25 years of Chicago: Amplified
1983 1993 1994 2001 2003 2004 2005 2015
Wait! Wait! Baseball

Peter Sagal

Explore the moment.
Sox? Or Cubs? It’s the age-old Chicago question, and according to Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! host and Boston transplant Peter Sagal, the answer to that all-important question reveals the meaning of our true selves. Back in 2004, Sagal did this essay for Eight Forty-Eight after the Boston Red Sox won the World Series pennant but before the White Sox won theirs the following year.
My kind of baseball fan knows better than to trust in reason.
1m 48s
You want a curse? How about the team that actually threw a World Series and hasn't won one since?
2m 04s
White Sox all the way! Except when they play the Red Sox.
4m 09s
Looking Back: Peter Sagal

I had moved to Chicago to do my job here in 1998. I am a born and bred Red Sox fan. And I assumed, moving to Chicago, that I would have to become a Cubs fan, because at that time the Red Sox and the Cubs were quite similar. They both were legacy clubs from the earliest days of baseball. They played in antique little jewel boxes of stadiums and they were perennial losers. So it seemed natural. Plus of course they were in opposite leagues so it seemed like I could root for the Cubs in the National League and it would be no problem.

But I went to see a Cubs game in the summer of '98. And it was too much fun. People there were having beers and flirting with people. I remember the game had a huge rain delay and nobody seemed to care. It was like more time to drink beer. And I was like, "This is wrong."

And then I went down to Comiskey Park as it was called to see the White Sox. And everybody was miserable. The stadium wasn't full. Everybody was intent on every pitch. They were bitter. They were unhappy. And I fell in love. I was like, "This is my home."

Everybody knows the Cubs get all the glory, despite their perennial losing records. Tourists come to Chicago and they want to see the Cubs. They'll buy Cubs memorabilia.

The White Sox are my guys. The underdogs. The Cubs don't win but they're still incredibly successful. The White Sox are the real underdogs. So I swore my allegiance to the White Sox. And I followed the White Sox very carefully. I went to a lot of games.

So I can say that when the White Sox went all the way in 2005, I was not a bandwagon fan. I had been there, I had suffered with them through the prior years and some of their humiliations. And felt great. I don't think I felt as great as some of the lifelong fans on the South Side of Chicago. But I was there. I had earned my right to watch the parade with pride.