In a couple of cases, we’ve had folks working with South Side Sox for a while, but not trotted out their formal Meet the Players intro piece. Oftentimes that’s due to someone joining up with us while we were working together somewhere outside of SB Nation.
That’s the case with Mitch Ransdell, who hooked up with us at South Side Hit Pen while we were part of Sports Illustrated’s White Sox coverage. His first piece for us there was his tribute to the iconic Dick Allen Sports Illustrated cover (smoking, juggling ...). Ironically, SI did not own the rights to that photo — yes, this was a forecast of how things were to go working with them — and we had to take that article down. But Mitch soldiered on, putting one piece of writing and art together for us before that whole thing came crashing to a halt.
This year, Mitch and I were in touch and I suggested he do some art for our Six Pack of Stats polling; we would name a Player of the Week, and Mitch would capture him — not with Sharpie, but pencil. Oh, and as a bonus, Mitch offered to write the copy as well.
The result? A terrific combination of essay and art that is unique to White Sox coverage (dare it be said, baseball coverage), and something that is truly a highlight of every week here: the White Sox Player of the Week series.
If only he had more than 24 hours in a day, I’d be begging Mitch to do even more, but between fixing up he and his wife’s new home in Grayslake and wanting to catch some games at Sox Park with all of you, we just have to accept what he can give.
Please give Mitch a warm, if belated, welcome! (And if you’d like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
White Sox fan since Birth (I was wearing a Sox onesie then, and I’m still wearing one now, thanks to that SGA)
First White Sox memory Watching the Big Hurt on my family’s tiny, static-filled TV
Favorite White Sox memory 10/28/05. My dad wakes me up. It’s 4:30 a.m. on a school day. He tells me, “You’re not feeling well. No school today. Get dressed and grab your Sox hat, we’re going downtown.” We watched the World Series parade from the Clark Street bridge, in a sea of black and white. I’ll never forget it!
Favorite White Sox player Thomas/Konerko
Next White Sox statue Shoeless Joe
Next White Sox retired number José Abreu. I hope he plays out his entire career here.
Go-to concession food at Sox Park Polish w/ grilled onions
Favorite Baseball Movie Field of Dreams. It’s a great reminder of the longevity of baseball, and how it’s entwined in our daily lives, generation after generation. Runner-up goes to The Sandlot, and also Jimmy Stewart in “The Stratton Story,” a little-known gem about White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton. Well worth a watch if you’re into early Sox history.
Hall of Fame: Speed Round
Mark Buehrle No
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko No
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale No
South Side Sox on the Field Catcher. Otherwise, I’ll be a beer vendor.
True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Answer: Yes