host a World Series game tomorrow. And actual World Series game. Right here in our city! The White Sox and the Astros square off tomorrow night at the Cell in the first game of the seven-game series. Chicagoist feels pretty good that within the next 10 days, the City of Chicago will be applauding our newly crowned World Champions. But the Sox have some believers, some doubters, and many who hardly even realize they exist. But that just fuels the fire within this year's club.

While the White Sox dismissed the Red Sox and Angels in pretty short order, this series promises to be a much more tightly contested affair. With both teams sporting incredible pitching rotations, the series should be one low-scoring pitchers' dual after another. The Astros look tough with their rotation that includes Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt. But the White Sox foursome of Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia look like they're ready to go toe-to-toe.

The Sun-Times' Chris de Luca dissects the two teams, position-by-position and Chicagoist pretty much agrees with his assessment. So we'll hold off on our own analysis this time. All we'll add is that we'd call the starting pitching even. And we're predicting that the series will be won by the White Sox 4-2.

As with most World Series, this one is chock full of intriguing storylines: Is there a Black Sox curse?; Cubs vs. Sox competing for fans' hearts in Chicago; the length of time both teams have gone without a World Series appearance; the two faces of their respective franchises -- born on the same exact day, no less -- mostly relegated to the sidelines.

Will the tables turned and all eyes gazing upon the south side baseball team, what kind of affect is this having on Cubs fans? Chicagoist has had countless discussions in recent weeks about fan support and whether one can cheer for both teams, change sides, etc. This debate has played out even in the most public of venues as Daley refused to make wagers in support of the Cubs in 2003, Blago refuses to support the Sox now and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf publically let it be know that supposed Sox fan John Cusack was on his own when it comes to finding tickets on account of an appearance at Wrigley wearing a Cubs hat.

Can people go both ways -- become bi-Sox-ual, as it were? Chicagoist stated a while back that we don't believe so. You have to pick sides and you can't hedge your bets. Pick your team and ride them, good times and bad times.

Our friend Claire Zulkey seems to be a little more willing to extend open arms to those just discovering the White Sox, as she explained in today's Wall St. Journal:

The 2005 Chicago White Sox are the underdog of underdogs, if you like that sort of thing. The Cinderella story that was never told. But you can't love the White Sox unless you really love them, are willing to let them break your heart before you can take pride in their achievements. It's a long and lonely road. You are welcome to travel it, but we frown on stragglers and day-trippers.

Whereas Chicagoist says if you're not onboard now, you're watching from the shore Claire is willing to let you aboard -- but you'd better be prepared for a long journey!