My Road Trip

I am finally back from my 11 day trip to the East Coast with my family, but I’ll spare you the details of everything that happened. Rather, I’ll stick to the most interesting portion, where I went to the first game of the Twins – White Sox series.

We started our day in Ohio and were driving back to Minnesota when we arrived in Chicago around 7 pm. We decided that we could make it to U.S. Cellular Field around first pitch and probably wouldn’t miss much of the game. We got off I-90 and followed some road signs to get to a parking lot. To my surprise, we not only were able to park only 5 blocks from the stadium (though the $23 parking fee was a bit ridiculous*). Even though we have 6 people in my family, I knew that getting tickets wouldn’t be too difficult because, come on, would the White Sox sell out a game, even against the Twins? We got seats in the 11th row of the upper deck between home and 1st base, and my parents found it amusing that the guy at the ticket office asked them several times if we were OK with our seats. Come on, walking up and getting 6 tickets together in that part of the stadium? I don’t think we could have done any better.

* The man that took our cash admitted that even he thought $23 was too much, but parking for a Bears game was predictably worse. Also, our parking ticket had some interesting info that I’m pretty sure doesn’t happen with Target Field. On the ticket, it said that if our game was rained out, we could exchange our parking ticket for either $23 in Comiskey Cash (basically a $23 gift card for U.S. Cellular Field) or a free parking ticket for another game in the 2010 season. I hate the White Sox as much as most of us, but admittedly, that policy makes me hate them just a little less.

Unfortunately, we did miss the first inning of the game, but we got into the seating bowl right as Jim Thome’s 2nd inning home run landed in the seats. Perhaps it was a good thing that no one in my family was wearing Twins gear for the game (How could we prepare? We didn’t even decide we were going to the game until about 6:30 pm), although cheering every time the Twins did something good gave away which team we wanted to win. However, the lack of visual cues as we walked through the stadium meant that we weren’t harassed at all by Sox fans. Besides, there was a group of Twins fans nearby with a grand total of four signs that were attracting all the attention of the White Sox faithful.

My favorite part of the night was not just seeing 5 Twins home runs, but also the tandem of Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer. During Jason Kubel’s second at-bat of the night, he was intentionally walked to bring up Cuddyer, who promptly made the Sox pay by delivering a 2-run double to right. Kubel’s next at-bat also resulted in an intentional walk, and then Cuddyer followed with a 2-run homer to left-center. After this home run, a Sox fan in front of me screamed out “Quit walking Kubel!” So what happens during Kubel’s next at-bat? He hits a home run. I bit my tongue before I could yell out, “That’s why you walk Kubel!”

My impression of U.S. Cellular Field was that the lack of an upper deck in the outfield was nice, as it gave you a great view of everything behind the stadium. However, the skyscrapers of Chicago were located behind the 3rd base foul territory seats, so with the setting sun, the view wasn’t as spectacular as I hoped. As I said on Twitter,

The infield seats are a delightful mixture of gray and black. No wonder this place is nicknamed “The Cell.”

The food was pretty good, and the prices, including beer, certainly rivals or is better than what we have at Target Field.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the day was when we left the stadium. With a 12-6 win, most of the crowd departed early, so getting back to the car wasn’t too big of a hassle. However, what shocked me was that even though “The Cell” is located in a residential area (i.e. small streets), it honestly took us only about 5 minutes to leave our parking lot and get back on I-90. If getting in and out of the area is that easy, I would certainly be willing to see another Sox game.

As for the ushering… our usher was stone-faced the entire game. If it wasn’t for the friendly-looking guy at the Sox Guest Services booth, I would have given the ushering an F.

Come on, I can’t compliment everything about the White Sox!


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