Harry Carey (and many others) used to say, “You can’t beat fun at the old ballpark”, and that was especially true last night. We watched the game from the Stadium Club along with a few hundred other White Sox / Blackhawks fans. The Hawks-Blues game played on dozens of screens, so one could catch the action between pitches. About 90% of my pictures are from our lower box seats down the first base line — here’s the view from above. You’re a bit farther away, but can see the whole field and follow the ball well. The above picture shows Jose Abreu at the plate in the bottom of the ninth just before his walk-off grand slam. (Note: never say “grand slam homer”.)
It’s only the second walk-off slam that I’ve witnessed — the first was by Joe Crede in 2002, and I think (like Abreu) it was his second homer of the game. If I remember correctly, Joe’s homer was in extra innings after he hit a homer in the ninth to tie the game. Seven years later, in Joe’s only year with the Twins, he hit another walk-off slam (in the 13th inning). Of course, the walk-off grand slam may be viewed as overkill when a single would have done the trick. Some refer to a slam when trailing by three runs as an “ultimate grand slam”. Roberto Clemente once hit a walk-off, in-the-park, ultimate grand slam for an 8-7 victory over (who else) the Cubs. BTW – Clemente is the only Rule-5 selection to make the HOF.
Earlier this week, Bob Costas was a guest on Olbermann (my favorite sports show), and they discussed “records that will never be broken/equaled”. One candidate was Fernando Tatis hitting two grand slams in one inning off the same pitcher (Chan Ho Park).
One more thing — The Sox reworked the right field video board to improve the displays of home and visitor lineups and other games’ scores. The only bad feature on the rework was a too-small display for the pitch count and pitch speed.
Starting with last night’s game, there is now a new design, which displays the pitch count in a baseball and the pitch speed about 10 times bigger than before. However, in the early going, there may have been a few problems as it displayed pitch speeds unheard of since 1985 in the Sidd Finch era.