A look back at the Summer of '99.
"The Kids Can Play" era in full swing. The 11 thousand or so in the stands at Comiskey Park got to see a bunch of future superstars, a World Series MVP, and two Sox broadcasters on the field that night.
The 1999 Sox are viewed, by some, as a nadir for the franchise. That lineup was pretty damn solid. If they had a pitching staff, that team probably would have made some noise.
The White Sox were the second worst draw in the American League that year (1.3 million). Barring some disaster, I'm pretty sure attendance will never be that bad again.
Look at this year. The team got off to a slow start, and there have been some poorly attended ballgames. But at mid-season the Sox are only 300 thousand fans away from outdrawing 1999.
Why? Us. I'm pretty sure most of us on this site are in our late 20's or early 30's. We're out of college and we have the time and money to go to Sox games. And you've got to admit Sox fandom has been all right. We grew up with Frank Thomas, Ozzie, and Robin Ventura. We got to see a World Series championship, several division titles, and a couple of entertaining pennant races.
But back in '99, there were still a lot of hard feelings among the ticket buying public - about Old Comiskey, the design of the new ballpark, the threatened move to Florida, the white flag trade, etc. Those fans took their grudges and never came back...at least until we took their place.
Listen to sports radio or read newspaper comment threads - the relexively pessemistic and pissed off fans are the ones who say they've been following the team for "30/40/50 years."
1999 was the end of a decade, the end of a century, and the beginning of a new era in Sox fandom.