Although it might not feel like it, spring training is only a mere month away. Before your thoughts drift off to catching a game in the warm July sun while sipping an ice cold beer, it's time for Sox fans to enjoy SoxFest this weekend. The annual get-together is a great opportunity to mingle with other White Sox fans, meet the players and coaches, and nab some autographs from current players and past stars right before the Pale Hose head to Arizona for spring training.
Before we dive into SoxFest, I'd like to catch you up on the exciting offseason the White Sox have had. After making late season deals that ended the South Side tenures of Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, and Matt Thornton, new GM Rick Hahn hinted that he was looking to go young, and spend some top dollar on major league prospects.
The offseason started with a bang when the Sox won over the highly sought after Jose Abreu, the Cuban sensation first basemen who posted video-game like numbers in the Cuban league, shattering the long standing Cuban home run record. At only 26, the sox will look for him to bring the same offensive power punch to the United States. Look for Abreu to add some pop to the middle of the line-up this year, something the Sox sorely missed last season.
The Sox again showed their aggressiveness to add more offensive production when they traded closer Addison Reed and flex pitcher Hector Santiago in separate deals to the Diamondbacks for center fielder Adam Eaton and third basemen Matt Davidson. In Adam Eaton, you get an edgy center fielder who is a speedy lead-off hitter and a high energy guy in the clubhouse. This deal gives the Sox the potential to have one of the youngest and most talented outfields in the majors as Eaton will be paired with Dayan Viciedo and Avisail Garcia. In Davidson, you get another power hitting corner infielder that should love taking his swings in the smaller-than-average U.S. Cellular Field. Both players are young and figure to be part of the White Sox for many years to come.
Finally, the White Sox decided to listen to the pleas of fans and sign Paul Konerko to a one year deal. Most Sox fans will be excited to have at least one more year to chant, "PAULIE, PAULIE, PAULIE!"
Now that you're caught up on Sox's active offseason, it's time to look ahead to SoxFest. SoxFest will be held Friday, January 24th, Saturday the 25th, and Sunday the 26th at the Palmer House Hilton downtown. You'll have plenty of options and packages to choose from as tickets are still available. The first is a two day pass for $70 which gets you access to all the SoxFest activities Saturday and Sunday.
Coming in from out of town? Or maybe you'd like to spend the weekend in the city. SoxFest offers hotel and weekend packages for you and your family. The weekend and Hotel Package deals include:• Two-night stay at the Palmer House Hilton for SoxFest for $278 (plus applicable taxes and fees)
• $75 per pass provides access to entire weekend; Friday, Saturday & Sunday
• For each two-night hotel package purchased, fans may buy up to four (4) weekend passes
• Receive a limited-edition White Sox coaster set - one per SoxFest weekend pass purchased
For the ultimate Sox fans, there is even a Premium Upgrade package that includes access to a private autograph session, private photo session, and private seminar. You also receive some Sox gifts such as a sling backpack, baseball, scarf, and tickets to a White Sox home game!
Aside from the current players and coaches, be sure to get the autographs of past stars like Bo Jackson, Bobby Jenks, Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Minnie Minoso, Tom Paciorek, Gary Peters, Jim Thome and newly crowned Hall-of-Famer: Frank Thomas!
So, my fellow Sox fans, be sure to visit SoxFest, brave the final months of winter, and get ready for an exciting 2014 season on the South Side!