The World Series starts today, with the Chicago White Sox meeting the Houston Astros. I watched very little of the playoffs, for the first time in a good 20 years, but Allan and I are both back on board for the October Classic.
I generally can't watch a series without some sort of rooting interest, and this one's an easy choice.
The White Sox are an original American League team, born in 1901. (The Astros are a relatively young team, born the same year as me.)
I am one of the few people who likes the new Comiskey Park (now called by a corporate name, but Comiskey to me). I thoroughly enjoyed the ballpark experience there, full of quirks and odd traditions. Plus, Mariano Rivera signed my cap there. Say no more.
They wear pinstripes. And even though I've traded my pinstripes for citizenship in the Nation, I cheered for pinstripes for about 30 years. They're imprinted in my heart.
They are the team of the great Bill Veeck (rhymes with wreck), one of the most creative (and strangest) team owners in baseball history, and the first person to sign an African-American player to an American League team (Larry Doby, Cleveland, 1947).
The White Sox haven't won a World Series since 1917. Standard longest-championship-drought cliches always focused on the Red Sox (1918... 2004) and the Cubs (1908). The White Sox were the forgotten losers. They haven't even been in a World Series since 1959.
The White Sox's manager and general manager are both people of color, in a game in which management is still too uniformly white.
So that's enough for me. But come on, they're playing a team from Texas! This makes it a total no-brainer. Let's see, Chicago vs. Houston...
Houston: anyone ever hear of any Houston music? Whitney?
Chicago: north of the Mason-Dixon line, a place of freedom
Texas: slave state, stolen from Mexico
Chicago: deep-dish pizza, soul food, world famous restaurants
Houston: yeah, right
Chicago: ER, Chicago Hope, many other good TV shows set in this great city
Houston: the closest I could come was Dallas
Chicago: Louis Sullivan and the birthplace of the skyscraper
Houston: ugly faceless oil headquarters
Texas: George W. Bush
Illinois: anyone else
Houston: First World Series ever (first pennant in their history!), and no one should win their first time out. (Curse those Diamondbacks! I'll never get over it.)
Chicago: It's about time. Let's see all those drought stories rewritten - first Boston, now the White Sox, and next the Cubs.
This promises to be a great series, with awesome pitching on both sides. First pitch, 7:50 p.m.