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White Sox Will Hope Cold Home Opener Doesn't Freeze Up Hot Bats

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Even though the weather doesn't feel like it, it's time for baseball on the South Side. The White Sox host their home opener Thursday afternoon against the Tigers.

It could be one of the coldest home openers the Sox have ever played, with temperatures expected to be around 38 degrees for the first pitch at 3:10 p.m. Light rain and snow flurries also are a possibility Thursday afternoon.

With the team averaging nearly 6 runs per game, and their hitters bashing a least one home run in each game so far, the White Sox will hope the temperatures don't put their hot offense on ice.

Brooks Boyer, senior vice president of marketing for the White Sox, said the cold certainly won't put a damper on the festivities.

"It may be a little chilly out, but it's not going to stop anybody from having some nice cold beers on Opening Day," he said. "Baseball warms the spirit."

The team is encouraging fans to come out early. The parking lots open at 1:10 p.m., so fans will have plenty of time for tailgating before the game.

A.J. Pierzynski, the catcher for the 2005 World Series champion White Sox team, will throw out the first pitch. Grace Bauer, the daughter of fallen Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer will present the official game ball.

"Just our way to show a debt of gratitude for Commander Bauer, and all he brought to the city; and really first responders, police officers, firefighters across the city," White Sox Charities Executive Director Christine O'Reilly said.

The new attractions at Guaranteed Rate Field include a 90-second virtual reality home run derby experience, allowing fans to hit the ball out of the park.

Above the field, is a new continuous LED ribbon board, which will allow fans sitting in the outfield to keep an eye on player stats during the game without having to turn around to look at the big video boards.

There are also new treats on the menu: such as the "Change Up," which features Monterey Jack chicken sausage and salsa fresca; the "Slurve," a cheddar beer bratwurst with caramelized onions and spicy mustard; and the "South Side Horseshoe," which is the White Sox's take on a signature Springfield dish, an open-faced sandwich with an Italian sausage patty on top of Texas toast, topped with French fries, giardiniera, and a cheddar sauce made with Modelo beer.

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