The White Sox versus the Cubs: a cross-town rivalry comparison


Chicago has many sports teams for fans to root for, such as the Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls. These are all teams that usually do pretty good in their respective professional leagues—except the Bears, of course. But, one of the biggest tug-of-war battles between sports teams comes from the one sport I didn’t mention: baseball. 

The Cubs and White Sox are both Chicago-based baseball teams, and both have strong fan bases both in-state and around the midwest, with Iowa baseball fans most commonly siding with Chicago teams due to their state’s lack of pro teams. The biggest thing, though, is that the teams may be rivals, but in the end, it’s a landmark opportunity to attract more and more fans around the world.

As a Chicago-born kid in a Chicago-born family, I have both sides of fans in my family tree, with my dad’s side being White Sox fans and my mom’s side being die-hard Cubs fans. Except for my grandpa’s girlfriend, who is a White Sox fan, and my mom converting over after she and my dad started dating, this is how it’s always been.

Growing up, I received a lot of comments from classmates and friends when I would show up to team spirit days at school in my White Sox apparel with everyone asking questions like, “Why aren’t you a Cubs fan if you are from Chicago,” and comments like, “You should bandwagon to the Cubs, you guys have no team.” Well, that may be so, but the best part about baseball is that the teams are like stew; you tweak the recipe until it is just right, and over the years, the White Sox franchise has been doing just that. Although we might not have won a World Series in 17 years, unlike the Cubs’ six-year gap with their last win in 2016, our team in the 2021 season was the best it has been in many years. We got very far and had a shot to go all the way before being shot down after making it to the 1st seed spot in the AL Central. We made it to the ALDS before getting beat out of World Series contention by the team that would end up losing in the World Series, the Houston Astros. This Houston loss made me very happy for many reasons, but that is a whole different story. 

Last year was a turning point for the team, and with its solid foundation set and new talent coming in, spring training is set to start February 26, 2022, which will be the first glimpse we have at the team right out of the gates. From this starting point, we will be able to evaluate the team’s potential and get an idea of where we stand compared to last year. More importantly, though, I’ll also evaluate other teams’ chances of winning, which brings me to the next topic of fanbases for the Cubs and Sox and how they have changed in recent years. 

Technically speaking, the Cubs fanbase is bigger than the White Sox due to the location of Wrigley Field and also the Cubs franchise being owned by the parent company of the Chicago Tribune. White Sox fans tend to be from the South Side of Chicago, hence the nickname “The South Siders.” The White Sox fanbase also blossomed around less-wealthy areas, meaning its fanbase has immersed itself in almost a type of culture. This doesn’t mean the fanbases won’t change, but considering how they came to be, it would take a lot of bandwagons and probably a World Series for the South Siders to catch up. 

All in all, the Cubs and White Sox dominate the baseball scene no matter which one is above the other. Their fanbases are all over the country and continue to grow and thrive. Both Chicago teams are far from unpopular, and both franchises will work to keep it that way. With spring training starting later in the month, it will be interesting to see how the two teams compare to each other this season and how far they will get in the normal season compared to years in the past and for the bragging rights over the other.