Baseball, and with it a sure sign of spring, returns to Chicago on Monday afternoon as the Chicago White Sox host the Minnesota Twins in their 2014 Home Opener.
The parking lots will open at noon with gates opening an hour later in advance of the 3:10 p.m. game.
"We love Opening Day," said Sox Director of Community Relations Christine O'Reilly. "We always say it's always 65 and sunny on Opening Day but today is going to be 60s and sunny! And it's so fun to be out here in the morning and just kind of watch the ballpark wake up to a new season. The energy is palpable."
Former American Idol contestant and Tinley Park native Gina Glocksen will sing the National Anthem. Olympic bobseld bronze medalist Aja Evans will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Evans is a cousin of Del Matthews, the White Sox assistant director of player development and scouting.
Paul Konerko will likely be watching from the bench for the start of what figures to be his 16th and final opening day with the Sox. That decision ends a streak of 15 consecutive opening-day starts. Konerko's new role is as a right-handed-hitting platoon player at designated hitter.
Pitcher Chris Sale, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday, will make his second consecutive Opening Day start.
The Sox have won 11 of their last 12 home openers.
The Chicago Cubs also play Monday against the Pirates at Pittsburgh. Their home opener is Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.