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Meet the Team: Joe Ruffalo

by Joe Ruffalo

Here at Sox On 35th, we boast a talented and passionate group of contributors that provides coverage all year long. To help you get familiar with our staff, we will be rolling out our “Meet the Team” article series throughout the offseason. In this edition, we get to know Joe Ruffalo.

About Me

What’s up, Sox fans! My name is Joe Ruffalo and I am a Multimedia Creator here at Sox On 35th. My contributions to the site include providing in-game photo and video coverage, while also writing from time to time. I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, and am a 2018 graduate of Purdue University Northwest with a BA in Communication and Media Studies, while studying Marketing as well.

With a disposable camera in hand, I attended my very first White Sox game on April 15th, 2002 at the age of six. From that point forward, my love for both baseball and photography has only continued to grow. Having the opportunity to cover the team as a member of Sox On 35th since 2021 has been such a great privilege, along with collaborating with the rest of the site’s incredibly talented contributors. I strive to document the organization’s significant moments and bring fans closer to the game through all of my visual coverage.

Hope to see you around the ballpark!

Capturing Andrew Vaughn’s 4th home run of 2022 during a frigid day at the ballpark. (Screenshot from NBC Sports Chicago’s broadcast on April 27th, 2022)

About Me

  • Page Role: Multimedia Creator
  • Hometown: Munster, IN
  • Education/Major: Purdue University Northwest – Communication and Media Studies

Baseball Fandom

  • “Mount Rushmore” of White Sox: Players – Shoeless Joe Jackson, Luis Aparicio, Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko / Non-players – Bill Veeck, Roger Bossard, Nancy Faust, Hawk Harrelson
  • Favorite White Sox Player: I have always been a fan of my namesakes. As a kid, it was Joe Crede, and up until present day, it’s been José Abreu. Crede’s swing was a work of art, and he won me over with his postseason heroics in 2005. Abreu has always been the heart and soul of the White Sox since Konerko retired, and I’ve appreciated his durability and consistency all these years. With Pito’s recent departure, my new favorite Sox player is Liam Hendriks.
  • Favorite non-White Sox Player: Former: Derek Jeter and Ichiro were my guys. As a kid, I was always fond of the way both carried themselves on and off the field. You knew you were witnessing greatness each time they stepped onto the diamond. Current: I really like Steven Kwan – everything from his approach at the plate to his hustle in the outfield and on the base paths. Very fun to watch, except when he’s playing against us.
  • Favorite Ballpark Food: It might not be at the ballpark, but nothing hits quite like a dog and fries from 35th Street Red Hots before or after a White Sox winner.
  • Favorite White Sox Uniform: Of the current choices, the 1983 Sunday homes will always be my number one. I would love to see the team bring back the 1959 and 1990-era homes eventually too. Any of the uniforms with a red accent look great.
  • Favorite Baseball Stat: Someone might have to fact-check this, but per @randommlbstars on Instagram, there hasn’t been a “Bob” in Major League Baseball since former White Sox pitcher Bob Howry retired in 2011. And no, Bobby Dalbec doesn’t count.
  • All-time Favorite Broadcaster Call: Any Hawk Harrelson call when Joe West or Angel Hernandez missed a play. There’s an entire montage of them on YouTube that never gets old.
  • Favorite In-Person White Sox Memory: Attending the July 3rd, 2019 doubleheader. Dylan Cease made his MLB debut in game one, and José Abreu hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning of game two.
Dylan Cease faces Detroit Tigers hitters during his MLB debut. Photo taken by myself on July 3rd, 2019.
  • Least Favorite In-Person White Sox Memory: Too many to remember, and all from 2022 – which probably comes as no shock. One that sticks out is Dallas Keuchel’s final White Sox start against the Red Sox. Unwatchable game from start to finish.
  • Least Favorite Baseball Team: I have a few, but none that match the Houston Astros (minus José, of course).
  • Ballpark You Want to Visit: It’s a tie between Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium.
  • Favorite Ballpark: Of the nine MLB ballparks that I’ve visited, PNC Park in Pittsburgh has undoubtedly been the best.
  • Favorite Baseball Movie: I could name a handful, but will go with 61*, which chronicles Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s historic chase for Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. Billy Crystal, who is also a die-hard baseball fan, did a phenomenal job with that film.
Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 61*. (Photo credit unknown)

Personal Questions

  • Dream Job: Being able to create MLB content for an organization full-time.
  • Do you collect anything? If so, what are they? As a kid, I really got into baseball cards after pulling a Ken Griffey, Jr. autograph from a pack at Target. I don’t collect like I used to, but still have the bug – mostly for vintage and the players that I grew up watching.
  • Last Concert Attended: I photograph quite a few concerts on assignment, but the last one that I bought a ticket for and attended as a fan was The Strokes and Red Hot Chili Peppers at Soldier Field.
  • Celebrity Crush: Emmanuelle Chriqui
  • Favorite Hobbies: Fishing, Hiking, Biking, and Traveling
  • Dream Vacation: Exploring Italy is something that I’ve always wanted to do.
  • Favorite Fast Food: The Bobbie sub from Capriotti’s – thank me later.
  • Favorite Personal Sports Moment: Pitching a complete game shutout for the Dodgers in Little League. My career as an athlete was all downhill after that.
  • Favorite TV Show: The one about nothing.

Follow Me

Twitter: @jruff96

Instagram: @jruff96

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