The Crosstown Classic has always brought fans of both the Cubs and White Sox together under one baseball roof. And though the two teams are struggling through a pair of underwhelming Septembers, some former stars assembled in a different kind of Cubs-Sox face off.
It wasn't the North Side or the South Side. It wasn't Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field. It wasn't even baseball. But the same Cubs vs. Sox mentality remained.
Former players from past rosters of both teams got together to participate in a charity softball game Saturday at Schaumburg's Boomers Stadium, with proceeds of the star-studded event benefiting the Larry A. Pogofsky Trust, a charity set up in the name of one of the White Sox original investors.
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Plenty of star power represented the South Side, with numerous members of the 2005 World Series team participating. Ozzie Guillen, Jermaine Dye, Frank Thomas, Cliff Politte and Brian Anderson all appeared in the softball contest, as did former Sox stars Ray Durham, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee and James Baldwin. For the Cubs, the roster went further back into baseball history, highlighted by Hall of Famer Billy Williams. All-Star closer Lee Smith was also in the house, as was Bill Madlock, Steve Trout, Jamie Moyer and Brian McRae. Recent stars Derrek Lee, Jacque Jones and Scott Eyre were also present.
"That's the most important thing, is the charity softball game, and we come out to have a lot of fun," Williams said. "Plus the fact, a lot of these guys are old guys that played a long time ago. But I think the most important thing is coming out, having fun and making sure that the fans in the stands enjoy themselves, and of course the ballplayers — nobody get hurt. If we get out of here without anybody getting hurt, it has been a successful day."
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Former Cubs All-Star Derrek Lee said that while, even in an exhibition event, the competitive streak always sticks with a player, sometimes physical limitations get in the way of all-out competition.
"Any time it's any type of competition, most of us want to win," he said. "But we understand, most of these guys, we haven't picked up a bat in a while, so we're not going to take it too serious. We'll just have a good time out here and support the good causes."
Check out the full video above with more interviews with former Cubs and Sox who participated in the event.