Which of the 10 Never Seen Facts on Guaranteed Rate Field Chicago Will Impress You the Most? The 10 Facts on Guaranteed Rate Field are…
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10 Never Seen Facts on Guaranteed Rate Field
Guaranteed Rate Field is one of the league’s exciting Chicago venues every sports fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the White Sox venue opened in 1991 and hosted the All-Star Game in 2003. Any Southside Chicago fan that bleeds White Sox black will know every information possible, from the team winning the 2005 World Series to Jose Abreu claiming the MVP Award in 2020. However, there are new Guaranteed Rate Field facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Seen Facts on Guaranteed Rate Field below!
10: The Original Plans for Guaranteed Rate Field Looked Much Different than What it was Today
The current White Sox ballpark has lots of advantages Chicago fans and baseball spectators look forward to. For example, Guaranteed Rate Field has thousands and thousands of parking lots that surround the stadium. Another example is that fireworks come out of the centerfield scoreboard every time a White Sox player hits a home run. One more thing to point out is that fans could have a chance to take a selfie with the team’s green-furry mascot: Southpaw. But believe it or not, the original plans for the current ballpark looked much different than what it was today. When the White Sox were looking for a new home in the 1980s, they wanted a venue that could enhance the game-day experience.
First of all, Chicago’s American League club spent 80 years playing home games at Old Comiskey Park. Anyway, the new stadium was initially going to be called Armour Field (named after local meatpacking businessman Phillip D. Armour). Also, the proposed ideas called for restaurants and other mixed development that is similar to Wrigleyville-Cubs and Ballpark Village-Cardinals. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of those plans had the Old Comiskey Park turned into a nature park with the new stadium facing Downtown Chicago. However, original ideas somehow fell through and the Armour Field site became Armour Square Park.
9: Florida Marlins were the “Home Team” at the White Sox Ballpark
Over the last 20 years, home teams have had no choice but to play elsewhere due to uncontrollable circumstances. First, the Blue Jays played a “home” series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia in 2010 because of a G20 Summit in Canada. Second, the Orioles were the home team vs. Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Pete due to the 2015 protests in Baltimore. Last but not least, the Astros played a home contest vs. Cubs at then-Miller Park because of Hurricane Ike in Texas in 2008. But did you know that the Florida Marlins were the “home” team at then-U.S. Cellular Field in 2004?
Originally, the Marlins/Expos series in September 2004 was meant to be played at the then-Pro Player Stadium. However, the series was moved to Illinois due to Hurricane Ivan impacting the state of Florida. Because of the change, the White Sox stadium had to follow the rules of the Marlins being the home team. That meant the pitcher’s at-bat rule was applied instead of the designated hitter, since Florida was a National League club. Also, the Marlins started each series in the top innings and not the bottom innings. This series proved to be the last games that the Montreal Expos ever played at the White Sox venue because they moved to Washington D.C. the following season.
8: Then-U.S. Cellular Field was Sued by an Electrician in 2013
Accidents and injuries can take place without warning at any time, especially at baseball contests. Those accidents range from stubbing a toe on a hard door to making a large spill near the seating aisles. However, injuries resulting from those accidents can sometimes lead someone to take legal action. Unfortunately, that happened at the formerly-named U.S. Cellular Field during a normal summer day. In June 2013, an electrician filed a lawsuit against the White Sox for an injury he sustained while on property.
It all started when a middle-aged electrician came to U.S. Cellular Field to check on the centerfield video board. Transportation to the feature was a challenge since it would only be accessed via a roof. Unfortunately, the electrician suffered a career-ending hamstring injury when he slipped on the roof’s wet PVC membranes. Therefore, he sued both the White Sox and the company that developed the roof in the first place. Ultimately, the court ruled in the team’s favor because the judge believed that the White Sox stadium did enough to warn the electrician about the roof’s dangers.
7: When the White Sox Stadium Opened in 1991, it Didn’t Have the 360 Concourse
1991 turned out to be a magical year for the White Sox when they finally opened their new home. They had spent the previous eight decades playing in the aging Comiskey Park. Also, the White Sox got to play in a newer and fresher sports venue. Most of all, the current ballpark kept the Southside baseball club from the possibility of relocating to another city. But here’s one problem! When the then-New Comiskey Park opened its doors to the public, it didn’t have the 360 concourse.
That issue was a major one since there were no permanent concession stands in the outfield. To make matters worse, fans sitting in the left field/right field seats would have to walk all the way to the 1st base/3rd base concourses for food. Fortunately, things took a turn for the good a decade later. In 2001, the White Sox introduced an improved outfield concourse as part of the stadium’s renovations. The improvements include more permanent food stands, a fan deck above the batter’s eye, and a Comiskey Park Shower replica.
6: Guaranteed Rate Field Hosted Less Concerts Compared to Other Chicago Stadiums
Typically, an open-air stadium would usually host large-scale events other than baseball. Most of the time, rock bands and country stars would take the stage at that type of venue. In other times, an outdoor hockey game or a college bowl would occupy the ballpark during the off-season. Chicago sports stadiums like Wrigley Field, United Center, and Soldier Field do a good job hosting other events that don’t fit their main tenants’ purposes. Surprisingly, Guaranteed Rate Field has hosted fewer concerts compared to other Windy City venues since its 1991 opening.
In fact, the formerly-named U.S. Cellular Field did not book its first concert until 2002, when the Rolling Stones came to town. One year later, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band made a rare appearance at a baseball stadium by playing at the White Sox park. Since that show, Guaranteed Rate Field did not host another live performance until 2016, when Chicago native Chance the Rapper completed his set. Other than those three concerts, the White Sox stadium has rarely hosted other events that do not include baseball. However, the Northern Illinois Huskies did play a football game vs. Toledo Rockets as part of the Chi-Town Huskie Showdown in 2016.
5: White Sox Stadium is 1 of 5 Active Ballparks to Have Both a Perfect Game and No-Hitter
Guaranteed Rate Field has hosted so many exciting baseball moments since it opened in the early 1990s. For instance, the White Sox hosted the 2005 World Series and won their first championship since 1917. In addition, the previously-named U.S. Cellular Field was the site of Game 163 to determine the 2008 AL Central Division Champion. The White Sox went on to clinch the division crown over the Twins, but lost in the Division Series in four games vs. Rays. Even though Chicago reached the postseason again in 2020, the stadium did not host any playoff games that year.
But believe it or not, Guaranteed Rate Field is one of five active MLB ballparks to host both a perfect game and a no-hitter. In 2007, White Sox Right-Hander Mark Buehrle tossed a no-no against the Texas Rangers. Two years later, Buehrle threw a perfect game in the prior season’s playoff rematch vs. Tampa Bay. Twins LHP Francisco Liriano accomplished the feat at U.S. Cellular Field in 2011, while White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon tossed one vs. Cleveland in 2021. By the way, here are the other ballparks that saw both a no-hitter and a perfect game: T-Mobile Park, Dodger Stadium, Oracle Park, and Oakland Coliseum.
4: Guaranteed Rate Field is the Only Stadium in America to Sell Other Teams’ Gear
Team stores are a great place to buy merchandise and souvenirs from a baseball game. Usually, those shops would sell team-related gear like player jerseys and baseball caps. Also, they offer items that do not take up a lot of space like pins and magnets. The club shops even sell memorabilia that ranges from autographed framed photos to signed wooden bats. But did you know that Guaranteed Rate Field is the only stadium in America to sell other teams’ merchandise?
Located near the Gate 5 entrance (3rd base side of the ballpark), the Chicago Sports Depot is a shopping destination for White Sox fans and anyone from the Windy City in general. It’s not just a store full of White Sox gear, but it’s also a retail business for other local teams. First, the Chicago Blackhawks have jerseys and winter hats at the store. Second, the Chicago Sports Depot has Bulls gear in stock that focuses on shirts and jackets. The store even has a large photo on the wall that showcases Chicago’s recent championships. The main reason the Chicago Sports Depot sells other teams’ merchandise is that White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf also owns the Bulls.
3: White Sox Ballpark was Involved in the Parking Lot Scandal in 2022
Guaranteed Rate Field is one of MLB’s most car-friendly ballparks in the country. The venue offers thousands and thousands of parking lots surrounding the stadium. In fact, fans won’t have to worry about riding on a subway train or using a ride-sharing transportation service to get to the park. However, there are downsides to parking at Guaranteed Rate Field as scammers were spotted ripping fans off in recent years. Unfortunately, news broke out in the early 2020s that those scammers had been tricking guests into parking in fake lots.
Over the past decade, the scammers have a history of ripping people off at other Chicago venues like Wrigley Field and United Center. But for Guaranteed Rate Field, the three men disguised themselves as parking attendants. Whenever cars came up on property, one of them gave the fans a fraudulent parking pass while the other two blocked the cars’ way. Once the affected spectators returned from the baseball contest, they found parking tickets on their front-shield windows. The White Sox have since issued a statement saying that they will collaborate with local law enforcement officials to put an end to this controversy.
2: There was a Triple Play Unlike Any Other at Guaranteed Rate Field
The White Sox ballpark has a reputation for hosting some of the sport’s ultra-rare moments. As we mentioned earlier, Mark Buehrle tossed a perfect game in 2009 when he achieved the feat against the Rays. Another thing to point out is that Guaranteed Rate Field is one of the couple active stadiums that hosted no-hitters from both the home team and the visiting club. One more item to consider is that the White Sox venue was the site for the tie-breaker game for the 2008 AL Central Division title. Recently, Guaranteed Rate Field witnessed a triple play unlike any other in baseball history.
In July 2022, the White Sox were taking on the Minnesota Twins as part of the 4th of July week. In the 7th inning, Chicago had runners on base with no outs and tied at 2-2. With A.J. Pollack at-bat, he flew out to center fielder Byron Buxton for out #1. With the runners caught in the run-down, Buxton threw to shortstop Gio Urshela to tag Yoan Moncada for out #2. When Urshela ran to second base to rule Adam Engel out for running off base, that’s out #3. Therefore, Guaranteed Rate Field saw the league’s first ever 8-5 triple play in history. By the way, the 8-5 translates to all three outs made instantly from center fielder to shortstop.
1: Fans Can Get a Piece of the Old Comiskey Park at the Current Stadium
Guaranteed Rate Field is one of Chicago’s top attractions when it comes to sporting events. Every year, the White Sox get to play some of the league’s highest-drawing teams like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. In addition, Guaranteed Rate Field serves offerings that relate to baseball contests like stadium giveaways and post-game firework shows. Perhaps the most exciting part about the ballpark is that the White Sox get to play the Cubs in the Crosstown series every season. But believe it or not, fans can get a piece of the Old Comiskey Park at the then-U.S. Cellular Field.
If any spectator is looking to walk down memory lane at the current stadium, the piece of history is mainly located in the outfield. For example, there are old stadium-era statues located throughout the outfield concourse, like team owner Charles Comiskey and player Minnie Minoso. Next, the concourse has a replica of the Old Comiskey Park Shower where fans can get wet to cool off from the hot summer days. Finally, the most notable piece from the defunct venue is the centerfield video board that shoots out fireworks for every White Sox home run and victory.