White Sox fans come out in force for playoffs, leave with mixed emotions: ‘Our future is really bright’
As the season ended after a brutal loss Tuesday, fans said it felt good to have something to root for during a difficult year.
Sharon Bresnahan took a minute Tuesday afternoon before Game 4 of the American League Division Series to admire the stone outside Guaranteed Rate Field she and her twin sister bought after the 2005 World Series.
Before every game she attends she taps the stone that reads, in part, “Thx 05 White Sox Sharon & Sheryl.”
Bresnahan said her late sister, Sheryl, who died of a brain aneurysm in 2006, would be at the game in spirit.
“We’ve been lifelong White Sox fans, I brought her with me,” said Bresnahan, who pulled a photo of her twin out of her red purse.
Bresnahan was hoping for a win, but the Astros beat the Sox 10-1.
Bresnahan and other White Sox fans experienced a mix of emotions after their beloved team was eliminated from the postseason.
They were heartbroken, of course. But they also were happy to experience October baseball on the South Side — something that hasn’t happened in more than a decade. And they’re hopeful for what’s to come.
“Our future is really bright so I’m really excited,” Bresnahan said.
It wasn’t quite the ideal “taking in a ballgame” conditions as Tuesday afternoon — with overcast skies and chillier temperatures — but that didn’t deter White Sox fans from flocking by the thousands to Armour Square for the early afternoon game to cheer on their team.
Many took off work or skipped school to be at or near Guaranteed Rate Field, including Christian Pera, 28. He and a colleague had to take a conference call from the tailgate.
“They said, ‘Maybe you guys should get off and we’ll talk later,’” said Pera, who works in real estate.
Many hoped Guaranteed Rate Field would be as electric as it was Sunday night when the Sox came back and beat the Astros 12-6. The parking lots, where people were tailgating before the game, were certainly setting the tone for another exhilarating crowd. Inside the crowd was deafening at times, particularly after Gavin Sheets gave the Sox a 1-0 lead on a home run to dead center field.
But when the Sox fell far behind, some fans started trickling out of the ballpark by the sixth inning.
“Very disappointing,” one fan muttered to another.
Some puffed cigars and cigarettes to take the edge off the disappointing outcome as a chorus of groans from those inside the park roared.
One fan, David S., who didn’t want to give his full name, had planned to attend Game 4 Monday, but the postponement due to weather ruined that plan as he couldn’t get off work in time to get to the 1 p.m. start Tuesday.
Still, he biked to Guaranteed Rate Field since he wanted to experience the atmosphere of being surrounded by so many fellow fans.
By the time he arrived, though, things were grim. “It’s looking like a funeral now,” said David, of Gage Park.
He preferred to look at the bright side of things, however.
The Sox, he said, “brought a lot of great joy to me from what happened last year to now this and that, it brings me pride to my city and where I’m from, the part of town I’m from. I’ve loved it.
“With all the stuff we’re going through, the crime and the pandemic … it feels good to have something to root for. I’m a proud South Sider, born and raised here.”
Other fans shared that pride.
Sydney Warner, 23, said the “Sox bring everybody together, so it was good to get everybody together [to experience] that energy again.” Warner, who was born in Chicago but now lives in Michigan, said she was “shaking with excitement” throughout the game.
Jeremy Roberson, 25, was excited to be at his first Sox’ playoff game — but he had hoped for a better outcome.
“I enjoyed it for as much as I can but in the end you want to see your team win,” said Roberson, who wants the Sox to make some improvements this offseason.
“It could’ve been worse, but it could’ve been better. I’m somewhere in the middle right now, I’m frustrated.”
As for what’s next?
“I’m going downtown and I’m going to find something to drink,” Roberson said.