Meet the Players: Sam Sherman


Sam Sherman is another in a long line of sharp writers and communications vets who are hopping onto the South Side Hit Pen masthead. (He’s so talented, in spite of myself I’m adding yet another U. of I. guy onto the team, sheesh.)

As a broadcast journalism ace, Sam will be concentrating on Q&As to begin with, whether for print or podcast; his first, with the Score’s Herb Lawrence, ran on Thursday. He’s a self-professed die-hard White Sox fan, one of the sick ones who watches just about every game regardless of record/expectations. And hey, like so many already on staff, he’s a musician, so hey, look for that large-group “We Are the White Sox” of “Do They Know It’s World Series Time” charity singalong any time now.

Take a look at Sam’s debut Q&A piece, and welcome him to the team! 


Hometown Wilmette 

White Sox fan since as far back as I can remember (Dad is a Sox fan, his dad was a Sox fan, one of those deals)

First White Sox memory I vaguely remember being at a game when I was very young seeing Frank Thomas absolutely demolish a ball down the left field line, I think against the Mariners.

Favorite White Sox memory In 2005, my dad and all of his friends (all life-long, die-hard Sox fans) were at our house to watch the clincher. After the final out, they were all crying tears of joy, and I’ll never forget that. 

Favorite White Sox player Ray Durham

Next White Sox statue Have to think Abreu will get one at some point. 

Next White Sox retired number 79

Go-to concession food at Sox Park I don’t think I enjoy a single food more than I enjoy a Merkts Burger

Favorite baseball movie I mean, I’ll never not watch Moneyball when it’s on, but I’m going to go with The Fan because it’s so dumb but so wonderful. 

Hall of Fame: Speed Round

Mark Buehrle Yes
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko No 😦
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Yes 

South Side Hit Pen on the field First base

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Yes. 

Meet the Players: Amber Giese


It seems with every addition to South Side Hit Pen, some new ground is broken.

In the case of Amber Giese, it’s in adding a writer who’s mostly brand-new to White Sox fandom. But here’s the thing: When you find a great writer, you get ’em on board first, ask questions later. 

And yet it’s clear that Amber has the chops, not just as a writer, but a fledgling White Sox fan. Props to Scotty Pods, visceral distaste for the Cubs, a general sense of resignation over the fortunes of her teams … yep, she’s one of us.

Amber made her debut on site earlier today, a survey of all the wildest and wackiest team giveaways across baseball in 2020. Make sure to give it a read, and follow her on Twitter @ColdWars.

Most importantly, give Amber a warm welcome to South Side Hit Pen!


Name Amber Giese [it rhymes with easy]

Hometown I was born, raised, and continue to live and work in Milwaukee. I own a house on the northwest side of the city — just two miles from the home in which I grew up. I’m really spreading my wings.

White Sox fan since Dec. 20, 2019, when Gio González was returned to the White Sox. That’s the day I decided to commit myself to the team. Hello, White Sox bandwagon.

That’s right. A 34-year-old, hyper-emotional junkballer made me a White Sox fan. Yasmani Grandal did a bit of the pre-work, but Gio really brought us together.

I’ve always followed the AL Central closely, as it consists of small markets and underdogs, but now I’m committed to following one team religiously and enjoying their journey to the 2020 World Series, during which they will face off against my beloved Milwaukee Brewers. Proud bandwagoner. Happy to be here. Trying to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can.

First White Sox memory I went to opening day at Milwaukee County Stadium on April 26, 1995; I was seven, and thrilled my parents let me miss school. The matchup was White Sox at Brewers, and the Brewers won, 12-3. I remember my dad specifically saying, “This season is going to be different, Amber.” It wasn’t. It was like all the Brewers seasons of the 90s. Sad. With concrete falling everywhere from an old, dying stadium.

In 1995, the Brewers went 65-79. The White Sox went 68-76.

I know how to pick ’em.

Favorite White Sox memory I went to my first game on the South Side in August 2014 with my sister, as she had just moved to Chicago. The team gave away Tony La Russa bobbleheads, and I thought this was hilarious. Mine still sits on a shelf in my basement, collecting dust.

The people were friendly. The Chicago dogs were good. The White Sox lost to the Tigers by four runs — a real bummer.

Favorite White Sox player Current? Gio González. The emotion. The thighs. The five to six tedious innings of junkballing. It’s all wonderful. You’re going to love him. You’re going to hate him.

All-time? It’s a tossup between Paul Konerko and Scott Podsednik. I appreciate kings who propel their teams to World Series victories, especially when enabling the White Sox to do it before the Cubs.

I’m petty.

Go-to concession food at Sox Park I hate most variations of hot dogs, but I love Chicago-style hot dogs. And Sox Park has good ones.

Favorite baseball movie I have two. The first is A League of Their Own because it’s about women who actually played baseball — not just a fluffy romance that happened to have women baseball players.

The second is Little Big League solely because of the baseball highlights montage set to “Runaround Sue” by Dion DiMucci.

South Side Hit Pen on the field I played catcher in grade school through high school because I was a little clunky but had a good arm. I hit the ball far, but was slow on the base paths. I think “clunky but powerful” still describes me well overall.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Truem because I blindly trust They Might Be Giants. I don’t even have to rationalize this.

Meet the Players: Trevor Lines


Trevor started writing Fanposts over on South Side Sox a few weeks ago to share his thoughts on our White Sox, and gain more experience in blogging. He’s a recent graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville, where he played ball under Larry Owens, former pitching coach of the Kannapolis Intimidators and Bristol Sox. The middle infielder had an amazing experience there, learned a lot about the game, and was able to help bring home some hardware by his senior year.

After graduation, Lines relocated to Madison, Wis. in October for an inside sales job. With territory of Charlotte, he plans on convincing his boss to send him down for a work trip this summer to catch a Knights game. (Knights game tix to seal new sales deals!) The ultimate goal for Trevor is to get back to Louisville, because it’s an awesome place.

This picture above was taken the day after the 2005 World Series. A lot has changed since then, but Trevor is still rocking a cast on his left arm (he recently got wrist surgery to repair some torn ligaments from baseball), so hopefully that is a sign of good things to come for White Sox playoffs in 2020. The injury may keep Trevor on a pitch count for the next few weeks, but he’s excited to contribute to the site and community. His first piece covers four underrated early-season storylines with the White Sox, so check it out.

You can follow Trevor @TLines2 on Twitter. Take a second to welcome him to the team!

 


Hometown Morris, Ill. 

White Sox fan since as long as I can remember (born in 1995)

First White Sox memory Ohh-ee-ohh…MAGGG-LIO. Or the “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” chant when opposing pitchers got yanked. Can’t wait to have that electricity back in Sox Park.

Favorite White Sox memory Overall? 2005 World Series (cliché) In person? Jordan Danks’ first MLB HR (walk-off to beat A’s)

Favorite White Sox player Current? Yoán Moncada — that swing tho All-Time? Mark Buehrle

Next White Sox statue Hawk Harrelson. BIG Hawk guy. Can’t wait for his HOF speech

Next White Sox retired number José Abreu

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Dollar Dog Wednesdays

Favorite Baseball Movie Major League: entertaining movie, and good memories watching it on bus trips with teammates

Hall of Fame Speed Round
Mark Buehrle Originally said no, did some research and switching to yes. Guaranteed 200 IP. World Series champ. Arguably best fielding pitcher in history. Only pitcher in history to face the minimum three times. All other pitchers with both a perfect game and no-hitter are in HOF.
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko Not unless you add 250 stolen bags to his resume
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Yes, eventually

South Side Hit Pen on the field Second Base

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. False. I don’t really think about thinking; I just think. (No “internal monologue,” for those of you who saw that viral phenomenon last week.)

Meet the Players: Keelin Billue


Introducing new members of our staff is always easy, because they kick so much ass. Keelin Billue is no different.

But then, she is very different from many of us on staff. She is a (relative) newcomer to our city, born closer to the Birmingham Barons to the South Side White Sox. Her many areas of expertise center more around things like music and sociological research, not baseball.

But there’s some stuff about writin’ you can’t teach, and Keelin has got that stuff: wild creativity, reckless spirit, and an extra helping of happiness. She’s good people, and she’s going to make greatness on our site.

The grandson of fellow SSHP staffer Tommy Barbee, Keelin has two handsome rescue dogs, Hank and Mr. Wendal. She once badly broke her collarbone jumping and falling over a small hurdle meant for dogs (and no, was not intoxicated). Keelin raves about the Sox Park food (as if there can be another reaction among the sane) and, after having seen all of five total major league parks in her life, sees fit to call the match and award Sox Park the prize as best ballpark in the country.

So how has this New Orleans Saints fan been seduced by the Sox, and baseball at large? It’s the romance, as no other sport takes itself less seriously while also having the capacity to break hearts.

Come join Keelin on her mission to take herself less seriously, and break some hearts, as our newest South Side Hit Pen staff member!


Name Keelin Billue

Hometown Guntersville, Ala. In 1996, we got a Super Wal-Mart with a McDonald’s inside of it. Everyone was extremely excited.

First White Sox memory In the summer of 1995, my brother (6.5 years my senior) constantly wore a White Sox hat. (My brother is now a huge Tigers fan.) In 2014, he took me to my first White Sox game (so he could see the Tigers). He’s surprisingly supportive of me writing here.

Favorite White Sox memory Ozzie Guillén hitting Simon Diamond with a chair. Of course, I wasn’t there for that, but I propose a recreation of this event so I can be. Also, getting that sweet Sox Hawaiian print bucket hat freebie (sponsored by Beggar’s Pizza) in the 2018 season.

Favorite White Sox player Tim Anderson, a fellow Alabamian and general enigma

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Elotes, followed by a churro(s).

Favorite baseball movie Mr. Baseball. “Baseball is a game. Games are supposed to be fun.” Love you, Magnum.

Hall of Fame: speed round

Mark Buehrle Yes
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko Yes
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Yes

South Side Hit Pen on the field A flashy and slightly egotistical center fielder. Probably wearing my Sox Hawaiian print bucket hat freebie.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. I am not qualified to issue medical advice.

Meet the Players: Tommy Barbee


Onetime aspiring black Quentin Tarantino, film major Tommy Barbee is the latest addition to South Side Hit Pen. He’s a vet, as some of us are wont to be, of the Bleacher-Report meat grinder, and impossibly clever and perceptive tweets @KindaBleu.

When not obsessing over our White Sox, and sports at large, Tommy plays guitar and writes on music as well. Earlier this year he teamed up with our Leonard Gore for the first Black Sox Brothers podcast.

Doing the lord’s work, he has converted his wife into Sox fandom, again as some of are wont to do, and is spending much of his free time these days chasing his three kids around the house.

Tommy’s first piece for us was published this evening, an even-keeled take on the Nomar Mazara trade.

So, please welcome our newest writer, light-hitting shortstop and bratwurst aficionado Tommy Barbee!


Hometown Chicago

White Sox fan since 1985

First White Sox memory Watching Carlton Fisk with my dad growing up. 

Favorite White Sox memory Seeing the White Sox win the World Series. It actually happened, right?

Favorite White Sox player Current? Yoán Moncada. All-time? Carlton Fisk

Next White Sox statue Mark Buehrle

Next White Sox retired number José Abreu

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Gotta get a brat, always!

Favorite baseball movie Bull Durham. So many great quotes in that movie, and I appreciate the cynicism compared to movies like The Natural.

Hall of Fame: speed round
Mark Buehrle At the risk of sounding like a homer, you can make a damn good case for him getting in.
Joe Jackson No
Paul Konerko Hall of Pretty Good. Unless he gets the Harold Baines treatment, Konerko won’t get in.
Minnie Miñoso Yes, it shouldn’t even be a debate
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Yes, assuming his arm doesn’t fall off. I also want his shredded jersey in the HOF with him.

South Side Hit Pen on the field I played SS and the best comp for me was Rey Ordoñez. I was renowned for my defense, but couldn’t hit a lick.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. This is totally true.

Meet the Players: Owen Schoenfeld


Owen Schoenfeld was born in Chicago but grew up in the North Side burbs, being the rare White Sox fan in a sea of blue before finishing high school in Austin, Texas, where his fandom was even more a rarity. He has his father and grandfather to thank for making sure he grew up donning the right Chicago cap.

His writing career began in college when he studied business at the University of Texas at Austin. Owen’s written for a barrage of publications, including FanSided and FutureSox, where his work was regularly featured on Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports team sites.

In 2017, Owen co-founded the Chicago-centric sports website The Loop Sports, which grew to be a notable player in the Chicago media landscape for three years before recently running its course and dissolving into separate projects.

You might know Owen as @The_Xsport on Twitter, or for his Photoshop mashup of SI predicting the White Sox as 2020 champions. He still thinks a title is a non-zero possibility (with the right offseason), and hopes his edit can give Chicago some positive mojo.

On a similar note, he also published a fiction book with his identical twin brother called “It Isn’t Just a Game,” featuring a sci-fi twist on the 2005 season, where two kids control the real-life season through their gaming console. That was back when he was 12, but the rumor is that there are still some copies lurking around at the stadium’s Chicago Sports Depot.


Hometown Chicago

White Sox fan since 01/12/1996

First White Sox memory First game was at a mere six months old, but my first memory was when I was about three and at a summer game. My family would play a game where you’d pick a player at the start and if they hit a home run, you’d get a crisp dollar bill. My favorite player “Magglio Ordoñez” hit a deep drive to left field in the seventh inning. I still have the dollar.

Favorite White Sox memory World Series Game 2, hands down. I was lucky enough to be in Section 143 and witness Konerko’s grand slam and Podsednik’s walk-off bomb in person. Those moments are the loudest I’ve ever heard a pro stadium — and I’ve been to a Texas Longhorns football game with 100,000-plus fans.

Favorite White Sox player Magglio as a little kid, Konerko as my all-time favorite, and José Abreu on the current roster. Although Eloy, with his patented red batting gloves, is a fast-approaching second.

Next White Sox statue Mark Buehrle

Next White Sox retired number Abreu, if he keeps production up and plays an integral role in a championship. He’s a Jerry favorite.

Go-to concession food at Sox Park The strawberry-stuffed churros. Used to be the popcorn chicken, when they had it.

Favorite Baseball movie Little Big League. It’s every kid’s dream to be the manager, GM, or the owner of a major league team at one time or another. This kid got to be all three –– and all in the same classic film.

Hall of Fame: Speed Round

Mark Buehrle Yes
Joe Jackson No
Paul Konerko No
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel Yes
Chris Sale Yes, but with the wrong cap

South Side Hit Pen on the field Center field (see photo). I played CF in Cooperstown at age 12 as part of the Dreams Tournament. I could chase down anything, throw out runners from the wall, and swipe bags in a pinch. My OBP was also .100 so …

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of: True

 

Meet the Players: James Fox

In another big South Side Hit Pen signing, we welcome FutureSox writer and all-around good dude James Fox to the team. James coordinates the FS draft coverage and does some great prospects writing for them. In the non-White Sox world, he teaches sixth grade English in a special education setting and coaches high school football and track and field.

While not an outright contrarian, James believes in relative harmony between South and North Side fans, instead training all his ill will to our division rivals: “The Cleveland Indians ruined my childhood and I enjoy when bad things happen to them.”

James slides in as the managing editor of our site, and will provide major league writing for us. Please give our new, choice free agent a hearty welcome!


Hometown Lockport 

White Sox fan since 1990

First White Sox memory Seeing Frank Thomas play in person as a six-year-old and falling in love with the team

Favorite White Sox memory It would have to be the World Series in 2005 

Favorite White Sox player Yoán Moncada is my favorite player on the current team, but Frank Thomas is my favorite professional athlete of all time. 

Next White Sox statue Hawk Harrelson

Next White Sox retired number Ozzie Guillén

Go-to concession food at Sox Park You can never go wrong with the brats or sausages on the concourse 

Favorite baseball movie Bull Durham. Anytime you can mix a RomCom with the minor league experience, I’m in. (I’m looking at you, Summer Catch) 

Hall of Fame speed round
Mark Buehrle  No
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko No
Minnie Miñoso No
Omar Vizquel No 
Chris Sale Yes 

South Side Hit Pen on the field: 3B. I was bad and couldn’t field anything, but I could make the throw across the diamond 

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. False. In my experience, some people wander through life consistently oblivious to what’s happening 

Meet the Players: Colleen Sullivan


Colleen Sullivan brings some whip-smart wit and sass to South Side Hit Pen. She’s another writer long targeted by South Side Sox and SSHP, so while she was too late to celebrate an 89-loss season with us, we’ll have her throwing things onto our pages all offseason and into 2020.

Her first piece is a wry bit of managerial handicapping, which made its debut this morning.

Adding Colleen to the masthead promises to liven up the staff, so feel free to take a moment and welcome her to South Side Hit Pen!


Hometown Southwest side

White Sox fan since Birth. We were indoctrinated at a young age by my dad, who used to make us say “Cubs suck” often (like, before getting a snack, we had to say the Cubs suck).

First White Sox memory I don’t have any really specific early memories, but we spent a lot of weekends in the summer at games in the upper deck. My grandmother worked at one of the stands at Comiskey for as long as I can remember (she also worked at the United Center in the winter), so for years as kids we got to “visit” her at work. Also remember my older sister being terrified of fireworks and her hauling ass through the parking lot in fear.

Favorite White Sox memory Outside of the 2005 World Series, I have to go with the 2008 Blackout Game.  

Favorite White Sox player When I was a kid, Robin Ventura was my favorite player for years — so much so that when he was traded to the Mets I became a Mets fan. I’m also a huge fan of A.J. Pierzynski, because who doesn’t love a catcher with attitude?

Today, I don’t know how someone doesn’t love Tim Anderson from Day 1. Plus, Lucas Giolito seems like an all-around good dude. I spent 2018 telling anyone who would listen that he was going to turn it around.

Next White Sox statue If it’s not Mark Buerhle sliding headfirst on the tarp, they’re doing it wrong.

Next White Sox retired number I’m going to say either Bo Jackson‘s No. 8 or Jack McDowell‘s No. 29.

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Nachos with the liquid cheese. Once when I was drunk, my husband got me the fully-loaded helmet and I told him it was the wrong cheese (I’m not sorry). I still ate it, because I was drunk. I’m digging the new loaded fries over by Section 110.

Favorite baseball movie Bull Durham has got everything! Baseball, comedy, romance that isn’t overdone and corny, Kevin Costner … True story: I once argued with a guy in the bar as to why Bull Durham is superior to The Natural.

Hall of Fame: Speed Round

Mark Buehrle yes
Joe Jackson should but won’t
Paul Konerko yes
Minnie Miñoso yes
Omar Vizquel no
Chris Sale no

South Side Hit Pen on the field Catcher/first base; I’m 5´1´´, so I was a short first baseman.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Sure, probably.


 

Meet the Players: Scott Reichard

Our 17th and newest writer at South Side Hit Pen, Scott Reichard, is by nature a classical guitarist. In fact, when I first reached out to him to participate on the site, Scott thought it was to contribute music, not write (narrator: Scott will, in fact, have his work featured on our podcast).

So once we got that cleared up and after a recent move to re-settle his office, Scott is on board tickling the keyboard, not just the frets. His first piece — part one of a trilogy — appeared this morning.

Keep up with Scott’s tweets at @Scott_Reichard on Twitter, and otherwise welcome him to our staff, where he’ll be pitching in this offseason and into what we all hope will be an exciting 2020 season!


Hometown Glenwood 

White Sox fan since 1983 

First White Sox Memory Hard to pinpoint, but just the green seats and yellow railings of the old stadium. The smell of onions, and the sights and sounds of baseball. Love!

Favorite White Sox player I’ll name two, one hitter, one pitcher. Frank Thomas was appointment television. I use to mimic his batting stance when I played Wiiffleball! He was the best player in White  Sox history. Favorite pitcher was Mark Buehrle. He was always an underdog. He pitched so efficiently, and had an exuberant joy playing the game that was infectious.  Plus that kick save on Opening Day of 2009 I believe was the most ridiculous play I’ve seen.

Next White Sox statue Mark Buehrle flipping the ball through his legs 😂

Next Retired Number 74

Go-to Concession Tough one. The hot dog stand, Cuban Sandwich, and the craft cave. What can I say, I’m large and hungry.

Favorite baseball movie Major League, and it isn’t close. “It was out of my reach. What do you want me to do, dive for it?”

Hall of Fame Speed Round
Mark Buehrle yes
Joe Jackson yes
Paul Konerko no
Minnie Miñoso yes
Omar Vizquel no
Chris Sale yes

South Side Hit Pen on the field Right field. Power bat, and I had a cannon for an arm until my shoulder pretty much fell off in high school at Homewood-Flossmoor. (I graduated one year before Jason Benetti btw.) Though my commentary is more of the left field variety!

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of? Yes!

Meet the Players: Mark Liptak

Mark Liptak is a longtime Chicago White Sox writer and historian, as well as a four-decade sports broadcaster. Mark currently is the radio voice of Idaho State, broadcasting volleyball, football, women’s basketball and softball. His White Sox writing includes work for the Chicago Baseball Museum and White Sox Interactive; it’s not hyperbolic to call Liptak the preeminent White Sox historian writing today.

And we’re lucky enough to get him every day, with Today in White Sox History. But Mark will be bringing a lot more to South Side Hit Pen in the weeks and months to come: interviews, multi-part historical features and commentary.

Please welcome Mark to the site, and enjoy his White Sox almanac every single day!


Hometown Chubbuck, Idaho

White Sox fan since 1960

First White Sox memory July 15, 1963, my first game at Comiskey Park. White Sox pitcher Gary Peters threw a complete game, one-hitter, beating the Baltimore Orioles, 4-0.

Favorite White Sox memory Winning the 2005 World Series.

Favorite White Sox player Billy Pierce

Next White Sox statue Dick Allen

Next White Sox retired number José Abreu

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Churros

Favorite Baseball Movie The Natural (1984). Robert Redford’s performance is impressive (trivia note: He played first base in high school in California and was a teammate of Don Drysdale!), and it was a wonderful look at the game and the connections to individuals and families.

Hall of Fame Speed Round
Mark Buehrle No
Joe Jackson Should be in, if they ever lift his ban
Paul Konerko No
Minnie Miñoso Should have been in years ago, along with Billy Pierce, Dick Allen, Jim Kaat and Tommy John
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Maybe, if he can put together three or four more dominant seasons

South Side Hit Pen on the Field Have played a number of positions through college. Pitcher, first base, corner outfield positions. I’m left handed.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Nice … false, in my case. Have never thought that way.