CHICAGO — With a couple of tickets, a train pass, and a little bit of endurance, a Chicago baseball fan had a dream scenario on Monday.
One could attend two Major League Baseball games in the city in a single day, first on the north side and then on the south side.
It’s also known by many people as the “Red Line Doubleheader.”
For the second and final time in 2023, the Cubs and White Sox had home games at different times on Monday, allowing willing fans enough time to see both. The north siders were hosting the Rays at 1:20 p.m. at Wrigley Field while the White Sox hosted the Angels at 7:10 p.m. at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Here’s a look at the journey undertaken by those who decided to take the trip from one ballpark to the other during a “Red Line Doubleheader.”
The Cubs were first up with a contest against the Tampa Bay Rays in the afternoon on a warm yet overcast afternoon at Wrigley Field.
A crowd of 38,163 fans showed up with the hope that the home team would be able to stop a four-game losing streak, one in which the team fell to the bottom of the National League standings.
It was a Memorial Day “Red Line Doubleheader” so there were a number of tributes to those who lost their lives in military combat. This included a moment of silence that was held in the 8th inning around 3 p.m., joining with the rest of the country in a “Moment of Remembrance.”
On the field, Marcus Stroman enjoyed one of the best performances of his career over the course of the afternoon. He had a no-hitter through six innings and surrendered only a Wander Franco hit in the seventh inning.
The starter had eight strikeouts, including the one above, with just one walk.
As for Stroman, it was the second complete game shutout of his career and the first time he’d done so since September 8, 2014, when he pulled off the same performance against the Cubs with the Rays.
It was the team’s first complete game, one-hit shutout since Jake Arrieta did so against the Reds on September 16, 2014.
With the game finishing in two hours and five minutes, fans going to both games got nearly four hours between games.
The next stop for fans doing the “Red Line Doubleheader” was Guaranteed Rate Field for the 7:10 p.m. start between the White Sox and the Angels. It’s the first of a six-game homestand for a team that’s played better in the month of May but it still making up for a terrible April.
Sunny skies and mild temperatures greeted the 23,599 fans that made the way to the second half of the baseball doubleheader on the south side.
Yet this night was all about one player on the White Sox who was about to make his triumphant comeback on Monday evening.
Less than six months after beginning treatment for Stage IV non-Hodgskin’s lymphoma, Liam Hendriks was officially activated by the team before the game. A few signs and “Close Out Cancer” shirts were in the crowd in salute to the closer’s cancer-free diagnosis.
Hendriks would make his way out to the bullpen in the middle of the game with the fans giving him a big ovation with the “Close Out Cancer” logo placed on the scoreboards around the park.
It was expected that the closer would take the mound at some point during the contest, which happened in the eighth inning.
With the crowd on their feet, Hendriks made his way onto the field with the lights flickering and “We Will Rock You” by DJ’s From Mars as he made his 2023 debut.
The ovation continues for a few minutes as Hendriks took the mound against the Los Angeles hitters, who got two runs and three hits in that eighth inning.
Hendriks’ debut would turn out to be the highlight of another frustrating result for the White Sox. Michael Kopech’s struggles in the first inning would spoil an otherwise good performance, and despite three homers, lost to the Angels 6-4.
That completed a most unique day in Chicago sports, where the schedule makers helped create a day full of baseball for those willing to make the journey.