Bo Jackson will be there. So will pitcher Jack McDowell, along with Bill Veeck's son Mike, a disc jockey whose broadcast once sparked a game-forfeiting riot and an official "first fan," Suzann Verdun.
The Chicago White Sox open the new Comiskey Park today by playing host to the Detroit Tigers.McDowell, a 2-1 winner over the Seattle Mariners in the final game in old Comiskey, starts for the White Sox, who won their first six games of the season before losing 10-1 Wednesday to the Yankees in New York.
Verdun, a 28-year-old systems analyst from suburban Lisle, won a Chicago Tribune baseball trivia contest to be the "first official fan" allowed into the park.
"I'm really excited," she said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I'm bringing a ball for autographs."
Broadcasting his WLUP Radio show this morning from the $135 million park will be Steve Dahl, whose 1979 Disco Demolition Night at the old Comiskey resulted in a fan riot and forfeiture of a game to the Tigers.
The demolition of the old park, right across 35th Street at Shields Avenue from Comiskey II, began April 3.
Jackson, still on crutches after suffering a hip injury playing football, planned to appear in a White Sox uniform to cheer his new teammates on this afternoon. He was signed by the club after being let go by the Kansas City Royals in March.
At a "Christening the Park" ceremony Monday, Mike Veeck, son of late club owner Bill Veeck, said he could feel "millions and millions of spirits" of old ball players crossing from the old park to the new one.
"Today, we're opening the doors to millions of kids looking for their heroes," said Veeck.
The 1991 Comiskey - with its 44,702 blue seats and white trimmings - is state of the art, with indoor batting cages, diaper changing areas in both men's and women's restrooms, and recharging machines for use by fans who come to the games in electric wheelchairs.
"I can't believe we've gotten to this point after so many obstacles," club owner Jerry Reinsdorf said.
Today's opener comes less than three years after the club almost became the Florida White Sox.