It's back. Baseball's opening day (for many teams) is today. In our part of the world, people are loyal to primarily two teams, the Cubs and the White Sox. Sure, you've got your Cardinal fans, your Brewers fans, and your assorted devotees of other MLB franchises, but, for the most part, it's the North Side against the South Side.

I was raised a Cub fan by my dad, who figured if he was going to spend his life in misery rooting for a team that hasn't gotten to the top in over 100 years, he might as well have company.

Scot is a White Sox fan, and although the Sox have enjoyed a similar bout of futility, at least they've won a World Series, and their fans can easily recall that joy, rather than relying on accounts from people long dead.

All that aside, for the time being, hope springs eternal for both teams and their fans. By eternal, I mean a few games.

With that in mind, here are a few trivial notes about the Cubs and White Sox, courtesy of the Popcorn Factory blog:

  • Before they were known as the Cubs, the team was also called the Chicago White Stockings, the Colts, the Black Stockings, the Orphans, the Rainmakers and the Cowboys. They didn’t get their modern-day name until 1902, when a newspaper reporter used the nickname “Cubs” to refer to the team in an article.
  • When the White Sox franchise was first started in 1900, the team was known as the Chicago White Stockings. They took the moniker after the Chicago Cubs—the original White Stockings—changed their team name.
  • The Cubs were the first team ever to win two back-to-back World Series championships. They won their first series in 1907 and claimed victory again in 1908. However, they haven’t won a championship since then, though they did win National League titles in 2007 and 2008.
  • After their 12-4 defeat of the Cleveland Blues, the White Sox clinched their first American League pennant on September 12, 1900. The White Sox won their first World Series championship in 1906, defeating crosstown rivals Chicago Cubs 4-2. It was the first and only World Series that pitted the two Chicago teams against each other. The last time the White Sox won the World Series was 2005. It was their first championship win in 88 years.
  • The Cubs didn’t start playing at Wrigley Field until 1916. They called five different parks home before they settled at Wrigley: 23rd Street Grounds, Lakefront Park, West Side Park, South Side Park, and West Side Grounds.
  • Comiskey Park was home to the White Sox for 80 years (1911-1990) before they started playing at Comiskey Park II. Before then, the team played in Southside Park since 1900. The White Sox claimed their first win in franchise history on April 22, 1901. They beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3.
  • The first baseball game to ever be covered on the radio was aired on October 1, 1924, when the Cubs defeated the White Sox 10-7.
  • The White Sox had the pleasure of playing the longest game in American history. On May 9, 1984, they engaged in what seemed like a never-ending battle with the Milwaukee Brewers: The game lasted two days and 25 innings. Harold Baines finally put the game away at the bottom of the 25th inning with his game-winning home run.
  • There are 42,157 seats in Wrigley Field, including standing room tickets. On July 27, 1930, Wrigley Field hosted its biggest crowd ever: 51,556 fans. There were so many people that, in order to make everyone fit, visitors were allowed to stand along the outfield’s warning track.
  • The Cubs’ logo has been changed so many times over the years that no one really knows who designed it.
  • The original White Sox logo was designed around 1910-1912, but the designer is unknown.

Knowing how discussions of sports often lead to arguments about facts, figures, and statistics, I'm perfectly willing to accept that some of these numbers can be argued. My attitude is: Whatever. I'll leave that to the experts.

As for me...I'm going to spend the next few days (once again) thinking "This is our year!"

Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images Sports
Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images Sports
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