Last weekend, after 72 years, WGN-TV Sports signed off with its final airing of Cubs and White Sox games. I had been mentally preparing for this for some time now, ever since it became known that the Cubs would be moving to their own cable television network while the White Sox, along with the Blackhawks and Bulls, would air their local broadcasts exclusively on NBC Sports Chicago.
Though the White Sox are now my team as an adult, the Cubs were my childhood team when I began watching baseball in 1992. Those games were on WGN with Harry Caray and Steve Stone. Now that Stone is with the White Sox, and considering that the final WGN broadcast was a White Sox game, I thought it was fitting that the broadcast closed out with Stone voicing the final words.
That said, I was interested in viewing the individual final WGN broadcasts for both teams. While WGN has been more synanmous with the Cubs, I actually thought that the White Sox broadcast team of Jason Benetti and Stone came across as more sentimental towards WGN and it being the final broadcast then did Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies of the Cubs.
Either way, I thought the closing sign off for both broadcasts was especially well done and provided a nice way to go out. Both sign offs are embedded further below.
Though no one is mentioning this, I would not be too surprised if a few Cubs games pop up on WGN next year. Marquee Sports Network, the new home of the Cubs starting next year, still has to finalize broadcasting agreements with the local cable and satellite companies. If any complications are to prevent Cubs games from airing on most televisions next year, coming to some sort of simulcast agreement with a station like WGN might not be such a bad idea for select games. Even if no complications were to arise, I still don’t think allowing a small handful of games to air locally would not be a bad idea, as a goodwill gesture to loyal Cubs fans who may not have cable or any other means to get the Cubs network.
I would also suggest the same for the White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls, but there unfortunately doesn’t seem to be any indication of that happening.
Such is life.