The White Sox: Tweitmeyer’s View
The mention of October brings to mind all sorts of different mental images for people. Pumpkins, leaves changing color, apple cider and the baseball playoffs.
Chicago boasts two teams that will be playing this year in the White Sox and the Cubs. The cross-town rivals are 3-3 in their games this year and the Chicago faithful are anxiously awaiting another match-up to see who will break the tie.
For Dr. Trenton Tweitmeyer, professor of kinesiology, his hopes and dreams lie with the south-side team: the White Sox.
Sitting in a chair in his office and wearing a gray t-shirt with “White Sox World Champions” written on the front, it’s obvious where Twietmeyer’s loyalty lies.
Born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Twietmeyer has been a White Sox fan all his life. The youngest of four brothers, his father, uncles and brothers all taught him which team was best.
“They’re all still White Sox fans” Twietmeyer said of his family. He elaborated on a big part of the reason why Sox and Cubs fans are such rivals.
“The north side (Cubs side) is richer; that’s where the high palootin’ people are from,” Twietmeyer said. “In the south side, when I was a kid the steel mills were still there, the Chicago ampitheater and the slaughterhouses too. It’s an uptown, downtown sort of a thing and that’s why the fans don’t like each other.”
Twietmeyer recalled playing Chicago-style softball at the playgrounds when he was a child, using a big ball and pitching underhand. The ball itself was 16 inches and unique to the Chicago area, according to Tweitmeyer. The boys also played without gloves. He compared his younger days of playing to the movie “The Sandlot,” where the boys played baseball non-stop.
“The school across the street had a big open area. We’d play Cubs against Sox all day long and the ball would get all meaty so we’d have to go get the dads of one of the kids to get us a (new) ball,” he said.
Twietmeyer has been to approximately 150 White Sox games and even caught a foul ball. He smiled as he recalled catching that ball as one of his most memorable moments. When the Sox were out of town, he and his friends watched the Cubs play. There wasn’t much cheering going on though.
“We’d boo them,” Tweitmeyer said with a smile.
One of Tweitmeyer’s favorite memories of baseball was traveling to New York with his son, Nate, to visit the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. It was a graduation gift for his son, and he said the two had a great time looking at all of the memorabilia of past legends of the game.
As for favorite players, right-fielder Harold Baines tops Twietmeyer’s list. Baines was “a gentleman,” according to Twietmeyer, and is still with the White Sox as a coach. Currently, his favorite player is first-baseman Paul Konerko.
“He’s been a fine player for us. He was instrumental when we won the World Series,” he said.
When president Joe Stowell arrived at Cornerstone, Twietmeyer found out he was a Cubs fan “shortly after he got here.”
“I wanted to give him the gospel of baseball,” he said with a laugh. But Stowell would have none of Tweitmeyer’s White Sox ways. He admits they both razz each other about their teams when they meet on campus, but it’s good-natured. Tweitmeyer doesn’t hold the fact that Stowell is a Cubs fan against him, at least not too much.
Ah, the beauty of sports rivalries and the beauty of autumn. Many people will be enjoying both this October.
For some, like Tweitmeyer, the joy of the fall season would be that much greater if another championship is claimed by the White Sox.