For the second time this week, Chicago's mayor placed a bet with an opposing city that his hometown with be the victors in a baseball playoff series.
On Thursday, Mayor Richard M. Daley today wagered a “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” package of food, soft drinks and sporting goods from Chicago companies that the White Sox will defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division series beginning Thursday afternoon.
“I want to congratulate the White Sox on making it into the playoffs with their incredible victory over Minnesota," said Daley, a lifelong Sox fan. "It’s an historic and exciting time for our city, because for the first time in 102 years both our baseball teams are in the post-season."
Daley said he felt confident in making "a friendly wager with Mayor Rick Baker of St. Petersburg, Mayor Pam Iorio of Tampa and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater."
The Chicago wager includes just about everything anyone needs to enjoy a ball game, with each product coming from a local company. Included in the bet are:
- 100 Polish Sausage from Vienna Beef in honor of a South Side Favorite Food
- Chips from C.J. Vitner Company
- Lemonheads candy from Ferrara Pan Candy
- A “Pepsi for a year” certificate from Pepsi Americas, good for 26 cases.
- Peanuts, sunflower seeds and trail mix from Fisher Nuts
At a City Hall news conference, Lori Healey, Daley’s chief of staff, announced that Wilson Sporting Goods has agreed to donate a wide variety of athletic equipment as part of the wager, as the company also did in the wager made on the Cubs/Dodger series earlier this week.
It will include enough baseball bats and gloves, baseballs, softballs, equipment bags and protective equipment for 150 young people in the city of the winning team – about $15,000 worth.
Wilson is making the contribution as a way of supporting youth baseball and encouraging healthy physical activity for young people.
“Through the years, baseball and other sports have given our young people a positive alternative to the streets and have helped them build strength, endurance, fitness and self-confidence. One of the main reasons we’re pursuing the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games is so we can help build interest in sports for future generations around the world,” the Mayor said.
The International Olympic Committee will announce its final decision on the site of the 2016 Games one year from today.
Daley said that when the White Sox and Cubs move on to the second round of the playoffs, he will make another wager with the mayors of the cities of their opponents that will include the items in the first round wager and more.
“I want to wish the best of luck to the Sox in the playoffs. The dream of an all-Chicago World Series is very much alive,” he said.
Healey was joined at the news conference by: Alderman James Balcer of the 11th Ward; Pat Ryan, Business Manager of Baseball, Wilson Sporting Goods Co.; Keith Smith, Director of Marketing, Vienna Beef; Kelly Roberts, Regional Manager, C.J. Vitner Company; Chris Hester, Public Relations Manager, Fisher Nuts and Tim McGrail, Sales Manager, Pepsi Americas.
For its part of the wager, the three Florida cities are putting up seafood, desserts, coffee, orange juice and cigars from various the Tampa Bay area businesses.