Fans rave about new video boards; Chicago's Chance the Rapper throws first pitch
By Cash Kruth
CHICAGO -- Baseball finally returned to the South Side on Friday, despite inclement weather in the morning and early afternoon.
The wintry mix dissipated in time for the White Sox 7-1 loss in the home opener against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field, but the cold remained; the temperature at the time of John Danks' first pitch -- which was delayed 20 minutes by the weather -- was 39 degrees.
A host of new faces filled the White Sox lineup, but Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Co. weren't the only new additions that stood out on the 25th Opening Day at The Cell.
Fans got their first look at three new video boards -- left, center and right field -- that were installed during the offseason. The center-field board, which measures between 7,000 and 8,000 square feet, is among the largest in Major League Baseball. The ones in left and right field are approximately 2,500 square feet, with the entire project costing $7.3 million.
"It's really pretty cool, I'm kind of amazed," White Sox fan Mike Knezovich said. "Not so much the size, but the resolution is unbelievable. You see these guys' faces, it's incredible. Plus the bigger side ones, it used to be a lot of angles, you'd get cut off a little bit. But the bigger side ones, you can always see something that can tell you the score."
Fellow Sox fan Rich Fordon agreed: "The old ones weren't bad, but this is what you kind of expect when you come into a ballpark when you spend 'X' amount of dollars to get in."
Before the game, the center-field video board showed an in memoriam for those who died this year, including a video tribute for Eddie Einhorn, a White Sox executive for 35 seasons who died in February at 80.
Other notable Opening Day happenings included players arriving on the field in cars and a nice ovation for 2005 World Series champion and current Indians third baseman Juan Uribe.
Chicago native Chance the Rapper threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The 22-year-old also was wearing one of his three White Sox hat designs that were unveiled earlier this week and were available at Friday's home opener.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.