The 108 Interview Series – Chris Kamka

Here at the 108, it is our job….our duty to bring to you the great personalities of White Sox twitter, either via tweet / photo / video or blog post. Today’s interviewee is a valued member of the NBC Sports Chicago Team and someone famous to nearly ALL White Sox fans, not just those of us that see his posts on White Sox twitter. Welcome, Chris Kamka….

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Favorite Game That You Were At

Since I regretfully didn’t get a chance to see a game in the 2005 postseason, it’s June 20, 2006 – Sox beat the Cardinals 20-6. I love me a good rout. And they beat the eventual champs!

Favorite All Time Player That Doesn’t Have a Statue On the Concourse

Ozzie Guillen

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park

Coke & Pizza

Favorite Place to Sit

Upper deck, behind home plate, section 531-533

Favorite Uniform

1982-86, though the 1976-81 collared unis are a close second.

Favorite Giveaway

Baseball cards (those old Coca-Cola & Kodak team sets)

Favorite Theme Night

Dollar hot dog Wednesday.

Dolla dog

Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans?

That there aren’t enough of us. But that will change.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan?

When you say you’re from Chicago and people assume we’re Cubs fans.

Worst part of the game day experience?

Day games in general. I don’t like waking up before 10.

What really grinds your gears?

Low OBP out of the leadoff spot.

Least Favorite White Sox player of all time

Rhymes with Games Fields

Game Day

Ballpark experience, how could it be better?

Free refills on soda

Best Sox Park hack?

Can’t share that one!

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What brings you back for every game?

I’m a fan. I must watch every game.

Feelings on the wave?

Wave goodbye to the wave.

How Early Do You Get To Games?

When I work the game, 6 hours before first pitch. As a fan, as soon as the gates open.

What Do You Bring To Games?

A media guide and a pen. Maybe another baseball book for between-innings reading.

How Many Games Do You Go To Each Year?

Now that I work game broadcasts full time, about 130 (home & road), at least in seasons where they play that many games…

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word?

Walk

What is your least favorite baseball word?

Bunt

What gets you excited about the White Sox?

Spring Training. Everything about the atmosphere in Glendale is amazing. Especially after a long drought without any baseball. Arizona is my happy place.

What makes you sad about the White Sox?

The end of the season.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love?

The organ.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate?

The silence during replays (this is an excuse for me to say how much I hate replay).

What is your favorite Hawkism?

Sacks packed with Sox

What year / brand of sports cards specifically got you into collecting?

The first ones that I collected heavily were 1986 & 1987 Topps Baseball

You have done some sports card pack openings on twitter, what is your favorite year, brand and sport (ex. ’87 Fleer Basketball)?

1983 Topps Baseball

Do you have a specific favorite sports card (exact year / player)?

1983 Topps Carlton Fisk #20

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You are a defender of deep dish pizza, what’s your ideal pie?

Edwardo’s dough & cheese with the edge of the crust caramelized (like Pequod’s), with sauce from Palermo’s on 63rd.

Do you ever want to or NEED to throw hands with SoxNerd when he beats you to a cool stat?

Never. He’s the greatest.

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I know a magician isn’t supposed to divulge his secrets, but can you give us a little glimpse into how you are able to pull such interesting and specific stats?

I spend way too much time reading baseball books & browsing baseball-reference & other stat websites. It’s a combination of retained knowledge & curiosity.

Does anyone on the team request specific types of stats leading into a game or do you have effectively free reign to dig up anything you think is interesting or topical?

Occasionally, I get requests from broadcasters & producers, but usually I have free reign. More of what I do is reacting to what’s happening rather than preparing things far in advance.

What’s your single favorite stat or nugget that you’ve harvested for either TV or Twitter?

Maybe my Michael Jordan steals stat. – He had exactly 30 steals for Birmingham in 1994, then he had exactly 30 steals for the Bulls when he returned for the end of the 1994-95 NBA season.

Do you have any favorite #108ing stories you’d like to share, ballpark or otherwise?

I don’t drink, and I’m not allowed to while working at the park anyway, so my version of #108ing involves finding things like:

  • Joey Cora had 108 RBI in a White Sox uniform
  • Bo Jackson played 108 games in a White Sox uniform

What’s your greatest fear about the “rebuild”?

I fear that there won’t be enough depth. It’s easy to slot in a starting lineup, but I feel that the last few bench spots should be players who could easily start for another team.

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild.

I’m not a #HotTake kinda guy

Favorite White Sox Twitter Account (Besides @fromthe108) and why?

Unsurprisingly, it’s the @SoxNerd. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and has an unsurpassed passion for what he does. He’s truly an inspiration, and great at what he does.

Person from White Sox Twitter that you’d most like to meet and why?

I’d like to get a chance to meet everyone from White Sox Twitter. It’s a great community and they help make being a Sox fan a great experience.

Favorite Non-White Sox Twitter Account and why?

My guy @theaceofspaeder because he does incredible, fascinating work.

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What do you like best about @fromthe108 ?

They have fun and know their stuff. What’s better than that?

Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your prior sports playing past.

I once hit three homers in a game in little league. Which is amazing since they didn’t have fences and I had to actually run.

Where would you take @ChiPartyAunt out on a date?

Guaranteed Rate Field. Where else?

Favorite performance enhancing drug?

The cream and the clear. Nobody likes needles.

Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack?

Belushi. Cusack at least was in a few good movies – Con Air & Being John Malkovich.

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Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy

Bulls & Blackhawks

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment

Obvious answer: Clinching the 2005 World Series. Otherwise: the Pudge Double Tag 8/2/1985.

Any Stories About Running Into or Meeting White Sox Players? Other Chicago Athletes?

Maybe not exactly what we’re going for here, but I once bought a book at a used book store that belonged to Rick Hahn. When I got to the checkout, they opened the book and a piece of his stationery fell out. I later showed it to Rick and he confirmed it was his.

Favorite Band?

Not necessarily a band, but MF Doom

What is your favorite song?

Tia Tamera by Doja Cat

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever the fuck)?

Forged in Fire on the History Channel

Do you remember your first Sox game?

No

What Player had the greatest impact on you?

Carlton Fisk

What do you do for work?

Associate Producer, White Sox baseball on NBC Sports Chicago

If you could live in any other time, when might that be?

1920s. Let me watch Babe Ruth crush baseballs.

If you could have dinner with five White Sox Players, past and present, who would they be?

Moe Berg, Dick Allen, Hal Chase, Jose Canseco & Minnie Miñoso

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be?

I’d probably follow through with becoming a pharmacist, and do the sports stuff in my spare time instead.

What are you most proud of?

That I work with the team I grew up rooting for, and that they’re familiar with what I do.

And also, one time, I was walking into work and Frank Thomas saw me and yelled “Kamkaaaa!”

How would you like to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as the greatest dispenser of useless baseball trivia who ever lived.

What’s the one thing about you few people know?

I used to be a mail carrier.

What were your best/worst subjects in school?

Best: Math, Worst: Literature (I hate reading fiction, except for comic books)

What do you like doing in your spare time?

Traveling, collecting cards, drawing, eating, reading.

What is your favorite movie?

National Treasure

What is your favorite baseball movie?

A League of Their Own

What would be your one super power?

To absorb all of the information in a book simply by touching it. I love reading, but I’m a dreadfully slow reader. Easily distracted.

What pet would you love to have?

A dog that actually fetches a ball. Mine just won’t do it.

What’s your one biggest pet peeve?

Searching for parking. And paying for parking.

What’s your one annoying habit?

Eating too much.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

They Played Baseball by The Baseball Project

What ballpark would you like to visit?

The new Rangers ballpark. It’s the only current one I haven’t been to.

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