The new and improved White Sox may bring the crosstown rivalry against the Cubs to new heights.
Before we go any further, we need to set the record straight–one does not merely root for both the Cubs and the White Sox. Now everyone is entitled to be a fan of whoever they want. Still, if you do support both teams, it is probably because you have never experienced some of the actual animosity within this crosstown rivalry.
A nine-year-old me experienced this in 2005 when the White Sox went on one of the greatest postseasons runs in MLB history (11-1 in the playoffs) en route to becoming World Series champions. I remember my father and I watched every game that postseason except for the only one they lost, go figure.
For the next eleven years, I endured trash talk from family, friends, coaches, and teachers about how it’s been 100-plus years since the Cubs won a World Series, etc. which is why I and many others speak passionately about this subject. When the final out in the 2016 fall classic was made, you can bet I returned the favor and will continue to do so for as long as I can.
These two teams have been in the Windy City since the early 20th century and met in the 1906 World Series with the White Sox winning in six games. They would routinely meet in exhibition games until interleague play was established in 1997. Since then, the White Sox have a slight 62-60 advantage over the Cubs in some memorable matchups.
One of the most unforgettable moments occurred on May 20th, 2006. The Cubs (17-24) were amid a disappointing start to the season, while the White Sox (27-14) were coming off a championship.
Ultimately, it was the White Sox who got the last laugh in this one, Tadahito Iguchi hit a grand slam later in the inning, and the Cubs lost 7-0. Regardless of the outcome, Cubs fans have to acknowledge its moments like these which make the rivalry so unique.
There’s no doubt the battles between these two foes are at their best when both teams are seeing success. This isn’t something that happens often, as 2008 was the only season which both teams met while in first place.
Now that the White Sox finally have some exciting young talent, it looks like they are ready to make a case to be the best team in the city. This weekend, it’ll be up to the Cubs to remind them who has been the top dog in Chicago for the past half-decade.