There is something so magical about October. A chill pierces through the air and the leaves begin to turn into the most beautiful colors before falling to the ground. The end of baseball season draws near as teams battle it out until only one is declared the champion. Fans balance between the highs and lows of Wild Card eliminations or advancing, and perhaps skipping a football game or two because the joys of baseball season aren’t quite over.
For some of us though, baseball season came and went. In with a bang, out with a whimper. If you’re here, you’re well aware of how this season turned out for the White Sox. Losing 101 games is embarrassing. Honestly, most of the season was humiliating.
However, I found myself looking for the bright spots, and thankfully, there were a few. I asked others for theirs as well.
The perennial light of the White Sox team, Liam Hendriks, came up quite a bit.
100% top of the list is Liam coming back. Huge moment for him, and the crowd went crazy.— Liam (@jesusplaysbass) October 6, 2023
With his return up in the air, Hendriks not only beat Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but returned to the bullpen in what felt like no time at all.
Luis Robert’s HR vs the Cubs, and of course Liam Hendriks incredible return were the only two highlights from this White Sox season. The crowd and emotion from Liam’s wife Kristi will never get old.— Courtney Finnicum (@courtney883) October 2, 2023
I always quote one of the cheesiest lines to come from a movie about baseball, but in moments like this, how can you not be romantic about baseball? With someone as powerful yet delightful as Hendriks, how can anything stand a chance against kismet?
I ask, because of course he gets a win on National Cancer Survivors Day.
Liam Hendriks gets the win on National Cancer Survivors Day.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) June 4, 2023
Though arm soreness that led to TJS would ultimately keep him out for the rest of the season, that never stopped Liam from spreading joy and hope wherever he went. He also, for whatever reason, wants to stay in Chicago.
Liam Hendriks wants Sox to pick up his option. ‘Unfinished business.’ Could pitch latter part of next season. The brace is off. On the TJ comeback process: pic.twitter.com/g5iJR4wyd2— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) October 1, 2023
There were several little moments along the way that gave us glimmers of hope, or at least a quick reason to smile.
Like veterans reaching major milestones.
When Elvis got his 2,000 career hit— Sean (@sean_janko) October 6, 2023
Or special moments for rookies.
I know Colas didn’t have the season we all expected, but I was at the game for his first walk off hit in extras on April 15, and that was a fun moment for the fans and for him!— nick (@PrahZoo) October 6, 2023
Times in which we all rallied for the same thing.
I wore my "Sell the Team" Sox jersey to Coors Field when they played the Rox and I met a ton of Sox fans, but also a lot of Rockies fans who only saw it from the back and assumed it was a Colorado jersey. Great conversations with both fanbases.— Marty Sweeney (@rocketgrande) October 6, 2023
Even the few wins, even when there were only 61, they were still fun.
My “OVAH!! Sox Win. Sox Win. Sox Win. The White Sox Win. White Sox. White Sox. Go Go White Sox” tweets.— Jeff the Giant (@SoxofWhite) October 7, 2023
There is nothing quite like introducing young fans to our favorite pastime.
took my 7 yr old nephew to his first sox game this year and snagged him this av homer pic.twitter.com/pccyuFB5J8— dtf (@NobleSquared) October 6, 2023
No matter what happened this season, fans still flocked to the park to support the team.
The way this community showed up, no matter how the baseball was going pic.twitter.com/c2ZglrzMjc— Chicago Bike Sox (@chicagobikesox) October 6, 2023
Despite the team’s woes, the community remains one of the best.
like holy shit at one point there was a tart https://t.co/gJ5PhmKynB— Chicago Bike Sox (@chicagobikesox) October 6, 2023
Some traveled far and wide.
I traveled to Chicago for the first, met a whole bunch of cool people. It happened to be the weekend we swept the Tigers. Great holiday.— English_Sox_Colin (@colinska4) October 6, 2023
And others were able to make friendships that will last a lifetime.
Meeting some of my favorite people ever pic.twitter.com/OZ6jqUpX5B— Colleen Carmody (@ColMarie21) October 6, 2023
We can’t forget about the 12 hours of joy late in the season. No, I won’t speak on what came next, because this is a glass half-full article.
maybe too cynical but there were several hours where the kenny and rick were gone and things seemed hopeful— Geoff C (@GeoffCorr) October 6, 2023
That period in between firing Rick/Kenny and promoting Getz— Tyrone (@TheTyronePalmer) October 6, 2023
A few sluggers were mentioned. You might’ve heard of them — Jake Burger and Luis Robert Jr., yeah?
Opening series in Pittsburgh. Seeing Jake Burger.— Voice from the Graves (@KG_55VFTG) October 6, 2023
Jake Burger’s Grand Slam against Detroit or Luis Robert Jr breaking the franchise Home Run record for a CF— CJ (@CJT2798) October 6, 2023
At the start of the season, Robert was benched. Fans were annoyed.
That week after people got mad at Luis where he went on a complete tear— BK (@TheBennettK) October 7, 2023
He thankfully improved.
Luis Robert Jr’s 2023 season:— WhiteSoxMuse (@WhiteSoxMuse) October 4, 2023
38 Home Runs (3rd in AL)
.857 OPS (T-5th in AL)
13 OAA (T-1st in AL among CF)
145 Games Played
Do you think Robert Jr. will win an MVP in his MLB career? pic.twitter.com/S21qtLy01M
If you couldn’t tell, it was a really fun game.
Even though they got us back the next day, Luis Robert shushing cubs fans was incredible— Matty Jiles (@Mattyplayzbass) October 6, 2023
Robert’s bomb in Wrigley field , Bat flip and Shh the crowd, and they Won the game— Damien Collado (@DamienCollado) October 6, 2023
Who knows what 2024 will bring. If this season brought us any wisdom or insight, I imagine it will be bleak yet again. But just as the seasons change, eventually the bitter cold leaves and brings along the warm sun again. With that warm sun brings baseball, and that longing feeling of being back in the stands to cheer on the White Sox — as if we forgive and forget what the previous seasons have left us with.