The Sox celebrated Independence Day with many tributes to our military — active personnel and retired.
The First Pitch was thrown by Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro (to Carlos Rodon). Here’s a link to a 2010 ABC News story about Israel.
Israel Del Toro re-enlists
Here’s a few details from the story.
Severely burned over more than 80% of his body in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, Del Toro spent four years convincing the Air Force to allow him to re-enlist. Since his injuries prevent him from deploying, he now trains recruits to do the job he once held – a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC). JTACs are Air Force personnel assigned to Army units on patrol or on the attack, the most forward units in the war. When they come under fire, the JTAC calls in air support and directs that fire into enemy positions.
Active military greeted each Sox player as they took their positions in the 1st inning.
Retired military were recognized pre-game.
“Play Ball” was shouted by a WW II vet. (sorry, no picture)
Pre-game featured members of Warriors’ Watch riding onto and circling the field.
The National Anthem was sung by REO Speedwagon.
He played Shortstop as a kid and his favorite player was Louie Aparicio (#11). The White Sox posted a video of Kevin talking about growing up a fan. His 91-year-old father was in the stands for the game.
Kevin also sang God Bless America in the 7th inning.
BTW — REO’s first hit album (double platinum) was
“You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tune a Fish”.
Here’s a couple characters we ran into in he concourse.
Many fans also came dressed for the occasion.
Southpaw dressed in his Military Fatigues. He usually goes with more of an Uncle Sam look. Picture of Southpaw in the crowd is from 2012.
One more thing —
You load it onto your phone and “Check in” when you arrive at the ballpark.
This unlocks special offers for that game — Free T-shirt the first time you use the app, discounts on food, spin a prize wheel in the Sox Social Lounge on your 10th check-in, etc.
One of the app’s features is a contest called “You Make the Call”. Before the game, you answer a couple multiple-choice trivia questions — The July 4 answers were Joe Crede and Jose Valentin (did not hit home run in his 1st at bat, and last Sox player to hit for the cycle). Then, you answer a question about each inning (1st to 8th). E.g. Will the Sox get a hit in the 3rd?, will a Sox player get to full count in the 4th?, how many strikes will Sox pitcher throw in the 8th? You get 200 point for each trivia answer and 100 points for each correct inning guess.
I’ve played a few times with mixed results. However, on the 4th, I had the high score with 1100 points. (I don’t think a lot of fans play.)
You can claim your prize after the game at the Sox Social Lounge. I was expecting a cheap (but nice) White Sox Tote Bag, but they couldn’t seem to find one. Finally, one of the employees went into the back room and came out with a draw-string bag containing some pretty good stuff.
The bag was from the Paul Konerko promotion during his last year (2014) and contained a Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day flat cap from last September, a U.S. Cellular 25th Anniversary picture giveaway from earlier this season, and a Melk Man T-shirt from a recent “Free T-shirt Thursday”.
Well worth playing.
And, a good result.