Cubs, Sox will compete for Crosstown Cup

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McClatchy Tribune
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
— Chicago now has a symbol—and, yes, it is sponsored—of superiority for its city civil war in baseball.

Well, it reportedly has one.

At the announcement of the BP Crosstown Cup on Monday morning, the Cup itself was a no-show, as was Mayor Richard Daley.

Officials swear it is in production, but exactly what it looks like is being kept secret, supposedly for an “official” unveiling at another sponsor photo op before the Cubs and White Sox play June 11 at Wrigley Field.

By the time the last of the six all-Chicago games are finished June 27 at U.S. Cellular Field, the Cup—word is it will stand 3-feet high, pedestal included—will be presented to the winner, with the last team to win holding the tiebreaker.

“I haven’t seen it, but I heard it’s awesome,” said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who must have drawn short straw for having to show up for a 9:30 a.m. news conference at Millennium Park.

Officials assure us there will be a Chicago motif to the Cup, “recognizable to all Chicagoans,” according to White Sox marketing chief Brooks Boyer. “There’s a secret to it. We didn’t necessarily want to unveil the design.”

So where exactly does this fall on the excitement list for Chicago fans? Probably not up there with the intra-family bets that are exchanged before the two interleague series, which the Sox lead 37-35.

And apparently the North Side team is more excited about it than the South Side team.

For those keeping score, the Cubs came out the early winners at the news conference held in front of The Bean, which is, after all, on the north side of Madison Street.

The Cubs were represented by new chairman Tom Ricketts, President Crane Kenney, manager Lou Piniella and players Marlon Byrd and Randy Wells.

The Sox had none of the ownership group present, and while manager Ozzie Guillen also was a no-show, Pierzyn-ski and Gordon Beckham did attend.

Piniella and Guillen had talked by cell phone the last few days about attending, but it was Piniella who made it. He declined comment on his counterpart’s absence, but this surely will draw some good-natured comments before the first June games.

The Chicago cup will become the second “trophy” designed for an interleague rivalry. The Astros and Rangers play for the Silver Boot. But apparently no one in Texas has figured out a way to have it sponsored.

How big the bill is for oil giant BP is unknown, but the company will be allowed to display the trophy at times and run promotions that include throwing out the first pitch at a game.

“Cubs and Sox fans have always been passionate about this rivalry,” Ricketts said. “The BP Crosstown Cup recognizes the excitement of winning the crosstown series.”

But it will be difficult—probably impossible—for any object to replace the joy of pure bragging rights.

Last updated: 1:20 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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