Okay, so I would rather have a great White Sox team instead of a great White Sox team store, but I just got a White Sox Wire bulletin about the new team store the Sox are building at the Cell, and it looks very nice. I love team stores, simply because every piece of useless team memorabilia you can think of–1987 team baseball cards! stuffed lambs with the team logo! garden gnomes!–is stocked floor-to-ceiling, all in one wonderfully tacky marketing scheme. What’s going to make the Sox store so great is that all of that useless team memorabilia will be stocked floor-to-ceiling on not one, but two floors! Think of all the wacky souvenirs they can fit in two floors and 13,000 square feet! Light-up keychains? Talking alarm clocks? Bobbleheads of the bullpen catcher? The cheesy possibilities are endless.
Tomorrow, the White Sox will take on the Mariners in Seattle. Felix Hernandez will battle Philip Humber on the mound, which leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. King Felix is the ace of my fantasy team, and I am currently in need of some strikeouts and a low ERA to win this week’s matchup. But of course, the White Sox are in need of a win period. I guess I’ll just have to hope that Felix goes eight strong without giving up a run, but the M’s closer blows it in the ninth. Except that the M’s closer, Brandon League, is also on my fantasy team. Hmmmm….
After reading a very funny entry over at “This is a Very Simple Game…” regarding promotions and giveaways at games, I decided to see what my east coast counterparts have to offer me at their games. Turns out, the old East Coast Establishment does not have a very great sense of humor. There are no Chia Pets or Troll Dolls for us. No, we get the boring, standard fare. Posters, T-shirts, and hats. The Red Sox are so uptight, they don’t even have ANY sort of giveaway! When I pointed this out to my father, he said, “Going to Fenway is enough of souvenir. You don’t need a bobblehead.” Well, maybe he doesn’t need a bobblehead. I would like a bobblehead.
(Okay, maybe not that bobblehead. That one is a wee bit frightening.)
Fed up with the boring giveaways that I actually have a chance of receiving (catching games at Yankee, Fenway, CitiField and maybe even Camden Yards are all possibilities), I turned to good ol’ Chitown, which always has something up its sleeve. Let me say this. The White Sox are masters at giving away specially priced tickets. During the 2011 season, Latino business owners, Cardinal Fitness members, church ministers, high school marching band conductors, Kiwanis members, Kinley Park residents, and many other groups of people that I don’t feel like typing have the opportunity to get discounted tickets at certain games. Even when everyone has to pay full price, the Sox do not skimp on promotions. There are fireworks displays set to Elvis, Motown tunes, and “Mullet Style” music (the latter will occur on “Mullet Day”, whatever that is).
But of course, I like tangible objects, things I can hold. You can get those for free at the Cell too. Bobbleheads seem to be the preferred giveaway. A Mark Buehrle bobblehead will be given away at some point, and so will one of a beer vendor (I guess it’s time unsung heroes got the limelight). But my favorite bobblehead that will be given away is the one of Roger Bossard .
Except I don’t know who Roger Bossard is.
So I went to the ever-reputable source that is Wikipedia to find out who this kind man is. Turns out that Roger Bossard is the head groundskeeper at the Cell. He is known as “The Sodfather” and developed a “revolutionary” irrigation and drainage system for ballparks. This is a picture of him. I found it in an article about him in Smithsonian magazine. Pretty schmancy (the fact that he had an article written about him in the Smithsonian, I mean).
Who woulda thunk? The manager, the All-Star first baseman, the slugging DH, they don’t get bobbleheads this season, but the Sodfather does.
P.S. Anyone who goes to that game (June 12 against the A’s) and thinks “Who the heck is this guy and why does he get a bobblehead?” can gladly mail the rejected plastic to me. In case you couldn’t tell by this entire entry, I’m a sucker for kitsch like that.