Well, what a year it’s been, White Sox fans. Another reflection from me to end the year – in part because Twitter won’t give me more characters. It started out with so much promise and seemed so similar to 2019: SoxFest was packed, I met some awesome fans, and once again, I lost to Joe Resis in the #SoxMath Championship (I’m gonna get you Resis…). Then, COVID hit, changing everything we thought we knew about 2020. The week before Illinois shut down, I was in Arizona for Spring Training. I was going to restaurants, flying on airplanes, and there wasn’t a mask in sight. Same thing the week COVID shut us down; I took the packed train to work, a packed bus from there, and never a mask in sight. It’s crazy to see how quickly everything can be torn away from us.
For those of you who have been personally affected by COVID, please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and all of those you know who have been affected. Whether because of personally getting the virus, knowing someone who got it or lost their life because of it, or knowing someone who lost their job due to it, it’s not as easy as it was last year to say, “Oh, just leave this year behind.” 2020 has left a mark on all of us. Throughout the way, I’ve always been inspired by White Sox fans coming together. I think of Beefloaf from the 108 and his cash giveaways, something he did just because he’s a good guy. For as much as 2020 has sucked, there are parts of it that has restored some faith in humanity’s goodness. You’re all a big part of that.
But, like any year, there is work to do. We still could be much kinder to each other online – myself included. I hope 2021 presents an opportunity for all of us to think of all we have to be grateful for and all we have to look forward to in 2021. The world, eventually, will open back up to us. We will be back in the ballpark we all know and love. We will be together with friends and family, making new memories in Lot B and in Section 108. And, hopefully, we will be constantly reminded of how lucky we are to do all of it each and every day. I don’t think any of us really realized how quickly our whole lives could be turned around. Hopefully we take things less for granted than we used to – or at least I used to.
I had this to say last year about the team: “And, as we start a new year and decade, I hope you’re as excited as I am for what the future holds for the boys on the South Side.” Well, it hasn’t all been exactly as we planned, but the future is still very bright, and it has been my privilege to watch and cover this team. I know we don’t all agree with how the team has handled the start of the 2020 offseason, but I hope that we can all come together and get behind the team we all love. Win or lose, we are better off with baseball – especially when it comes with high expectations and a lot of potential for a lot of fun.
This note of reflection wouldn’t be complete without two shoutouts. First, to our fearless leader Joe Binder. Without Joe, this site doesn’t even exist, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities he’s given me and the friendship we have. Sox On 35th wouldn’t be successful without him, and the entire team here has always been better off because of Joe. He never gets the thanks or recognition he deserves, so I will continue to give it until he does.
And, finally, thank you to all of you. Without readers and viewers, we are just screaming our words into the void of the internet. I thank you on behalf of our entire site for making this writing journey everything it has been. Whether listening to our podcasts, reading our articles, or interacting with our tweets, it has been a joy to be a part of the page that can bring White Sox nation together. As for me: without all of you, there are articles that would’ve never been written, ideas that would’ve never been explored, and avenues that would’ve been ignored because of my own biases. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you all have helped make me a better writer. I hope you continue to challenge me in the years to come.
Once again, thank you wholeheartedly for your support – we are truly lucky to have such a tight knit online community that has helped us all through these rough times. We will continue to strive to bring you coverage that you look forward to while still bringing you new and exciting content. We say it all the time, but it is always true: the best for us is yet to come. Glad you’re sticking on for the ride.
I look forward to when we can all be in the ballpark together again. If you ever see me, stop me and say hi – first beer is always on me.
It’s a fun time to be a White Sox fan. Enjoy the ride, and always be kind to one another. Here’s to 2021 – because it can’t possibly get worse, right?