Posted by: Josey | September 30, 2008

Travel Tip: Watch Your Team Play in Another Town

“God, I just love baseball.”
—Robert Redford in The Natural

Don’t root for the home team. Go to a game when you’re traveling and root for your own team. In fact, why not check the MLB schedule to see when your favorite team is playing in a nearby city and make a weekend out of it? As fun as it is to take in a local game, there’s nothing like the camaraderie between fans when you’re the out-of-town opposition together.

Every year since I moved to New York City eight years ago, I’ve watched my beloved Chicago White Sox play at Yankee Stadium. Friends will ask, “So, you’re going to the Yankees game tonight?” And I smugly correct them, “No, I’m going to the White Sox game.” (My family is onto its fourth generation of White Sox fans—as of just a few years ago—and we’re a rarity at that: Most northside Chicagoans are Cubs fans.)

There aren’t many people from Chicago living in Manhattan, but a few times each summer we all descend upon the Bronx. Given that this was the last year at “the old” Yankee Stadium (before “the new” Yankee Stadium opens for the 2009 season), Yankee fans anted up an unprecedented level of team loyalty. But we White Sox fans, albeit few and far between in the sea of bright blue plastic, rallied.

Identified by my Chicago t-shirt, I headed to my seat, Bud Light and foot-long Nathan’s hot dog in hand. “Hey, Chicago!” a fellow Sox fan yelled. [High five.] “Go Sox!” said another. [High five.] “Yeah! Chicago!” [High five.] I felt as if I were in the starting line up as I walked through the aisle to my section.

During the seventh inning stretch I used all my lung power during Take Me Out to the Ballgame in an attempt to drown out “…the Yankees” and replace it with the “…the White Sox.” [More high fives from passersby.] Jeff turned to his dad one seat over, half confused, half proud: “She’s a hit at Yankee Stadium. Who knew?”

As much as White Sox games in New York mean to me, last week’s series meant even more to my brother-in-law. He explains why in a poetic post on his Web site: “I became a father on May 28, but on Saturday, I became a dad.” To read it, click here now.

How could you not love baseball?

Photos courtesy of Corey and David

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