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All About White Sox Interactive

Started by Sox fan George Bova in 1998, White Sox Interactive is the original website devoted to the fans of the Chicago White Sox.  You won't find one speck of "official" anywhere on White Sox Interactive, and thank God for that!  If you want insipid game recaps, boring statistical data, or "gee whiz" accounts of the team and its players, look elsewhere. You will have no problem finding what you are looking for. 

Here is where Sox Fans speak their minds about their team and their passion.  The people who write for White Sox Interactive are Sox Fans same as you.  We proudly admit to being "Totally Biased, Utterly Petty, Completely Unobjective."  If you bleed silver and black, you've come to the right place. 

Go Sox! 

Sincerely,

The Sox Fans who bring you White Sox Interactive

Contact us | Support & Advertsing | Site History | Contributing 

The History of WSI

by George Bova

I started White Sox Interactive in 1998 as a hobby and because I was embarrassed at how little presence Sox fans had on the internet.  This fact fed the prevailing myth amongst the Chicago media that Sox fans didn't care about their team.  Even though the Sox had sat back idly while Albert Belle and Robin Ventura left via free agency, WSI would prove the media wrong about our indifference.  Everything you see today grew from five measly HTML pages launched in November, 1998.

Inspiration for the site came from an English football supporter site created by Gary Craig.  His Electronic Arsenal Fanzine used the tag line "Totally Biased, Utterly Petty, Completely Unobjective".  I contacted him, got permission to use the line, and set about building a site that Sox Fans could call their own.  Through this affiliation, White Sox Interactive has made our White Sox the most popular baseball team in North London... well, at least at the Bank of Friendship where Gary and his mates tip back Guinness in support of Arsenal FC!

Daily hits grew and early in 1999, White Sox Interactive became the largest and most popular Sox fan site on the internet.   Dave Wills of ESPN-Chicago first mentioned my site on the air back in August, 1999.  By then I had already introduced many of WSI's signature features, including the exploding scoreboard, Sox Quotables, and Memories of Old Comiskey Park, the internet's first and most complete tribute to the former home of our Chicago White Sox.  White Sox Interactive reintroduced Sox fans to the Soxogram message board a full year before the geniuses running the Sox marketing department thought to do it, too.  Authors Richard Lindberg (The White Sox Encyclopedia and numerous other Sox titles) and Dan Helpingstine (Through Hope and Despair) were the first contributors to the website.  Author Arthur McDonald (This Date in New York Yankee Hating) was another early contributor.

In January, 2000 Rivals.com approached me about publishing for their network.  I had launched my first message board (the unlamented "Pale Hose Pontifications" board) just days earlier and had no community to speak of. Scott Armstrong (ihatethecubs) joined me for site updates and several others began writing too, including the prolific Hal Vickery  (TornLabrum).

By opening day, 2000 WSI was established as one of the top baseball sites at Rivals. To further broaden WSI's community of Sox Fans, an affiliation was started with Brian Crawford's Sox email list, easily the largest of its kind anywhere in the world.  I created a members-only board in May, Sox Clubhouse, but it sat vacant for months. Then one morning in late-July I checked the boards and was shocked to see a dozen or so new members had posted there overnight. The ringleader was FarWestChicago who had stumbled on the site after following a story link left by someone on the ESPN Sox message board.  Server speeds there were slow and the trolls unbearable, so he led several refugees from "the troll board" to White Sox Interactive.  He and several others were soon deputized as board moderators and WSI became the one troll-free/spam-free Sox website on the internet.  

Just days before our second anniversary in November, 2000, Rich Samuels of WTTW-TV contacted me about helping him with a Sox lead-in feature for the Chicago Tonight Show.  From this White Sox Interactive got its first television exposure, immediately before Phil Ponce's interview of Sox Manager of the Year Jerry Manuel.  It was quite a thrill, especially getting videotaped with my Old Comiskey cheap seat (a wedding gift from Mrs. PHG) and Ivan Calderon game-used bat.  Later that winter, WSCR Radio's Tommy Williams had me as a phone-in guest on his Chicago sports talk show.  More authors stepped forward to contribute too, including Larry Kalas (Strength Up the Middle) and David Gough and Jim Bard (Little Nel:  The Nellie Fox Story).

Rivals threw in the towel in April, 2001.  Before Rivals went under, WSI had clearly established itself as the largest, fastest-growing, and most successful baseball site on their network. We set the baseball network's record for hits on opening day 2001 with over 48,000 hits.  After they went under it took us just one month to recapture the lost traffic and continue to grow, an unbroken acceleration in popularity that now stretches nearly  five years to this very day.

FarWest stepped up to build what has become the largest and most innovative White Sox message board on the internet.  He also maintains the dedicated server that a site as large and popular as WSI requires to keep humming smoothly.  Dave Schmitt maintains and edits the boards and other features at the site.  Assisting him as board moderator is Voodoochile.   CLR01 administers WSI's Pick to Click contest.  Besides Scott Armstrong, "Michelle," and Jim Lowe provide most of the killer graphics seen around the site, and of course Hal Vickery continues to write a stream of weekly columns that seem to stretch back to the 1959 pennant season!

Besides Hal, Dan and Dave, feature columnists Mark Liptak, Bradley Joseph, and Guy Bacci are regular contributors.  Many of the exclusive audio features are compiled from Mark's personal collection and are available nowhere else on the internet.  Mike Wilkins, Matt Michel, Jason Vodnansky, and Harlin Neal comprise yet another staff of writers that brings Sox Fans the Totally Biased Game Recap.  It's the one unabashed recap--written strictly from a Sox Fan's perspective--of every Sox game played stretching back to the 2000 season.  Obviously it has become yet another signature feature of WSI. 

As you can see, it takes a large staff of volunteers to bring White Sox Interactive to you.  We've operated the website continuously since its founding in 1998--no small feat on the internet.

Peter Elliot, the photographer behind the wonderful pictorial tribute to Sox Fans, Park Life, the Summer of 1977 at Comiskey Park, was impressed enough to set up our first sponsorship arrangement.  Because of him and other generous supporters, White Sox Interactive remains free for all Sox Fans to enjoy.  WSI accepts no advertising and what donations and other meager revenue we generate goes directly back to maintaining and promoting the site.

I routinely receive silly internet awards for the site's design and editorial content.  However the only one I'm really proud of came from Netscape who gave us their "Cool Site" designation--one of only two Sox sites of any kind to receive the honor.  (The other one went to the Chicago Historical Society).   For the record, only one Cubs site got such a designation, and that for the official site only.  Sox Fans, who's on top now?

White Sox Interactive has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.  I'm very thankful to the thousands of Sox Fans who visit regularly and have proven what I knew to be true way back in 1998 when WSI was only five pages big:  Sox Fans give a damn, and we ought not be underestimated.  Sox Fans, our message has been received loud and clear!

Go Sox!

--George Bova

Let's Go Go Go White Sox--Chicago's Proud of You!  The official fight song of White Sox Interactive!

Support & Advertising

White Sox Interactive is made available free to all Sox Fans solely through the volunteer efforts of like-minded Sox Fans and the generous support of sponsors and donors.  White Sox Interactive does not accept advertising.  

Learn how your support makes a difference! 

Contributing 

If you wish to write for White Sox Interactive, please submit a sample feature for review by contacting the webmaster below.  If you have coding skills and would like to actively help maintain the site, we're always looking for good help!  Contact the webmaster below.    

Contact WSI

Send us Email at...

 Contact WSI  webmaster@whitesoxinteractive.com
 Board Trouble daver@whitesoxinteractive.com
 Sponsorship george@whitesoxinteractive.com

 

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