The Crosstown Classic game between the White Sox and Cubs on August 8th will be getting some national exposure.
ESPN announced on Wednesday that it will be featuring the game in its first ever Sunday Night Baseball broadcast to air exclusively on ABC. The marquee matchup, which has since been pushed back to 6:08 p.m. CT, will also be available on the ESPN App, ESPN Radio, and ESPN Deportes.
Fans can expect to hear the usual trio of broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, analyst Alex Rodriguez, and reporter Buster Olney calling the action. The network says all three will be on site at Wrigley Field. This, of course, means that NBC Sports Chicago will not be carrying its own production for the game.
ESPN’s broadcast on ABC comes at an interesting time, competing with NBC’s primetime programming of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony. There’s no indication yet on whether this or other MLB productions by ESPN may become a regular occurrence on Disney’s flagship network, though it presents an interesting opportunity. Back in 2020, ABC aired its first MLB Postseason game in 25 years during the MLB Wild Card Series.
As for the Crosstown rivals, the two Chicago teams will play the usual six games against each other this season. The first three will come at Wrigley Field (August 6-8) before the squads head to Guarantee Rate Field (August 27-29). Last season, the Cubs and White Sox split the series, keeping the trophy on the North Side.
To make things a little more interesting, at least from a Sox perspective, it seems likely that outfielder Eloy Jimenez could be making his Major League return by early August. Did someone say fireworks?
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