Like many White Sox fans, Carlos Rodon had been waiting for this moment for a long time. After years of toiling on rebuilding teams, watching losing season after losing season, playoff baseball had finally returned to the Southside of Chicago. It was worth the wait.



“This is what I’ve always wanted,” Rodon said as he turned toward Lucas Giolito before the game. “I just wanted to see it.”

What a sight it was. A black sea of forty thousand towel-waving White Sox fans jammed into Guaranteed Rate Field. “Chills man,” Lucas Giolito said in response.

After a four-hour 27 minute marathon of a game, the crowd still had the same energy and the stadium was still packed. It did not go unnoticed by the players and coaches.

“You know what was the most frequent quote or comment in the dugout in the last three innings? No fans left. I mean that was a long game.” Tony La Russa told reporters. “I can’t tell you the impression that made on our ballclub that the fans stayed around to the end. All the energy they provided early definitely helped. That was amazing. Four and a half hours.”

There is no denying the impact the fans had on the team. The White Sox had a much better record at home than on the road this season for a reason. The players noted how lively it was at the ballpark throughout the regular season. During the playoffs, the intensity was ramped up even more.

As the White Sox mounted a comeback the decibel level continued to rise. First, it was Yasmani Grandal that sent the stadium into a frenzy with a two-run homer. When the Astros manager, Dusty Baker, decided to pull starting pitcher Luis Garcia the serenading of “hey hey hey…goodbye” echoed throughout the stadium.

Gavin Sheets could be seen turning to Darly Boston in awe saying “this place is wild”.

When Leury Garcia hit a go-ahead home run the place was up for grabs. “This place was rocking tonight,” Yasmani Grandal said. “I haven’t seen it–these fans are incredible, so the fact that everybody was here, it was great. All blacked out. It was awesome.”

Liam Hendriks offered a similar sentiment.

“Obviously the blackout crowd was fantastic. They’ve been a great crowd no matter what the situation has been this year. They’ve been fantastic ever since we let 100 percent capacity in they’ve been behind us all the way. It’s awesome. I mean after Leury’s home run earlier I think they wasted about a grand worth of beer throwing them up in the stands.”

Yoan Moncada added:

“It was an exciting atmosphere, the one that we experienced last night, Moncada said through team interpreter Billy Russo. “It was definitely way different compared to what we experienced last year with no fans in the stands. It was important for us to have our fan support, and it was an extra motivation for us, I think we took advantage.”

Even Dusty Baker had to tip his cap to the Southside faithful. Even he was impressed.

“That’s the most people I’ve ever seen at this park,” Baker said. “And, you know, if I wasn’t playing a game, I would have enjoyed myself being here at this park. I don’t know if I have an all-black outfit or not, but I would have probably gotten one.”

Chicago hasn’t seen anything like this in a long time. Profane chants were directed at Jose Altuve. People brought inflatable trash cans to the bleachers to mock the Astros. A wizard man with a cane helped will the White Sox to victory by putting a hex on the Astors. “Sox in five chants” filled the place up as fans exited the stadium.

Dusky Baker even added that the astmosphere was “pretty cool actually. It was differnt than Wrigley Field.”

Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy tweeted “White Sox crowd is electric. Louder and more energetic than any Cubs crowd I’ve ever seen.”

White Sox fans will get another chance to pack the ballpark on Tuesday afternoon for Game 4.

Mitchell studies sports communications at Bradley University and works for Braves Vision, an organization that works alongside ESPN broadcasting games and covering Bradley sports. Creator of Dorm Room Dispute podcast.