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Straight Doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field

30 April 2009 No Comment

My original sporting event plan for Tuesday was to attend the noon start between the Beloit Snappers and Kane County Cougars in Geneva, IL. However, when Monday night’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox was postponed and rescheduled as a straight doubleheader beginning at 4:05 pm Tuesday afternoon, I changed my plans – the first doubleheader (straight or split) I have attended since September 10, 2004.

Monday night was the 35th postponed game in the 19 year history of U.S. Cellular Field making Tuesday night’s doubleheader the seventh doubleheader played between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox – obviously all played in Chicago.

Since I was driving from work, I had to pay to park. The White Sox are charging $23 to park in their lot this year – up from $1 last season.

Obtaining Tickets
Monday night’s game was half-price night. Thus, the official ticket exchange policy stated that fans could trade in the value of their Monday night ticket for any future game. However, it seemed as though most fans chose to trade in Monday’s tickets for Tuesday’s doubleheader. I parked in the lot as the first game was starting and realized that lines, about 100 people deep, were waiting outside each ticket window. The White Sox had not opened enough windows – obviously not expecting such a large walkup crowd.

I found a group of fans who actually had complimentary tickets for both Monday and Tuesday night’s games. They gave me tickets for Monday night’s game but I realized I would have to “trade” these tickets at the box office and was not willing to wait in line. Thus, I took the tickets and walked the other direction in search of actual Tuesday night tickets. As I was walking, the next box office had a window open with nobody waiting in line. I sprinted to the window and the window had just opened! I traded the ticket I received for a ticket to Tuesday night’s game and was on my way into the ballpark before the hundreds of people waiting at each gate.

Game 1
In the first game of the doubleheader, the White Sox managed to defeat the Mariners 2-1 with only two hits. It was the first time since June 22, 2006 that the White Sox won a game with only two hits and the first time since June 23, 2001 that the Mariners lost a game when only giving up two hits.

Game 1 was the second shortest game (in time) I have ever attended. The game lasted a total of 112 minutes. The shortest game I ever attended (109 minutes) was on June 21, 2002 when the Chicago Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals by the same score 2-1. The only other game I attended that was under two hours (114 minutes) was April 6, 1994 when the San Francisco Giants hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Between Games
Since Game 1 took so little time, Game 2 started at 7:11 pm rather than starting the customary 30 minutes after Game 1. After Game 1, I decided to walk to the Gate 5 ramp to see if people were still waiting in line for tickets. There were no longer any lines (it was 90 minutes later). As I was walking across the bridge, I noticed an advertisement hanging along the railroad tracks that cross over 35th St.

The ad was for Buffalo Wings & Rings, located at 3434 S. Halsted St, which is 4 blocks west of U.S. Cellular Field. The ad stated that the restaurant has free parking and a free shuttle to the ballpark (something I have not heard of at U.S. Cellular Field) – which would save the $23 it costs to park at U.S. Cellular Field. I will probably try to restaurant when driving to future White Sox games.

Game 2
The Mariners broke out their bats in Game 2 as they defeated the White Sox 9-1. Russell Branyan went 5-5 and Yunieky Betancourt drove in 5 runs as the temperature seemed to decrease over the remaining innings.

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