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Sox and the City: A Fan's Love Affair with the White Sox from the Heartbreak of '67 to the Wizards of Oz Paperback – April 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Roeper's mother was nine months pregnant with him when the Chicago White Sox made their losing stand at the 1959 World Series, beginning a post-season drought that wouldn't end until their championship 2005 season. Roeper, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and co-host of Ebert & Roeper, grew up an impenetrable and sometimes irritable Sox fan. Here, he examines the history and culture of Chicago's second baseball team, and his personal history as a fan, with the kind of devotion usually reserved for family memoirs. He claims to have attended a thousand Sox games, and he adamantly argues why the South Side team will always be superior to the North Side Cubs. Naturally, Roeper (Schlock Value) peppers his narrative with movie references, as well as fun sidebars and details about long-forgotten games and players. His irreverent style-alternately witty and abrasive-recalls Chuck Klosterman's essays on pop culture and music, and his take on such subjects as the old Comiskey Park and the joys of owning season tickets for a losing team are detailed, funny and quick. Sox fans will love this one, Cubs fans will mock it and the unaffiliated will better understand what it means to be a true baseball fan.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Just as the World Champion Boston Red Sox of 2004 had their Curse of the Bambino to overcome, the White Sox had not been able to win a Series since six or seven players of their 1919 team accepted payments to lose in favor of the Cincinnati Reds. The Black Sox scandal was as much of a stain on baseball as the steroids controversy of today. Roeper recounts the 2005 season like the recap of a single great game: he starts the story near the end of the season and then bounces back and forth from the beginning to the end again when the White Sox seem about to lose everything in historic fashion. He interweaves this with his personal history as a lifelong fan. White Sox fans may not be as legion as those of the Yankees or Red Sox, but Roeper gives a compelling account of their team's first World Series Championship in almost 90 years that can prove enjoyable to anyone who loves a good story.–Will Marston, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Updated edition edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556526792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556526794
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Roeper is perhaps best known as "the guy who isn't Gene Siskel," i.e., Siskel's replacement as Roger Ebert's co-host. But he's also a fan of the Windy City's "second team," the much maligned and little-loved Chicago White Sox. And when the White Sox shook off the lingering memory of the "Black Sox" scandal and won their first World Series in 88 years in 2005, Roeper wrote this book. I saw it listed in the back of another baseball book I was reading and decided simply to blind-buy it without any further hesitation.

"Sox and the City" is a generally enjoyable and fun read, even for the non-White Sox fan. The publishers seemed to lay out the book in the style of a modern textbook (as a returning grad student, I know all too well what the modern format for textbooks looks like), and Roeper has the annoying habit of using symbols instead of using curse words (a curious abstaining on his part, considering that he provides the full transcript of one Cubs manager's notorious and f-bomb-laden 1983 tirade against Cubs fans). But these are minor issues and don't distract from the fact that this is an enjoyable account of a fandom rooted in misery-loves-company without all the pandering to "curses" that a certain other team in the greater Chicago metropolitan area thrives on. The Sox were the only team caught giving away a World Series (and eight of their players got kicked out of baseball for life), and apart from brief runs at success theirs seemed a cursed history. But one year after the other prominent Sox of the American League broke their championship drought, Chicago managed to do it under the feisty Ozzie Guillan.
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Format: Hardcover
Give movie critic Richard Roeper "Two Thumbs Up" for this upbeat look at rooting for the White Sox in a city where the more-popular Cubs have the advantage. Roeper describes his lifelong attachment to the Sox, recalling past baseball games, seasons, players, etc. He shows that the underdog White Sox typically draw smaller crowds and less media to their plainer arena on the city's non-glamorous South Side - add losing seasons to that mix and you can see why the Sox nearly moved to Milwaukee (1968), Seattle (1975), Denver (1980) and Florida (1988). Ironically, these hardships and the fortitude of Sox fans to endure them are rarely mentioned by a national media that fixates on the big-money Cubs and other glamour teams. Roeper concludes by describing part of the magical 2005 season, when the White Sox finally broke through and won the World Series - their first title in 88 years! That triumph cheered Chicago's long-suffering fans and attracted much-desired national attention.

This lively and often humorous narrative could have been longer than 197 fast-reading pages. I felt the author underestimated how many people in Chicago root hard for both teams, but this is still an entertaining read for baseball fans here and across the nation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the title through the Afterword, "Sox and the City" is a fact-filled, fascinating, fond, fun story told by a loyal, knowledgeable fan. As a long-time resident of Cleveland, I wish the Curse of Colavito was included in the "our curse is worse than your curse" discussions, but the book is so warm and witty that it doesn't matter. The book is filled with humor, but one of my favorite examples is the discussion of John Cusack's "Bi-Soxuality", while the vivid description of attending the McAuliffe-"Beltin" Bill Melton game is an example of the book's evocativeness. Caution: Some crude language.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the ultimate read for any loyal White Sox fan. Winning the world series was a dream come true for me, and no one shares the magic of that wonderful season like Richard Roeper in this great book. Brought back many special memories of growing up a true sox fan in a cubs town, with the ultimate finale, a world series winner for our beloved white sox.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a SF Giants and Red Sox fan, I usually feel the White Sox out of my radar. If they disappeared, I would not noticed it. But when I read this book, all an interesting baseball history emerged before my eyes. I truly enjoyed it so I recommend it highly.
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Format: Paperback
Thank goodness the White Sox have southside Chicago native Richard Roeper as a fan! The Cubs and other more popular MLB teams have a much longer roster of both author/fans (e.g. Stephen King and the Red Sox) and A-list celebrity/fans (of which the White Sox have none - sorry Jerry Springer, you're B-list). But the White Sox, with their long, interesting history and their amazing 2005 World Series run, needed someone to step up to the plate and deliver what the fan base needs: a book documenting what it means to be a White Sox fan in the four decades up to 2005. Roeper delivers a solid home run, albeit not a grand slam.

Roeper deftly interweaves three main storylines in "Sox and the City": the highlights of the past 40 years of Sox history; Roeper's own personal experiences as a fan attending more than 1000 Sox games; and the highlights of the 2005 season and World Series run. Along the way Roeper provides a personal, often humorous view of the main topics in Sox history: the different Sox teams that have been assembled over the years; what it means to be a Sox fan in what will always (unless the demographics of Chicago change radically) be a Cubs town, including especially the Sox/Cubs rivalry among the fans (which, because of geography is more passionate - at least on the Sox side - than any other intercity major league rivalry); Harry Caray's move from the Sox to the Cubs; Bill Veeck's attempts to generate excitement (and bring in paying fans) on the southside; Disco Demolition Night; the move from Comiskey to the Cell; and much more.

There is so much White Sox history that it is impossible to capture it all in a single volume, but Roeper hits all the highlights. His prose is very accessible, humorous, and direct.
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