Last night, I attended my first White Sox game without having a physical ticket. I purchased a Ballpark Pass (averages out to about $4 a game for 22 games) last week so I could hit some weekday games. Figured I … Continue reading
The years may be off on a few. Let me know any changes! Thanks to fellow collector and friend Jim R. for the list.
Bobble heads. Bobbleheads. Nodders. In the last few years, the scene has exploded. Many people are now collecting (or selling) SGA’s (stadium give away) at a very rapid pace. The prices that some pay for the new stuff is rising everyday, Facebook and Ebay have connected collectors across the country. There are several trade forums Bobblehead Addicts, Chicago Bobblehead Collectors on Facebook and even an old school message board – The Bobble Board. There are tons of other trade forums, but these are ones that I have used. Lotta new blood out there, so make sure you measure your risk before trading. On Addicts, they have a G2G list that shows people who have completed successful trades with one another. A great, but not fail safe, way to make sure you are trading with a good guy. I like to do IP (in person) trades, and have done a few. Good times. I have met a bunch of great people in the scene, a few duds, but mostly a bunch of passionate fans of the nodder.
I started to get serious in collecting about 2012, when I first moved to the city. But even before that I always had bobbles displayed on my office desk that would nod when I used the printer. I started buying off Ebay, tried to keep each purchase under $25 with shipping, and bought most of my collection this way. I also just happened to live next door to a guy who had one of the most complete White Sox SGA collections in the state too. So any questions that I had he usually had an answer for me. He let me know what was valuable and rare, a great resource in the scene. In the past few year my buying has slowed (my trading / selling has increased) as I am down to the last few White Sox team issued bobbles available. I stick with just team released bobbles, with a few retail bobbles added in. I’d rather not drive myself nuts looking for a 2003 All-Star Edition Magglio Ordonez with a gold base.
I used to collect the McFarlane / Spawn collectible figures. Starting with Bob and Doug McKenzie from the movie Strange Brew. I usually bought them on clearance for a great price. Years later I sold many of them for a really nice profit, which really set in the hooks for this addiction. My toy collecting days ended in 2008 when I left my job to strike out on my own. I have a stockpile of collectable toys that sooner than later will end up on Ebay. I was given two White Sox bobbles back in the day, Paul Konerko and Hawk and DJ. When I moved to Bridgeport, it just made sense that I would start to collect White Sox bobbles. In 2012, I just happened to be gone for about every bobblehead game. It really stunk. To prevent that in following seasons, I shot off an email to my wife with dates that I am “busy”. Since 2012, I have been pretty active in the bobble game and the Sox role in it. I have noticed two things: 1) White Sox fans are very passionate about their bobbles and 2) The White Sox do very little to capitalize on this. Here are just a few thoughts from me.
There are a few teams that release a TON of bobbles year in and year out. SF Giants, LA Dodgers, AZ D-Backs and MKE Brewers. Most of these teams have an “all-fan” release which means if you have a ticket you will get the bobble. The SF Giants bobble game is very, very strong. They make a bobble of just about anyone, twice. They for sure capitalize on their rabid fan base and I would have to give it up to the collectors of this team cause that is some serious work to keep on top of their releases. This year for their Star Wars day, they are releasing this. Are you kidding me? Wookie of the Year? Brilliant! For a special event the Brewers are releasing a talking Harry Doyle bobble. Don’t know who Harry Doyle is? Just know this, he’ll keep your Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn and Jake “Bobble Knees” Taylor bobbles company along with Jobu. I just hold out hope that we Sox fans might get a Jack Parkman bobble. I have mixed emotions on special releases, the Sox seem to have one a year, usually associated with SoxFest. They have done Joe Crede (2012), Greg Luzinski (2013) and Jose Abreu (2015). Last year (2014) they sold a Paul Konerko farewell bobble which included a card to certify it as one of five thousand. But what can the Sox do better?
For as long as I can remember (which would be 2010, ha) the Sox seem to run their promotions on weekends. That makes sense, people can get their easier, maximum exposure for the sponsor and more than likely they will have a pretty big crowd. I was at the Frank Thomas jersey/number retirement game, it was also Frank Thomas bobblehead game. They also were playing the Yankees. To me, any of those things alone would draw a big crowd (Number Retirement / Bobblehead / Yankees), so why have them all on the same day in August? Just was nuts to me. I thought a promotion was to GET people to the game.
There needs to be a driving force in May to get people at a game. Why not have a bobblehead release that month? Bobbleheads are that much of a draw that it will make a significant difference. Afraid that it won’t draw the 20k? Do the release over a 3 game weekend / weekday series. I lived in CA for 7 years, went to a bunch of Angel vs Sox games. They give away EVERYTHING there. Wrestling Masks, Snuggies, Rally Monkey CHIA PET! Most of these games were against the White Sox, because unlike the blue boys up north, Sox fans don’t travel well. Twins fans don’t wanna travel in May, you gotta go for the LOCALS. How do you get a local? GIVE them something! Free T-Shirt Monday is a great idea that seems to work. I head over, $7 for a ticket and a shirt? Sign me up. The last Monday game I went to, I bought a ticket in the K Zone for Sale for $20. I got 2 shirts and a ticket for $20.
If you look at The Chicago White Sox Bobblehead Resource you can tell that the Sox have given out bobbles very sporadically. They gave out ZERO (0) bobbleheads in 2005 and 2006. Really? They gave out other promotions, just no bobbleheads. In more recent years, it seems they stick with 3 or 4. One usually being a special release. That is pretty awesome in my book, but the Sox need to change up who they give out. Harold Baines has two bobbles. Paul Konerko has 3. Frank Thomas has 3. It’d be nice to have a few different guys up in the mix. So let’s add in some new talent. Abreu was the SoxFest release, which I love as a collector, but why give up a huge day like that for the season release? For me they could have done a AL ROY bobble for SoxFest, and a regular release for the season. Many teams do variants, which would be great too, but you’d have to up the 20k giveaways to 30k.
UPDATE – I have been writing this blog for over a month. In that time the Sox have had two give aways. The first was for the Paul Konerko Replica Statue. Holy lord, the lines were NUTS. The pic was from Gate 5, so many people. The resale on the statue was very good. The next give away was on the 4th of July. Bobby Jenks bobblehead. No lines. Hardly anyone at the game. The Friday game had a huge crowd. Was disappointed in the crowd and the reaction to the bobblehead. As I said above, I think the holiday was enough to bring people out, but being a day game hurt the Sox, big time. Add in fireworks, that game is bigger and more well attended. Hope the final two bobblehead giveaways do better for the Sox. I like them, will be a welcome addition to my collection.
Thanks for reading folks and Go Sox!
I like beer. It’s a very refreshing drink on a warm summer day, or a great way to wind down from a long week at work. Over the past 5 years, my taste in beer has changed. Luckily for me, most places that I attend on a regular basis, have embraced the craft beer movement. U.S. Cellular field is no different.
For 7 years I lived in Huntington Beach, CA. California has become a beacon for the craft beer industry, but sadly I stuck to my watered down American domestics during my time out there. It makes me sick now, but that is just the way it was. It took years for me to understand that since I liked Guinness, I would more than likely enjoy other stouts. In 2010, along with my brother-in-law, I traveled to Minneapolis, MN for Soundset. We meet up with a high school friend at Brit’s Pub, which is a lovely place to grab a drink. While we we sitting at the bar, one beer seemed to sell more than all the others. While drinking my Guinness, I remarked to my brother-in-law, that we had to try this beer since everyone was drinking it. Without missing a beat, the bartender threw me a taster of this mystery beer. I took a drink and it tasted like a beer infused grapefruit. I loved it. That beer, it turns out was Surly’s Furious. Great beer, I was hooked.
Later that year, I was in Rock Island, IL at RIBCO watching the Smoking Popes. I had been drinking a bunch of local stouts and trying whatever I could. While there I asked for a coffee stout and the bartender threw me a taster of Founders Breakfast Stout. Delish. I had two before I noticed my ears getting hot and feeling the booze just a little. Later that month, I bought a case of Breakfast Stout. I love that beer. That began my love affair with craft beer which continues to this day. Always try something new, always try the local fare.
U.S. Cellular Field has a pretty good array of craft beer that will keep most beer lovers happy. They have their “Beer’s Of The Midwest” stands (Sections 108, 124, 142, 155 & 531) that have a great selection of craft and domestic offerings including: Revolution Anti-Hero IPA, Lagunitas IPA, Lagunitas Day Time Pale Ale, MillerCoors Smith and Forge Hard Cider, Miller Fortune, Veteran Beer Company Blonde Bomber Ale and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Behind section 113 (and 513) is the secret gem though. If the game is poorly attended, these stands might not be open, which is always a damn shame. At these stands they pour 24oz drafts of both Revolution’s Anti-Hero and Lagunitas IPA. Last year they were $9.75 a draft which is 40¢ an oz. For comparison, the 16oz Lite’s that they sell for $8 are 50¢ an oz. But this year, the Sox have increased the price of these drafts to $10.75 which is still a pretty decent deal at 45¢ an oz. Also consider that the ABV of Anti-Hero is 6.5%, Lagunitas IPA 6.2% and Lite is 4.17%. So not only do you get a great tasting beer, you also get drunker if you are into that sort of thing.
I go to games with a group of guys that are big beer drinkers, well, big drinkers in general. Most nights or days start on a porch by the field, drinking some beers. Most nights end at that same porch or at ChiSox Bar and Grill (maple wings / half price). I would say that most of us appreciate a fine malted beverage, but when mass consuming them (like we do most of the time) we stick with the domestic stuff. I’ll drink a Lite with the best of them, I think every Beer Snob needs to have that domestic fall back. I was a huge Bud Light fan back in the day, but they don’t serve that at the Cell. I also have been known to drink a TON of Busch Light, but that isn’t available either. This year they offer MGD, Lite and Coors Light in the seats for $8. Pretty decent selection that I am sure encompasses about 90% of beer drinkers. You also can get a Summer Shandy in the seats, but that is $9.25, and Summer Shandy isn’t worth a $1.25 more. Guys I roll with like Miller High Life, which is pretty damn hipster. I like it also, but after a few good beers it is pretty darn hard to choke down. Lite seems to go down pretty easy regardless. So Lite is my fall back, which is crazy to me, since that is a beer I have talked so much shit about. Welcome to Chicago I guess.
So for 2015, I have decided to bring back my blog, but only to talk about the game experience and anything else that I might wanna bitch about in general. There are plenty of baseball blogs that do a baseball analysis much better than I ever could. So if you are looking for that, seek them out. I had some loyal followers back in 2012, hope some of you give me a chance again this season. I can’t say how many blogs I will do this year, but I have started and have a few ideas already cooking. If you want, follow me on Twitter or Facebook. MySoxSummer is at both places. I don’t do either that regularly, but I try to at least check in for the games. If you need to contact me, send me an email at email@example.com. Thanks for reading and looking forward to seeing you all at a game this season!
A bunch of people were asking for me to release the stats of My Sox Summer, so here you go! Not a detailed account, but enough for what ails ya.
I saw the Twins the most at 9 games. Tigers were second with 8 games.
My win / loss record was 31 W – 22 L.
I bought 40 tickets from the box office and 13 from scalpers, including the free tickets.
My first 10 games cost $103. My second 10 cost $19. My 3rd ten cost $111. My 4th ten cost $95. My 5th ten cost $49. My final 3 games cost $3.
I sat in the upper deck 31 times and in the lowers 22 times. (I did walk down to the lowers a few times and had a suite experience one time too)
I lost two Whitetail Unlimited koozies, within a week mind you. And I broke my streak of no “#2’s” at the Cell at game #49. Dang delish mexican food!
I walked down to the park 52 times and walked back 53 times. 1 game was cancelled due to rain, 1 game was called due to rain. Just a couple delays.
I made an accounting error somewhere along the line, and I will check this when I go through my tickets, but my final money total was $380. I missed $12 somewhere along the way. Now, I did buy a ticket voucher package for $45 from Smart Circle. I sold 3 of those vouchers for $25, so if you add in that $20 I am at a round number. A round $400 for 53 games. Still a pretty good number.
So those are the stats! If you have any direct questions you can tweet them to me @mysoxsummer or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading folks!
I took a video while I walked to the park this day, which I will post at a later date. I plan on making a video with all the pictures and tickets set to some music. I hope to have some time soon to do it, but be patient. It’s gonna be a long off season so I think I will be done before 2013. Ha.
On my walk in I met up with Soxman (@thesoxman72) and Bat Boy who were both great guys. What I found very funny was that Soxman talked to Bat Bay using only the Bat Boy name. It was just by chance that we ran into each other, but it was a great end. We talked about the organization and attendance, would love to get a beer with this guy in the off season. Was nice to meet ya!
After the loss the day before, it was a rough walk to the park, but I was still excited when the music started at the Cell. The game was what the season had become in the last few weeks. No offense to back up decent pitching from a rookie. The crowd was rough on the team that many had cheered on only weeks previous, especially when the playoff tickets sold out. I don’t wanna call some fans out as being fair weather, but many there were. It was tough one to watch, but after it was over, I didn’t want to leave.
I walked around the park and went down to the dugout to talk with other Sox fans. Took some pictures and just soaked it up. Thanks White Sox for an unexpected season that make this quest for me one that I will remember all my life. Something that I hope my kids (god-forbid) see and admire. It was a fun time and I met a bunch of great people along the way.
Next year I won’t be at as many games, but I will go to as many as I can. My father and I are gonna try to go to all the AL Central stadiums to see the Sox play. Hope we can do it with a work schedule that I hope to have by next summer. And regarding that, if you ever need printing or graphic design work done, please check out my website at
Thanks for following my blog! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
Game 53- $367 ($1, box office. Thanks Smart Circle!)
Well, this was the end. The Sox lost this one and the season was pretty much over. Not because of the game lead or anything, but rather the Sox just looked beat out there. Sale had an awful game and the pitching was just dismal. They gave up 10 runs on 13 hits. If O-Dog hadn’t hit the grand slam in the 8th, we would have been shutout.
The fans really turned on this team, which I expected, but it was still sad to see. It soured a great season for Sale which also was sad. Just wish we could have has the offense in this final home stand, but that’s baseball folks. And that is the exact reason I love and hate this sport all the same.
Game 52- $366 ($1, box office. Thanks Smart Circle!)
This was a rough one for me. The Sox won, but it was the final night game. I stayed a little longer after the game and just soaked up the night and air from my perch in section 530. I didn’t know it, but it was the last W I would see in 2012. A pretty cool fall night, the best in the midwest.
That pic is one of my most favorite of the year. These seats in the uppers are the best by far. Just a little to the left of the plate so you can see the pitch. I enjoyed them very much. The Sox had the offense that night to get the W which was good to see, but we were still down a game with only 5 left.
Game 51- $365 ($1, box office. Thanks Smart Circle!)
So here it is. My 50th game this summer. White Sox are 1 down for 1st place and are battling for their lives. And my game partner is also my partner in life, my live-in girlfriend Devin. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Devin decided that she wanted to go to this game because it was NIU night and we also knew it was gonna be my 50th. The Sox and NIU are both instrumental in our relationship so it was a nice way to celebrate game number 50. We went early to enjoy some beers in the lot with fellow NIU alum Brian, Kristie Lynn, Natalie and Brad. Brian brought the good beers for Devin and I pounded Bush Lights, like every good kid from the Sauk Valley does.
It was also Lily’s first game, she is an NIU baby from Brian and Kristie. So my 50th was her first ever. Pretty sweet if ya ask me.
So it was set up for a great time. My friends Bridget and Sam met us in there and so did another Brian who dates my cousin’s wife’s sister. Ha. We didn’t see him, but he was there for support. I filled out a survey earlier and the Sox gave me two free tickets in the lowers, we sat by the bullpen. Thanks Sox!
I got an Italian combo for dinner, which was great. Before we sat down we ran into Victor E. Huskie and Southpaw was right up the way. We walked up to them and got a pic. Which Southpaw RT’d later. Thanks buddy!
The White Sox also RT’d my message before the game which was great to see-
So back to Devin. She has been very supportive this summer of my quest, which I am very thankful for. I am also very thankful for her being in my life. She just provides me with what I have been looking for all my life. It’s been a great year plus with her and it only gets better. So thanks Devin for taking an underemployed artist in and loving me all the same. I love ya and can’t imagine my life without you.
Unbeknownst to me, there was a plan this night and it came up in the 3rd inning. I had just joked with Devin that she should be watching the scoreboard cause there might be a message up there for her. And then this came up-
So thank you Bridget and your cousin! That was a great treat and a sight to behold. I saw on a message board that someone saw it and knew what it meant, so that was cool too. I made the scoreboard! It was a great night. Just wish the Sox would have played better. Jake pitched a decent game, but we just didn’t have the energy or hitting to win this one. Still a great night spent with my love and friends on a cool night in September.
So thank you to EVERYONE that helped me achieve this goal. It was a great summer, and even though the result wasn’t what I wanted, I still had a great time. My 50th was as much fun as my 1st, and that is all that matters.
Game 50- $364 ($1, I already bought a ticket for the game. Thanks Smart Circle!)
Most of my friends have been my friends since grade school. Despite miles between all of us, we have made an effort to keep in touch and get together as much as possible. It just so happened that my buddy Anthony was in town this week and I had an extra voucher for a ticket. So I took in my first professional baseball game with my good friend. He’s always been my other White Sox friend, so it was cool he was there for my 49th.
In high school, Anthony, Matt and I hung out alot. We started a band, we watched tons of movies, listened to tons of music. I couldn’t imagine my high school years without either of them. Both great guys and no matter how much time has passed we still pick right up from the last visit. Thanks guys.
This was a rough one too. The Sox moved into second place with the loss. hard one to take. There wasn’t a lot of people at this game either so we moved down to the same seats as the day before behind the dugout. The closest my buddy has ever been. It got ugly with the fans, lotta booing. That is one thing I will never get, boo the other team, the ump, but not your own squad. Years ago, Chester Frazier was a point guard for the Fighting Illini basketball team. For the first part of the year Chet was booed every game. But by the end of the year, he was running the offense of a great basketball team with awesome perfection. Towards the end of the regular season, Chet hurt his ankle and the Illini struggled the rest of the way and lost the 1st game in the tournament. I felt that this was karma from the booing earlier in the season. Who knows, but you should always support your players.
So down one, with my big game coming up. I was hoping that we could take out the Rays. We’ll see!
Game 49- $363 ($0, gift from my cousin and godson)