As part of U.S. Cellular Field's Asian Heritage Night on Tuesday, there was plenty of singing, dancing and banging of drums to celebrate Asian culture.
On the field, however, White Sox rookie third baseman Gordon Beckham was giving fans plenty of reason to do some singing and drum-banging of their own -- namely the singing of Beckham's praises and banging of the drum for him to be considered for the American League Rookie of the Year award.
What -- too soon?
Sure, the season is barely past the midway point.
Sure, those of us in the Chicago media have a tendency to aggrandize players on a hot streak and completely vilify those who struggle.
Sure, he could get worn down in August -- in which case I'll hope no one remembers that I wrote this.
And yes ... with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, a man on first, his team down by a run and a chance to be the hero Beckham, who had been perfect at the plate all night, grounded out weakly to the pitcher to end the game.
But for those 23,319 fans who watched Beckham go 3-for-4 and make a couple of solid plays in the field, there was little question of whether he should be considered.
In the process, the Atlanta native boosted his batting average past the .300 mark (ending the day at .304) for the first time in his career -- an accomplishment that brought out Beckham's not-so-quiet confidence in front of reporters after the game.
"I didn't know if I should expect it," said Beckham of reaching .300. "But I expect it of myself. Personally, that's great. But when it comes in a loss, it doesn't feel so good."
After a rocky 2-for-28 start to his career, Beckham has battled back. He's 31-for-77 (.402) in his last 21 games, and he's batting .560 in his last seven games. Perhaps most importantly, he's provided a much-needed spark to the bottom of the White Sox batting order.
Of course, you could also make a strong argument as to why the team's other rookie infielder, Chris Getz, should be among those mentioned for the award. He entered Tuesday's game leading all rookies in total hits, doubles, total bases, multi-hit games and ranked second in RBI while hitting .265.
And there are a few rookies around the league who are also making a name for themselves.
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, batting .277 with 3 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 81 games, is at the top of many lists.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has appeared in 79 games, batting .250 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. Not bad for a guy who can't legally drink alcohol.
The Orioles have a few candidates in starting pitchers Koji Uehara and Brad Bergesen. But none has performed as well as outfielder Nolan Reimold recently. He's batting .265 with 9 home runs. He was named the Rookie of the Month in June after hitting .320 with 4 homers.
It's likely Beckham will cool off at some point (perhaps after he wins the Rookie of the Month award for July). To what degree he cools off will likely determine whether he wins the award at the end of the season. Whether he can continue to improve in the field at third base will also factor into the decision.
Regardless, Sox fans have reason to rejoice -- while they may have high hopes at the hot corner, no one's expectations are higher than the ones he's set for himself.
Interesting side note: If Beckham does win the award, it'll be the second time the Cubs and White Sox have had back-to-back players do so. Gary Peters won it in 1963, a year after second baseman Ken Hubbs on the North Side.