About a year ago the Sox made a small personnel move. It didn't involve any players or even seem significant at the time. One year later, we all know different. The White Sox fan base has been energized not just by the play on the field, but from the top down within the organization.
The move in question was the hiring of former Notre Dame basketballer, Brooks Boyer, as the VP of marketing. With the limited resources left in the budget last year, he helped increase the profile of the Sox with the Sox Pride and Us vs. Them campaigns. Even more important than a few commercials and new logos on the website, is Brooks' accessibility to 'Joe Fan.'
Just a couple of years ago, the Sox, and their higher ups seemed as if they were living in an ivory tower. They weren't nearly as accessible as they are today. And, whether it's true or not, they didn't really seem to care all that much. They were just going through the motions.
Fast forward to Sunday. The Sox are just finishing yet another loss in Oakland. Scott Podsednik is named one of the final 5 players for the All-Star game in the 32nd man voting. 24 hours later, Podsednik is signing baseballs for fans during almost all of the 2-hour rain delay before the game. Mark Buehrle gets on the stadium mike to campaign for the crowds' vote. Vote for Scott, with the 'S' in Scott replaced with the Olde English Sox logo, buttons have been made. A day later, 'Vote for Scott' t-shirts have flooded the park. There's a 'Vote for Scott' logo on the wall directly behind home plate. Hawk is reading email after email about people voting for Pods. Joe Crede is voting on a laptop while getting treatment on his back. This is a well oiled political machine.
Now I'm not suggesting that Brooks Boyer is solely responsible for all of the good will. He's just a key cog in the wheel. Kenny, Ozzie, the players, you, me, everyone in the Sox front office, we've all played roles in this. This isn't the first time the Sox have had a player in the 32nd man voting, but it is the first time we've generated any buzz. Get chesty Sox fans. You made your voice heard. You helped put Scotty in the All-Star game in a true demonstration of Sox Pride.
From Sox VP of Communications, Scott Reifert's blog
I want to personally thank everyone - my friends, my family, White Sox fans, baseball fans in general, the Chicago White Sox organization, and of course, my teammates - for showing their support for me during the past three days of on-line voting for the final spot on the American League All-Star Team.
The response has been amazing and humbling. Being named to the All-Star Team is a dream every 10-year-old enjoys when growing up playing baseball. Thanks to your votes, I will have the opportunity to fulfill those dreams on Tuesday night in Detroit at Major League Baseball's 76th All-Star Game.
It will be an experience I will never forget.