Barry Antoniazzi remembers watching the White Sox with his father as early as kindergarten.
Antoniazzi was one of hundreds of fans who rallied by Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday to celebrate the Sox heading to Houston on Thursday to open the best-of-five American League Division Series. It’s the first time the franchise has made the playoffs in back-to-back years, and fans are hungry for a chance at the championship.
He was not expecting to run into former Sox slugger Ron Kittle, but when he did, he made one ask: Would Kittle get on the phone with his father?
“We watched Ron Kittle together growing up, and I thought, how cool would it be if my Dad could talk to Ron Kittle right now?” Antoniazzi said.
When the Sox clinched the American League Central title during the regular season last month, it was the first time since 2008.
“It’s kind of like being left out of the party for almost 12 years, And, now, we’re in the party,” said Jason Brown, a self-proclaimed lifelong White Sox fan.
In the 2008 AL Central tie-breaker game, fans were donned in black. The Sox are asking fans to wear all black when the playoff returns to their home playoff games.
Brown said he grew up with players like Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert. He watched as the team tried to rebuild over the past three years. Many fans were skeptical when Tony La Russa was hired last year as the White Sox manager, but Brown said La Russa has proven himself.
Brown says he is grateful to be in the stands again. After a painful year where he lost his mother and father, the Sox games have given him a reason to leave the house.
“This is my extended family. This my home away from my home.”