BY: MATTHEW PRESLAR
The point of our big summer trip was to treat my baseball fan babies to their first major league game. It’s a long story that started with Katelyn telling someone who offered to take her to an Atlanta Braves game last summer, “I think Matt would rather take us.” We decided to make it a double and visit Chicago.
A treat for them and a treat for me as a step dad was to spend Father’s Day afternoon at a Major League Park: Guaranteed Rate Field as the White Sox hosted the New York Yankees. One big reason to get to Chicago was to see the players we had seen as White Sox minor leaguers passing through North Carolina (Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kannapolis).
The weather set the stage for a day. Somehow in mid-June, the high temperature for the day was in the upper 50’s; unseasonably cool even for the Windy City but a pleasant summertime surprise. We showed up for the game in our Charlotte Knights apparel as many of the big Sox stars have recently played AAA in our backyard.
As usual, we were very early to the stadium. This allowed us to start our adventure across the street at the ChiSox bar and grill with a couple beverages and a plate of nachos. This place was a pregame gathering of White Sox fans and a few Yankee supporters.
We finally got in to Guaranteed Rate Field and what a spectacle as any Major League park is. There are many tributes to past legends. Displays around the park honored Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, and Harold Baines.
The size of a Major League Stadium and the amount of people were a shock to the children, and to us! Most AAA stadiums seat 10,000 people. Attendance at Guaranteed Rate Field was a sellout of nearly 37,000 people of South Siders and Yankee fans. The place was packed, it was hard to move, but that is the big league way. It was a great experience and a dream of a special day.
The most special part of the day was how children are treated on a big league scale. Like most major league stadiums, the White Sox have pins and certificates for “FIRST GAME” attendees. There was also something to make me jealous. On Sundays, kids get to run the bases after the game. My children have been ON A MAJOR LEAGUE FIELD. I wish they needed an escort.
Please enjoy pictures of our day on the south side of Chicago at Guaranteed Rate with the White Sox. Happy Father’s Day to me.