Rally Monday to feature pep rally

Rally Monday to feature pep rally

CHICAGO -- Every White Sox fan has seen the champagne party and cheered their hearts out watching the team capture its first American League Central championship in five years.

Now, it's the fans turn to take part in the celebration.

Before fans can watch the Sox start play in the postseason, they are invited to come celebrate as the White Sox and Major League Baseball host Rally Monday -- a pep rally designed to celebrate the team's regular-season accomplishments and gear up for Chicago's postseason run.

"It's thrilling for us to have had such an exciting season and this rally will help us bring it to the fans and let them have a large part in celebrating with us," White Sox public relations director Katie Kirby said. "But it's more than just celebrating what we've already done, because we haven't reached our ultimate goal yet. Our goal is winning a championship, and we hope Monday's rally is just the first of many parties yet to come."

The party will begin at 11:30 a.m. CT on Monday in the historic Block 37 area of Chicago. T-shirts and raffle prizes will be given away while Sox organist Nancy Faust plays and video highlights are shown for the first hour of the celebration.

At 12:30 p.m. the official program will begin with Gene Honda, the stadium announcer at U.S. Cellular Field, on hand to lead the festivities. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daly will address the crowd, as will former Sox players Bill Pierce, Ron Kittle and Ed Farmer.

Pierce, a member of the 1959 White Sox team, will speak about his experience in the World Series, while Kittle will share memories of the 1983 team that advanced to the playoffs.

Farmer, a pitcher for the Sox from 1979-81 and now the team's radio color commentator, will talk about this year's team and what it has been like to be a part of such a special season.

"Having members of the White Sox family on hand to join us in celebrating means a lot to us and to the fans," Kirby said. "This season has been magical for not only the team but also all of those associated with the White Sox. Bill, Ron and Ed are a big part of the Sox family and we're thrilled to have them at the rally to share their experiences."

Rally Monday will take place in all eight cities of the playoff-bound teams. The overwhelming response from fans last season in the program's first year led Major League Baseball to make it an annual event.

Giving fans a chance to join together and take part in their team's accomplishments is what Rally Monday is all about, and Kirby said that it's the fans that have helped get these teams to this point as well.

"The rally really is to celebrate the generous fan support that we've had all year," Kirby said. "We had over 2.3 million fans come through the gates this season at U.S. Cellular Field, and this party is to celebrate them as much as it is the team.

"Not every White Sox fan will be able to get tickets for the playoff games, but this is one way that they can take part in the excitement that surrounds the postseason."

Kelly Thesier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.