CHICAGO – Fans who have been reflecting on the last time the White Sox were able to play a postseason game remember a new tradition that started over the course of three games.
That was the “Blackout,” where fans were encouraged to don the color in unison as the team made the postseason in 2008. The team’s stay in the playoffs wasn’t long, but the impression left has lasted for 13 years.
Hence the team is bringing back the “Blackout” for the 2021 playoffs at Guaranteed Rate Field.
On Tuesday, the team officially encouraged fans to wear black to playoff games that will be played at the venue in the month of October, starting with the American League Division Series. It’s part of the team’s “Change the Game October” initiative that celebrates the fans’ return to playoff baseball on the south side.
Remember, the White Sox made the playoffs in 2020 but due to the pandemic all three games against the Athletics in the Wild Card Series were played without fans.
As part of the initiative, the team will hand out 40,000 black “Change the Game October” towels to fans at the first ALDS game. That will either be on Thursday, Oct. 7th in Game 1 or Sunday, Oct. 10th for Game 3, which will depend on whether the team can get a higher seed for the best-of-five series.
Right now, the White Sox have the third seed in the American League, sitting 2 1/2 games behind the second-seeded Astros with five games to play.
The “Blackout” tradition began with the White Sox one-game American League Central tiebreaker on September 30th, 2008. On that night, fans wore black as the team played one of the more memorable games in the history of then US Cellular Field.
A great game by Jon Danks along with a long homer by Jim Thome helped the White Sox to a 1-0 win that gave them an AL Central title, which was their last till 2021.
In the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, fans were again encouraged to wear black for Game 3 and 4 of that series. Facing elimination, the White Sox won the third game 5-3 on October 5th, their last home playoff victory, before being eliminated the next day in a 6-2 defeat.
As playoff baseball returns to the south side, so does this tradition that began 13 years ago.