How The White Sox Can Transform Their Franchise
By Jeff Shirk
Second, bring back Bill Veeck. Not literally, of course. He’s been gone for 33 years now. Gone, but not forgotten. Veeck transformed the franchise in the brief time he owned the team for two years from 1959-1961, and again in the lat1970s’s.
He is responsible for the now famous exploding scoreboard, the Disco Demolition event, Harry Caray singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”, listing players last names on the backs of their jerseys, and for legendary irreverent stunts such as players wearing shorts as part of their uniforms and (as owner of the St. Louis Browns) sending a midget to bat in an effort to draw a base on balls with Gaedel’s ridiculously small strike zone.
This club is baseball royalty and they should celebrate their heritage to reassert it. Make games a party again, bigger and better than ever. Coordinated “Waves”, flash mob dances, more kiss cams, giveaways for fans in selected seats, section competitions, Guinness records, guest bands and performers, laser shows, selected fireworks, sound effects, tweetstorms and unique per-game hashtags, in-game selfie contests, Legends and Ambassadors as game chairpersons, Daniel Palka look-alike contests, featured celebrities leading sing-alongs, guest chef per-game specials and creations, featured elementary, high school and college nights with free tickets to student populations, and on and on.
Make Sox park the place to be for every game because you don’t know what you’re going to see. This was precisely what Bill Veeck did in the 50’s and again in the 70’s. The enthusiasm could be infectious, and when the team matures in a winning environment that spontaneity will translate to on-field gameplay and outcomes.
There’s a reason we have fireworks after home runs and an exploding scoreboard with pinwheels…and it’s Veeck. He’s also the reason Wrigley Field’s outfield is covered with ivy and not simply exposed brick.