My quest to see all 30 MLB parks has brought me to Chicago this week. To be honest, I’ve been putting off this park for a while, and like my 300s counterpart Big Z, I wasn’t jumping for joy at the chance to see what Guaranteed Rate Field had to offer.
Situated in South Chicago, I’ve pretty much only heard bad things when the White Sox stadium was brought up in conversation. But alas, I’m not in Chicago incredibly often and the quest is to see all 30, so it was time to bite the bullet and check this place out.
I’ve decided to do this review a bit different than my past reviews. Most of the time I’m writing these as a retrospective piece, trying to recall my favorite and least favorite parts of the experience. However, seeing as I was only at this field yesterday, I thought it would be a little fun to give you an exact play by play of how things went down. While I was there, I took brief notes on my iPhone to really capture the essence of what I was feeling in the moment. So I present to you, an unaltered account of my day yesterday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
12:35 pm: Just arrived at Guaranteed Rate Field. So far I feel like I am the only person at the stadium, it’s a ghost town. Checked out the team store, which has a good amount of Cubs gear for no good reason.
12:45 pm: Got a vodka lemonade souvenir cup for 10 bucks. Pretty god damn strong, good price.
12:56 pm: Apparently it’s the mascots birthday. Kind of a lame mascot. No spark, looks dead inside. Although he is named Southpaw, which I appreciate the lame pun for being on the south side of Chicago, and myself being a lefty.
1:07 pm: Decided to do the speed pitch machine. Arm is completely shot. In actual pain. Great form though and hit 60 mph.
1:08 pm: Fireworks mistaken for gunshots. South side Chicago problems.
1:10 pm: Made my way to the upper deck and we have closed concession stands! Supply and demand!
1:19 pm: First inning just ended. So far the best way to describe this place is lifeless. Guy in front of me has taken his shoes off and is reading a Chicago Tribune. I can’t tell exactly, but there also appears to be a 10 year old sleeping a few seats down from him. Beer guy came through and held up a beer, didn’t bark or try to make a sale, and then went back down the tunnel to the concourse.
1:30 pm: Mascot tricycle race. We’re getting desperate
1:38 pm: They’d like you to believe this is Frank Thomas’s number when in actuality it is today’s attendance.
1:48 pm: Apparently you can’t leave the 500s section if you have a 500 level ticket. Calling kangaroo court on this one. There’s no food open up here, so I will fight my way down to the main concourse.
1:53 pm: There are an excessive amount of people making balloon animals. Just had to mention that.
1:58 pm: Not sure if it’s the sweltering heat or last night’s hangover, but I’m starting to have an existential crisis about being at this game and killing another 7 hours til my flight home.
2:06 pm: Grabbing a vanilla cone to try and lift my spirits.
2:15 pm: Cone made things worse.
2:30 pm: Actually watching some of the game now. Moncada with a 3 run double! There’s audible cheering! We may just have life yet.
2:32 pm: And we’re back to deafening silence.
2:35 pm: Jose Abreu with one of the worst slides I’ve ever seen to kill a nice 2 out rally.
2:39 pm: Remember how I said it was the mascot’s birthday? They’re giving out fucking birthday cake. This place is so bizarre.
2:40 pm: “Overall moist and flavorful for a mass produced cake.” – Laurel B
2:44 pm: The cake has now led to heartburn. Luckily I always keep spare Tums on me.
3:16 pm: Just saw a grown-ass man spike his drink because he missed a foul ball. Hardest I’ve laughed all day.
3:18 pm: I think that’s all she wrote for my day in Chicago, overall just an incredibly strange place to watch baseball. Definitely not my least favorite stadium, but it’s probably bottom 3 for me. Crowd started coming alive as the runs were coming home, so this place has the potential to be fun when it wants to be. Time to catch a flight.
Official review: 6.4 out of 10