Team Outing Brings Opposing Coworkers Together

May 19, 2012

Friday was not just a Crosstown Classic, it was much more.

In an interesting bonding moment, members of Marketing RELEVANCE team  (that’s the agency that publishes Chicagoland Real Estate Forum) came together for a friendly outing at the old ballpark. The game, at historic Wrigley Field, not only pitted Cubs and White Sox against each other but also Cubs and Sox fans; with part of our own group donning Cubbie blue while others displayed White Sox black.

Our group. Bottom row, from left: Tracey, Lauren, Ricky. Top row: Mitch, Trevor, Patrick and Stefan.

Managing Partner of mRELEVANCE, Mitch Levinson, wore gray and cheered for everyone.

There was plenty of interesting baseball:

*White Sox slugger Paul Konerko hit a two-run homer in the first and, in his next at-bat, was hit in the face by Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Konerko had to leave the game; Samardzija later said it was unintentional and he wished he could take the pitch back.

*In the fifth inning, David Dejesus of the Cubs hit a ball to left field and beat the tag at second but was forced off the base by Gordan Beckham and ruled out. Cubs manager Dale Sveum argued the call and was ejected from the game.

*Half our group was in tears as Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, who announced his retirement earlier in the day, took the mound for the last time of his career, striking out Sox batter Dayan Viciedo on three pitches to earn his final out. As he walked back to the dugout, the crowd — and everyone in our group — gave Wood, 34, a standing ovation before his young son ran out to hug the pitcher, who, as a rookie in 1998, tied the major league record of 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Witnessing Wood’s last appearance provided a special moment for all of us, especially the one member of our group actually wearing a Wood jersey.

It was an exciting day that resulted in a 3-2 White Sox win, but no matter how these teams are playing, this rivalry is always sure to be entertaining.

And, despite our opposing loyalties, the experience did more for our group than give us a day away from the office: It made us closer friends.

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Looks like you guys had tons of fun. Hopefully you ate hot dogs, pretzels and popcorn. Those are my favorite ballpark foods.

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