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Crosstown's not so neighborly

A.J. PierzynskiChicago CubsRyan DempsterWrigley FieldCraigslist, Inc.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am an unapologetic White Sox fan. At one point in time, I owned T-shirts and jerseys professing my love for the South Siders. That love was tested when I moved to the North Side.

I responded to a Craigslist ad about an apartment in Avondale. I met with the landlord, liked what I saw, and yours truly became a North Sider. Some of my friends half-jokingly called me a "traitor."

One of my main concerns was how I would be treated as a Sox fan. I soon found out there was no love for my team up north. Random people—men, women, kids, you name it—went out of their way to tell me how much they hated the Sox.

It didn't really bother me; I thought it was funny. I would just remind them of past playoff failures and ask them how it felt to watch Boston, the White Sox and St. Louis win the World Series in consecutive seasons.

And my first day as a Sox fan living on the North Side was one I will never forget.

The day I moved in, in 2006, the Sox played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Sox were down to their last out when A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run home run off Ryan Dempster to give the Sox an 8-6 win. This was preceded by the infamous Pierzynski-Michael Barrett brawl six weeks earlier. And when Pierzynski homered, Cubs fans threw trash on the field.

Back then, I kept a Sox batting helmet in my car. While I was moving in, a kid of about 10 years old came up to my car said "[Bleep] the White Sox!" After getting over the initial shock of being cursed out by a child, I shot back by reminding my new neighbor about the outcome of the game, and politely laughed at him.

That's when I knew that I wasn't on 71st Street anymore.

Evan Moore is a RedEye special contributor.

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A.J. PierzynskiChicago CubsRyan DempsterWrigley FieldCraigslist, Inc.
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