Here at Sox On 35th, we boast a talented and passionate team 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 our Nik Gaur.
Hello! My name is Nikhil (Nik) Gaur, and I’m a Managing Editor for Sox On 35th. I grew up in the western suburbs and have lived in Chicago since 2017. It’s also the year that I joined Sox On 35th, as I was a fan of the page’s then small but growing Twitter presence and thought it would be interesting to write more long-form content about the White Sox.
I graduated from the University of Chicago, where I studied economics and history, in 2021. Since then, I have been working as an analyst at a firm that conducts market research on the procurement/supply chain technology arena. One thing that I like as a common thread between both my time with Sox On 35th and my job is that I regularly get opportunities to write articles, which is something I have always loved doing and feared I would rarely get the chance to do after college.
My experience with Sox On 35th has been very positive — not only have I made many friends and further stimulated an already massive interest in baseball, but I also have gotten to refine my communication skills, become a better writer, and grow alongside our page as our reach has expanded.
- Page Role: Managing Editor
- Hometown: Downers Grove, IL
- Current Town: Chicago, IL
- Education: Economics and History – University of Chicago
- Favorite White Sox Player: Currently, Luis Robert. My favorite former player (and him being a former player will take some getting used to) would be José Abreu.
- Favorite non-White Sox Players: Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and Yordan Alvarez are the non-White Sox players that I find to be the most entertaining. I’ve also been on the “Mike Trout is the GOAT” train for a few years now, assuming he stays on his current trajectory.
- Favorite Thing About Being a White Sox Fan: I feel like the White Sox fanbase is deceptively large, yet it is still a close-knit group. I also love the team’s color scheme and uniforms.
- Least Favorite Baseball Team: Minnesota Twins — those Mauer and Morneau teams were the ones I grew up watching compete against the White Sox for the division most years, and they were very annoying, to say the least.
- Favorite White Sox Uniform: Southside (City Connect). I used to love the 83 throwbacks that are worn on home Sundays, but now I’m sick of them, and I associate them with watching the rebuilding White Sox of the late 2010s getting destroyed by better teams.
- “Mount Rushmore” of White Sox Players: Frank Thomas, Minnie Miñoso, Mark Buehrle, José Abreu. I feel strongly about the first three, and the last spot could go to several players, but I’ll be biased and take the one I was actually alive to see versus players whose careers ended in the early 1900s.
- Favorite In-Person White Sox Memories: I have a few: first, without a doubt would be attending Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in 2009. It’s something I’ll never see in person again, and even though I was nine years old, I still remember the day clearly. Next would be Carlos Rodon’s no-hitter in 2021 (so I guess I did come a couple of outs away from seeing another perfect game in person…). Then, as is probably a common answer to this question, the atmosphere of Game 3 of the 2021 ALDS was also unforgettable and something I can’t wait to experience again.
- Least Favorite In-Person White Sox Memories: First, I’d say 2021 ALDS Game 4, as even though it was great to attend another playoff game, the White Sox lost all the momentum they had built up entering the game and were completely dominated. Another answer would be a four-game sequence I attended (over a two-week span) in May of 2022 in which the White Sox were outscored 57-21 (that’s 14-5 on average) and, of course, went 0-4.
- Favorite Baseball Movie: 42. Despite the occasional (and usually minor) historical inaccuracy, I thought 42 was an amazing and powerful depiction of Jackie Robinson’s career.
- Favorite Baseball Stat: Expected Weighted On-Base Average (xwOBA). I could write a whole article as to why I love this stat so much (honestly, not a bad idea for the offseason). It’s not perfect, but as someone who strongly believes in the “process over results” mentality, especially in a long-run sport like baseball, I have found xwOBA to be one of the most all-encompassing statistics that also, to an extent, eliminates luck. It is not necessarily predictive, but in my opinion, that is largely a result of normal changes to the inputs (meaning a hitter’s contact quality or a pitcher’s quality of contact surrendered) rather than a flaw in the statistic itself.
- Favorite Ballpark Food: Hot dog with grilled onions. Every offseason, I’ll find myself craving one, and they’re never quite as good in the winter as they are at the ballpark.
- Favorite Ballpark: Of the seven I’ve visited, Oracle Park in San Francisco. The backdrop was incredible, and the concourse/food options were also impressive.
- Ballpark You Want to Visit: All of them, but PNC Park in Pittsburgh is high on my list.
- All-time Favorite Broadcaster Call: I’ll keep it simple here:
- Who Would Play You in a Movie: Danny Pudi — not only do we look very alike, but he is also a White Sox fan!
- Favorite Fast-Food: Portillo’s, and there isn’t a close second.
- Favorite TV Show: Succession
- Favorite Hobbies: Playing tennis/basketball, listening to music, playing video games (I was one of the lucky few who got a PS5 in 2020, and it was absolutely worth all the queues and refreshing)
- Favorite Band/Artist: The Strokes. I’ve liked them since high school, but only this year got to see them in concert when they played in New York. They then announced a fairly last-minute show in Chicago two months later, so naturally, I went to that as well.
- Favorite Professional Team Aside from Baseball: Chicago Bulls/Chicago Bears
- Favorite Personal Sports Moment: I’m going all the way back to 7th grade for this one, but in a basketball league that year, I hit a game-winning three-pointer in overtime, which I kind of feel is every basketball player’s dream. It was a few seconds off from being a true buzzer-beater, but it was still a moment I’ll never forget. Enjoy the extremely 2011 video quality!
- If you had to play one album for the rest of your life, what would it be: Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino. I’m not even a big Arctic Monkeys fan, and I know that album caused quite the uproar among their fans, but for whatever reason, it’s by far my favorite album of theirs and one that I never get tired of listening to. It also has the best first two song sequence of any album that I can think of. I’ll also give an honorable mention to Melophobia by Cage The Elephant, because that album helped lead me down my path to my current music taste when it came out in 2013.
- Do you collect anything? If so, what: Records (currently) and baseball cards (but not since I was a kid).