OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: White Sox Kittle in Portage Saturday and soon to 'bobble'

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-06-20T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: White Sox Kittle in Portage Saturday and soon to 'bobble'By Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

It was last May that Valparaiso's Jeff Samardzija, 28, a star in football and baseball as a Viking before Notre Dame fame, was honored with his own bobblehead likeness at Wrigley Field.

So if Northwest Indiana's Chicago Cubs pitcher can earn this wobbling tribute, it only seems fair our Region's most noted White Sox player should be bestowed the same.

Ron Kittle, who has a beautiful home in Porter County, is having his own  bobblehead day on Saturday, Aug. 10 for the game between the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins at 3:05 p.m. at US Cellular Field. I'm told the first 20,000 fans will get a bobblehead, sponsored by Aldi's. FYI: whitesox.com

(Last season's "Exclusive limited-edition Jeff Samardzija Bobblehead" was sponsored by Fisher Nuts and given out to the first 10,000 fans who arrived to the May game against the San Diego Padres.)

This year is the 30th anniversary of the White Sox's championship season (1983) when they won the American League West Division Championship title and Kittle was named the 1983 American League Rookie of the Year.

Kittle, 55, stays busy these days with his website at ronkittle.com where he sells his cool, custom baseball bat benches in his woodworking shop. (I once watched one of these benches fetch more than $2,000 at a charity auction.) He's authored a book and is involved in numerous charities in the area.

Retired White Sox slugger Kittle grew up in Gary's Aetna section and graduated from Wirt High School in 1976. The man who went on to become an American League All-Star in 1983-84, now lives on the outskirts of Valparaiso. Kittle joined the White Sox in 1983 and also played for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles before retiring in 1991. Since retirement, Kittle has lent his name and time to numerous philanthropic causes, most notably, his "Indiana Sports Charities" organizations, which he funded by such annual events as "Ron Kittle's Charity Celebrity Softball Game" and "Kittle's Charity Golf Tournament." Much of the money raised from the events was donated to five area hospitals: St. Anthony in Crown Point, Community in Munster, University of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial and Children's Memorial, all for cancer research.

This weekend, fans have a chance to meet and chat with Kittle at his appearance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Town & Country Supermarket, 6046 Central Ave., in Portage. FYI: (219) 762-9518

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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