America's Pastime - Beer, Hot Dogs & Baseball !
Trip Start Aug 24, 2009
19Trip End Aug 05, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
What I did
Drank Beer, Ate a Hot Dog & Watched a Ball Game !
But, like it's said, "you gotta play the game"! So, there's always hope for the underdog! After all, it happened this spring during the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals....a mediocre Boston Bruin hockey team beat the league leading and heavy favoured Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup! How did the Bruins win? One HOT goalie, Tim Thomas who single-handedly stood on his head and stopped the high scoring Canuck team
As we planned, we caught the Red Line at the Grand St Station heading South to the Sox/35th St Station. As it was just around noon, it seemed many other fans had the same intention. The train was full with fans headed to the game. Since I purchased these tickets about a week ago, I had to pick them up at the Gate 4 Will Call window.
Going south, the train passed by the Chinese neighbourhood heading to the Sox/35th St Station. There were a couple of unscheduled stopages along the way but we did arrive. We disembarked with the thousands of other fans leaving the station and walked over the Dan Ryan Expressway. Looking North, you could see a great view of the Chicago skyline! Just prior to entering the stadium, I noticed a few people under a tent trying to solicit people to complete a survey about Chevrolet vehicles. It was obvious they were trying to promote their line of vehicles. In return for completing a survey and watching a promo, we got a White Sox/Chevrolet key chain and Ball Cap! I thought this a fair deal. The survey took a minute to complete and the promo demonstration took about 2 minutes. In the end, we received a key chain and ball cap! At least the ball caps were more appropriate than the ones we brought as these were White Sox caps
After picking up our tickets and upon entering the stadium, we were each handed a box which contained a statue of Frank Thomas. As this was Frank Thomas Day at the game, the first 20,000 people to the game received a statue of Frank Thomas which replicated the large statue inside the stadium that honours him. So, just as we were walking around with these somewhat cumbersome boxes containing a Frank Thomas statue (they weren't small), so were everyone else. It kind of looked funny! Guys holding a beer or two while trying to hold onto their statue too! Probably the only thing worse, would've been a life size statue of Frank Thomas! Sorry Frank! Ha!Ha!
Arriving at our seats in Section 123 (lower level), pretty much on the 1st base - 2nd base line, we recognized that our seats were just underneath the overhang from the section above us. I wasn't aware of this when I purchased our tickets. I just thought we were in the lower level and likely, exposed to the sun but closer to the action. I didn't want the upper level noseblead seats, nor did I want the heavily serviced box seats. So, when I saw our seats were in the shade and then I looked at the scoreboard and saw the temperature already at 92 F, I thought "thank-you God"
The game began with the White Sox honouring one of their great players, Frank Thomas. A life size statue was unveiled in the left field stands that I'm sure would be available to all fans to see. The owner spoke and then Frank Thomas spoke. The fans cheered! Frank cried! It was a very emotional moment. Even for a non Then he and his family were driven in a blue-ish coloured cadillac where he threw out the first pitch!
The game started with a scoreless 1st inning. In the 2nd inning, the Red Sox scored a couple runs to take an 2-0 lead. But, the home town White Sox scored a run in their next three at bats to take a 3-2 lead into the 7th inning. Then, just as the White Sox fans were having hope, those darn Red Sox scored 2 runs at the top of the 7th inning to take a 4-3 lead. Geez! The hometown White Sox tried hard to tie it but the Red Sox scored another run at the top of the 9th which provided a big enough lead for against the White Sox. The Red Sox won 5-3! Crap! In the end, I can tell you the temperature reached 96 F, the beers were cool but good and the hot dogs were small but good! Although the fans left disappointed, they left with a box containing a Frank Thomas statue which will likely be displayed in the homes of at least 20,000 White Sox fans
The trip back to our hotel, with our Frank Thomas statues in arm, was almost a replay of our commute to the stadium. Fortunately, we paid for a round trip ticket. Unfortunately, the subway trip back took a little longer than scheduled with a couple unexpected stops. It seemed there were a couple mechanical breakdowns on the train. Oh well, the air conditioning in the train seemed to be working which made the trip a little more comfortable.
In the evening, we followed up our taxi driver Danny's recommendation and decided to eat at Ed Debevic's restaurant on N. Wells St & W Ontario St. We learned the restaurant is based on Lill's Homesick Diner in Talooca, Illinois during the 50's and 60's along Highway 50. Apparently, the Homesick knew how to feed it's customers real beef burgers (no soybeans), homemade chili, fresh-baked bread, pies and plenty of good, hot coffee. Lill's motto was "eat and get out"!
The staff inside Ed Debevic's were a little on the "windy" side! Short on manners and customer service but heavy on experience! Their abruptness was part of the experience! We both had a Route 66 hamburger and chicken burger
Tomorrow, it's the Willis (Sears) Tower in the morning before ending with the Great Sir Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field in the evening. Which is the purpose of our trip to Chicago!
Cheers, Rick & Elsie!