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Opening Day for Metra’s Sox stop


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Taking Metra to the Cell

Metra says it will add trains to the Rock Island Line for Sox home games. For weekday afternoon games, an extra outbound train will leave the station after the final out. For weekday night games, the train that leaves LaSalle Street Station at 11:15 will have additional cars, and another outbound all-stop train will operate about 30 minutes after the last out.

For weekend games, an extra inbound train will arrive at the station about an hour before game time, and an extra outbound train will run about 30 minutes after the final out. For a complete schedule, visit www.metrarail.com.

White Sox 2011 home games (all times p.m.)

April 7 Tampa Bay, 1:10

April 8 Tampa Bay, 7:10

April 9 Tampa Bay, 3:10

April 10 Tampa Bay, 1:10

April 11 Oakland, 7:10

April 12 Oakland, 7:10

April 13 Oakland, 1:10

April 15 L.A. Angels, 7:10

April 16 L.A. Angels, 3:10

April 17 L.A. Angels, 1:10

April 29 Baltimore, 7:10

April 30 Baltimore, 6:10

May 1 Baltimore, 1:10

May 2 Baltimore, 7:10

May 3 Minnesota, 7:10

May 4 Minnesota, 1:10

May 16 Texas, 7:10

May 17 Texas, 7:10

May 18 Cleveland, 7:10

May 19 Cleveland, 7:10

May 20 L.A. Dodgers, 7:10

May 21 L.A. Dodgers, 1:10

May 22 L.A. Dodgers, 1:10

June 3 Detroit, 7:10

June 4 Detroit, 6:10

June 5 Detroit, 1:10

June 6 Seattle, 7:10

June 7 Seattle, 7:10

June 8 Seattle, 7:10

June 9 Oakland, 7:10

June 10 Oakland, 7:10

June 11 Oakland, 6:10

June 12 Oakland, 1:10

June 20 Cubs, 7:10

June 21 Cubs, 7:10

June 22 Cubs, 7:10

June 24 Washington, 7:10

June 25 Washington, 3:10

June 26 Washington, 1:10

July 4 Kansas City, 6:10

July 5 Kansas City, 7:10

July 6 Kansas City, 1:10

July 7 Minnesota, 7:10

July 8 Minnesota, 7:10

July 9 Minnesota, 3:10

July 10 Minnesota, 1:10

July 25 Detroit, 7:10

July 26 Detroit, 7:10

July 27 Detroit, 1:10

July 29 Boston, 7:10

July 30 Boston, 6:10

July 31 Boston, 1:10

Aug. 1 N.Y. Yankees, 7:10

Aug. 2 N.Y. Yankees, 7:10

Aug. 3 N.Y. Yankees, 7:10

Aug. 4 N.Y. Yankees, 7:10

Aug. 12 Kansas City, 7:10

Aug. 13 Kansas City, 6:10

Aug. 14 Kansas City, 1:10

Aug. 16 Cleveland, 7:10

Aug. 17 Cleveland, 7:10

Aug. 18 Cleveland, 7:10

Aug. 19 Texas, 7:10

Aug. 20 Texas, 6:10

Aug. 21 Texas, 1:10

Aug. 29 Minnesota, 7:10

Aug. 30 Minnesota, 7:10

Aug. 31 Minnesota, 1:10

Sept. 8 Cleveland, 7:10

Sept. 9 Cleveland, 7:10

Sept. 10 Cleveland, 6:10

Sept. 11 Cleveland, 1:10

Sept. 12 Detroit, 7:10

Sept. 13 Detroit, 7:10

Sept. 14 Detroit, 1:10

Sept. 23 Kansas City, 7:10

Sept. 24 Kansas City, 6:10

Sept. 25 Kansas City, 1:10

Sept. 26 Toronto, 7:10

Sept. 27 Toronto, 7:10

Sept. 28 Toronto, 1:10

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Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Tim Donnelly has been looking forward to today for two years.

For other White Sox fans, the wait has been decades.

Today’s the day that Southland fans can finally ride a Metra train to a Sox game, disembarking at the new 35th Street station that opened last weekend.

As a public service, we at the SouthtownStar want to make sure you rail riders know about some good spots to stop at outside the park. After all, you can’t tailgate at the train station.

When you climb down the stairs or ramps from the station, it’s a short walk to the front door of Mother Butter’s Popcorn and Confectionery, 17 W. 35th St., owned by Donnelly.

“We’ve been waiting for this because you can bring all our products into the ballpark,” he said.

A well-kept secret is that you can bring food into U.S. Cellular Field. If you like popcorn or nuts, Mother Butter’s is a place to visit.

“They’re saving money because they don’t have to pay for parking. They can come in, load up, go to the ballpark,” Donnelly said.

The retail center is also home to Miller Pizza Co., Jimmy John’s and Starbucks Coffee. Heck, you can even tend to last-minute business at the Kinko’s or FedEx.

“The train station is one of the reasons why we moved to the area. It’s good for the neighborhood,” said Donnelly, who grew up in Chicago’s Beverly community.

A walk to the park

Residents of Beverly, Mokena, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Tinley Park and other towns on Metra’s Rock Island line can now take the train to all Sox home games. It’s about 600 yards to The Cell’s ticket windows on 35th Street.

En route, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet guys selling bags of peanuts and others selling tickets. A reporter making the five-minute walk on Wednesday learned that today’s opener is sold out. If you have $75, you can have a standing-room ticket.

“I can get you in Friday, a nice box seat near home for $65,” said a ticket seller who sported a mustache reminiscent of former Sox reliever Rich “Goose” Gossage.

If you have extra time before the game, it’s worth taking a stroll west of the ballpark to 35th Street Red Hots, a tiny hot dog stand at 35th Street and Normal Avenue. The double-dog with fries for $3.86 is a bargain. The fries are homemade.

Manager Orlando Gonzalez was busy peeling hundreds of potatoes on Wednesday.

“We ordered about two tons of potatoes. It’s going to be crazy. We’ll get a lot of tailgaters coming in here,” he said.

He’s betting on hungry train riders, too.

Outside the hot dog stand used to be the best place near The Cell to find ticket scalpers.

“Not no more. They cracked down. (The scalpers) moved about a block west of here,” Gonzalez said.

If you’re heading that way and also need a new Sox hat, T-shirt or other item, chances are you’ll find it at Grandstand, 600 W. 35th St., which has a mind-boggling collection of merchandise for all the pro teams in town, but mostly the Sox.

“We try to have different things in here,” owner Rosemary Powers said.

Can’t find something? Powers will order it for you.

“We’ve been busy all week, with people getting ready for Opening Day. I think the train stop will help because it’s so convenient for fans to get to the park,” she said. “We’re ready for Opening Day. We’ve been in business for 25 years, 22 years here.”

Another longtime merchant (23 years) is Bob O’Malley, owner of Morrie O’Malley’s Hot Dogs, 3501 S. Union Ave.

“The train? I don’t know it will help us, but it may make it easier on the Sox fans,” O’Malley said.

His clientèle has included Sox reliever Matt Thornton and pitching coach Don Cooper, he said. Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden stopped in last season.

Maybe Madden will stop in today for a pregame dog, but Sox fans would rather he drown his sorrows later at Cork & Kerry at the Park, 3258 S. Princeton Ave.

Co-owner Billy Guide, who owns Cork & Kerry in the 19th Ward, brought a bit of Beverly to Bridgeport when the tavern opened last season. He hopes Southlanders take advantage of the “long overdue” train stop.

He said fans aren’t the only beneficiaries of the new depot.

“What (the Sox) lose in parking, they’ll make up for in attendance and beer sales. You can have two or three more beers if you don’t have to drive home,” Guide said.



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