By Daryl Van Schouwen
The White Sox announced on Wednesday additional current and former players scheduled to attend SoxFest Jan. 23-25 at the Hilton Chicago. Added to the annual winter fan gathering: Pitchers John Danks, Zach Duke, Dan Jennings, David Robertson and Jeff Samardzija; prospects Tim Anderson, Courtney Hawkins, Micah Johnson and Carlos Rodon; and former stars Bo Jackson, Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce and Harold Baines — the club’s assistant hitting coach.
Already lined up to appear from the 2005 World Series Championship team: Geoff Blum, Joe Crede and Tadahito Iguchi, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, Orlando Hernandez, Bobby Jenks, Scott Podsednik and Aaron Rowand.
Current players and staff: Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Tyler Flowers, Avisail Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Jake Petricka, Jose Quintana, Alexei Ramirez, pitching coach Don Cooper, hitting coach Todd Steverson and manager Robin Ventura. Ace lefty Chris Sale is not expected to attend because of a family commitment, the Sox said.
The offseason free-agent signings of Adam LaRoche, Melky Cabrera, Robertson, Duke and Jennings and a trade for Samardzija have upgraded the roster significantly, and the Sox fan base has responded. Sales for SoxFest have been brisk, and Brooks Boyer, the team’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, said the Sox “continue to have strong season ticket sales momentum.”
A very limited number of single-day passes go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $50 for a Saturday-only pass, $40 for a Sunday-only pass and $75 for fans who purchase both Saturday and Sunday passes. Single-day passes will be available only at whitesox.com/SoxFest.
“With the new make up of the current team, 10-year anniversary of the 2005 team and the new venue, we have not seen SoxFest sales like this as long as I can remember,” Boyer said. “We anticipate quickly selling out of the limited weekend passes which go on sale on Friday.”
SoxFest hotel packages at the Hilton Chicago and premium upgrade packages are sold out. A waiting list for the hotel packages can be accessed by emailing SoxFest@chisox.com or calling 312-674-1000.