DETROIT -- Growing up in Valparaiso, Ind., Jeff Samardzija felt far more of a connection with Chicago sports franchises than “local” professional teams.
The White Sox pitcher intends to further establish the relationship with the youth of his hometown. This summer, every public school student in Valparaiso -- around 7,500 kids and teens -- will receive a ticket from Samardzija to attend a White Sox game.
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The plan is still in early phases, so the White Sox pitcher isn’t sure if he’ll be in person to hand out tickets. But Samardzija definitely wants to reach out to youth he knows is probably much like him and identifies far more with the Bears and the Bulls than the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers.
“In Porter County/Lake County, its called Chicagoland,” Samardzija said. “All our fans are asked all the time if we’re Colts fans -- no chance. We’re Bears fans and Hawks fans, Bulls fans. It’s just great to keep that connection and it’s so close. It’s a huge following in Northwest Indiana, it’s just a great resource.”