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Chicago fans so close, but so far apart

Chicago fans so close, but so far apart

CHICAGO -- Madison Avenue is a no man's land of sorts in Chicago right now.

The dividing line between the North and South Sides, the street represents the schism that exists between the city's baseball fans.

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Madison Avenue was bustling with its usual commuters on Thursday morning, but many were sporting their Cubs and White Sox apparel. That's because it's a particularly special day in Chicago baseball history, as the Cubs and White Sox are playing in the postseason together for the first time since 1906.

The White Sox kicked off against the Rays in the early afternoon down in Florida, and in the nightcap, the Cubs look to get even with the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

One block north of Madison Avenue, Cubs and White Sox fans are gathered at Daley Plaza for the weekly farmer's market. If anything, this is neutral territory.

Danny Disterheft is selling tomatoes at his stand in the center of the market. Disterheft is from Michigan, but the White Sox hat he wears indicates where his baseball loyalty lies.

"I was a Sox fan growing up," Disterheft said. "I think it is real special that the teams represent the same city."

Should the two teams meet up in the World Series, Disterheft would like to see the White Sox prevail, but he holds no grudges against the North Siders.

The same isn't true of all White Sox fans, many of whom enjoy watching the Cubs lose as much as seeing the White Sox win.

On the other side of the farmer's market, Joe Prince and Larry Garrett stood outside of the Daley Center on their lunch break. Prince is a Cook County Sheriff's deputy and wore a White Sox jersey to work. Garrett, his sergeant, is a life-long Cubs fan.

"I'm a Sox fan, so I couldn't care less about the Cubs," Prince said, shooting Garrett a friendly glance. "Three-and-out for the Cubs is what I'm looking for. It started yesterday."

Garrett, despite showing no sympathy for the Sox, said he would still like to see the South Siders win so that his Cubs can beat them in the World Series.

"It's our year," Garrett said of the Cubs. "What happened [Wednesday] night won't happen again; it was a fluke. If the pitching holds, they should be OK."

Back in 1906, the White Sox beat the Cubs in six games to claim their first World Series title. The Cubs won the next two years, but haven't won a World Series since.

Prince, the Sox fan, was born and raised on the North Side. When asked how he became a North Side Sox fan, his answer was unequivocal.

"My dad raised me right," he said with a smile. "I was at a bar full of Cubs fans last night, enjoying the glorious loss."

The Cubs and White Sox may have made history by appearing in the same postseason, but for now, their feelings for each other haven't changed. It begs the question: Can't we all just get along?

David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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