us cellular field

I rounded out my Chicago trip with a visit to the South Side to see the Yankees take on the White Sox. Throughout the years of writing this blog, I’ve mentioned that U.S. Cellular is my least favorite ballpark. Guess the third time was the charm because, after this visit, it’s moved up significantly… well not that much, but it’s out of that bottom spot (insert Tropicana Field). 

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My cousins Aubri and Mark decided to join me for this game since they didn’t want me traveling down to U.S. Cellular by myself at night. That area has a reputation and I’ve seen it lived up to with my sister during our first visit. I bought tickets on StubHub the day of the game after watching the prices steadily drop. My biggest gripe with this park is that you have to buy lower bowl tickets to have full access to the park. As a fan that likes to watch batting practice, this is a necessity. So instead of paying $7 for nosebleeds, I shelled out $39. So much for a budget!

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My cousins aren’t big baseball fans and decided that batting practice would be “way too much baseball for one evening,” so I was on my own for the start of the night. I’m used to going to games alone, so it didn’t bother me at all. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to talk to other fans and make friends. During batting practice, I met a group of men from Mexico on a 10 park tour and a couple of Yankee season ticket holders back in New York. The Mexican gentlemen were fantastic and I loved talking to them about their trip and just knowing there are passionate MLB fans south of the border. There’s a chance we might cross paths again later this summer- how cool would that be?

us cellular field

Meeting new fans and hearing what got them into the sport and their ballpark experiences make my trips. I feel a bond over baseball that I don’t feel when attending other sporting events. The Yankees fans I talked to were die hards and we all agreed that new Yankee Stadium is a travesty. One of the guys even inked the years of old Yankee Stadium into his arm. Now that’s a statement!

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The lower bowl was fairly empty at the beginning of the game, probably since it was a Thursday night and people were still coming from work. I took advantage of this to watch the Yankees first at-bats close up on the first base line. It was a quick three up three down, though Jeter thought he should’ve walked, and I’m inclined to agree ;).

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Middle of the first I made my way to my real seats in the bleachers where my cousins were waiting. They too weren’t very full, but there were some characters in front of us that put on quite the show most of the game. While I loved my view of the game, down low by the field, the people watching is lacking. You don’t get too many crazies over there like the bleachers and nose bleeds. I guess it’s one or the other!

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The game felt like it was flying by, mainly because Chris Sales was doing some work on the Yanks. He had a no-hitter up until the sixth and Chase Whitely wasn’t too bad himself. After the seventh inning stretch, we decided we needed snacks and we hit up the concessions. While the $5 fried mac & cheese bites in the outfield were money, the soft pretzel Aubri got was stale. What’s up with the soft pretzels in Chicago ballparks? Not cool friends! We also stopped at the beer stand before going back to our seats. The chick asked Aubri if it was snowing since she had a jacket, hat, gloves, and scarf on. It was a chilly night, but not that cold! Despite my reservations on the park, the stadium employees have always been friendly and pretty funny. Also, I recommend Windy City Wheat- it’s yummy!

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The Yankees made another ninth inning push and I cheered hard for extras, but Soriano struck out looking to end the game. I was a little sad as my record slipped to 1-4, but Aubri and Mark were thrilled it didn’t go into extras. Some people don’t appreciate free baseball! Before we left, I made sure we took a picture in the outfield shower as we waited for the masses to clear out. When taking public transit, it’s best to chill in the park after the game and wait out the crowds on the platform.

I asked Aubri what she thought of U.S. Cellular Field and she gave it the thumbs up. She’s only been to games at Wrigley and Progressive, but she thought the park was nice and the fans were “interesting.” She prefers night games to day games, which is something I’ve never given much thought to. Even now as I write this, I’m not sure what my preference is. I think I’m leaning towards night games only because the top of my head never gets burnt!

us cellular field

Overall, this visit to U.S. Cellular was just what I needed. It helped erase my bad experience and I was able to sit back (the bleachers have seat backs- a ballpark luxury) and enjoy the park and atmosphere. The White Sox players all had great walk up songs and the music, in general, stood out during the game. Usually I don’t pay too much attention to that, but I found myself dancing around in my seat at times, jamming if you will! Our night was a perfect storm of baseball, ballpark food, beer, and delightful bleacher people antics. It was a great way to wrap up my visit and remind me again why I travel to parks- it’s fun and I never know what I’m going to get!

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