In all the hoopla about the Cubs’ return to the World Series, many media outlets seem to have forgotten about the White Sox


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Members of the Chicago White Sox celebrate on the field after winning the 2005 World Series. Photo: G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

Chicago

Minutes after the Chicago Cubs clinched the National League pennant and their spot in the World Series, ESPN’s SportsCenter tweeted, “71 Years Later, Chicago is finally back in the Fall Classic.”

That was news to the White Sox.

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Chicago’s other baseball team appeared in, and won, the 2005 World Series—dispatching the Houston Astros in four games 11 years ago today. They also appeared in the 1959 World Series, and have won three World Series to the Cubs’ two.


As the baseball world gears up for Game 2 of the Series tonight in Cleveland, many media outlets seem to have forgotten that there are, in fact, two baseball teams in Chicago.

On Monday, CBS This Morning tweeted that “Wrigley Field is prepping this morning for an event Chicago hasn’t seen in 71 years: the World Series.”

ESPN’s Mike and Mike program showed a crawl reading, “Will Cubs save City from 108 Years of Suffering?”


The SI Vault, a popular Twitter account that features historical sports photos and is run by Sports Illustrated’s Andy Gray, tweeted its “best Cubs photo” on Tuesday. The photo featured an older shirtless man—the late broadcaster Harry Caray—cavorting with a younger woman. At a White Sox game.

And ESPN on Monday showed a graphic listing Chicago team championships since 1965. They listed the Bulls’ six titles, the Blackhawks’ three, and the Bears’ one. Again, the White Sox were missing. (They also missed the Chicago Fire, which won the 1998 MLS Cup.)

The media organizations have since backpedaled. CBS This Morning issued a clarification. ESPN issued a statement saying, “We expect better of ourselves and apologize for our mistake. No excuses, we made an error.” Gray apologized and said, “I’ve made a few mistakes running the SI Vault Twitter over the years and Chicago fans are always the funniest in their angry responses.”

“I think it has exacerbated for a lot of White Sox fans a sort of empty feeling,” said Mike Zalewski, an Illinois State Representative for a Chicago suburb and a lifelong White Sox fan. “You’re watching a juggernaut on the other side of town for most of the season, and then they achieve this milestone. And then the media, rather than focusing on what is already a good story, chooses to embellish.”

It’s not that the White Sox aren’t loved. They have legions of loyal fans on the city’s South Side and beyond, and a solid roster of famous fans, including Barack Obama (who said over the weekend that he was happy for the Cubs, despite his Sox loyalty), former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley and Chance the Rapper.


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A double-decker bus carrying the Chicago White Sox during a ticker-tape parade for the team’s 2005 World Series victory. Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

And they have a memorable history, almost as tortured as that of the Cubs. Before their 2005 title, the White Sox hadn’t won a World Series since 1917. They even had their own curse, linked to the Black Sox betting scandal of 1919, that of the famous, “Say it Ain’t So, Joe,” quote, in reference to disgraced Sox star Shoeless Joe Jackson.

But in recent years, the Cubs have attracted a broader fan base, both in Chicago and across the country, and were cheerfully tagged the “lovable losers.” Wrigleyville, the neighborhood surrounding historic Wrigley Field, has become a go-to destination for bar-hoppers and rising property values; a roughly $150 million hotel and movie theater development around the stadium is under way.

The White Sox play in an antiseptic stadium in a neighborhood with less appeal.

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“There never has been anything remotely romantic associated with supporting lousy White Sox teams while the Cubs have been embraced as lovable losers in the sunshine at Wrigley Field,” said Chicago Tribune sportswriter Phil Rosenthal.

As the mistakes by media outlets piled up, White Sox fans took notice. Christopher Kamka, a writer for Comcast Chicago, started using the hashtag, #TheyExist on Twitter after noticing several of the slights.

The White Sox, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the omissions say more about “perceptions than it does the city of Chicago, White Sox fans or us.” It added that the team held a huge victory parade in 2005 and has a monument in front of the ballpark to commemorate the achievement: “We know it’s real, it happened, and it gives our fans pride to this day.”

Write to Will Connors at william.connors
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