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The Night Before Baseball

It’s just spring training, but it’s been a long time coming.

Division Series - Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox - Game Three Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Picture this: It’s a freezing cold April day, and you’re on your way to your first White Sox game of the season. You’re anxiously checking the weather to make sure that the rain stays clear for the day. You pull into the parking lot and see hundreds of people tailgating even for a weekday game, because when has that ever stopped anyone?

You walk around the stadium and see all the sights again for the first time in a while — whether it’s the nacho helmet stand or everyone treating themselves to the expensive beer. Thunderstruck plays as the White Sox take the field, followed by fireworks soaring through the sky to start the game.

Vendor hawking echoes through the aisles ... pierced by Luis Robert hitting an absolute moonshot to the concourse. Three hours pass, and Liam Hendriks closes out the win. You can probably hear his screaming after each strikeout all the way in the outfield bleachers.

“Victorious” by Panic at the Disco is blasted through the speakers, as you flood out of the stadium and break out into “Let’s Go, White Sox” chants with hundreds of other fans. It all feels like the perfect day.

Don’t want to just picture this? Don’t worry, it will all be a reality soon.

This season starts bittersweetly. Maybe it’s because the lockout showed us how lucky we really are to have baseball; it could have been taken from us. Maybe it’s because the White Sox are continuously improving, projected to be even better than last season, and it has been a long time coming for us fans. No matter what, baseball is officially back tomorrow, as spring training officially starts.

We will get a few weeks of sunny Arizona baseball before a long, 162-game season. You can guarantee 2022 will also be full of the weird stuff, fans fighting with each other on Twitter and getting frustrated after every loss — but it’s something that I couldn’t be happier to get back.

The first spring training game will open a new window of opportunity for this team, and nothing is more fitting than playing the Chicago Cubs tomorrow to get the rivalry juices flowing early!

Who knew a week ago we would be here now? (I know I didn’t.) Spring training is a great way to watch baseball, stress-free. Watch or listen to the games calmly, and just be happy to have the sport we all love back in our lives, and back on our screens.

It’s been a long time coming, White Sox fans, but we are back.

It looks like the players are ready, too! Now let’s just hope we have an injury-free spring training this time around.