Meet the Players: Keelin Billue


Introducing new members of our staff is always easy, because they kick so much ass. Keelin Billue is no different.

But then, she is very different from many of us on staff. She is a (relative) newcomer to our city, born closer to the Birmingham Barons to the South Side White Sox. Her many areas of expertise center more around things like music and sociological research, not baseball.

But there’s some stuff about writin’ you can’t teach, and Keelin has got that stuff: wild creativity, reckless spirit, and an extra helping of happiness. She’s good people, and she’s going to make greatness on our site.

The grandson of fellow SSHP staffer Tommy Barbee, Keelin has two handsome rescue dogs, Hank and Mr. Wendal. She once badly broke her collarbone jumping and falling over a small hurdle meant for dogs (and no, was not intoxicated). Keelin raves about the Sox Park food (as if there can be another reaction among the sane) and, after having seen all of five total major league parks in her life, sees fit to call the match and award Sox Park the prize as best ballpark in the country.

So how has this New Orleans Saints fan been seduced by the Sox, and baseball at large? It’s the romance, as no other sport takes itself less seriously while also having the capacity to break hearts.

Come join Keelin on her mission to take herself less seriously, and break some hearts, as our newest South Side Hit Pen staff member!


Name Keelin Billue

Hometown Guntersville, Ala. In 1996, we got a Super Wal-Mart with a McDonald’s inside of it. Everyone was extremely excited.

First White Sox memory In the summer of 1995, my brother (6.5 years my senior) constantly wore a White Sox hat. (My brother is now a huge Tigers fan.) In 2014, he took me to my first White Sox game (so he could see the Tigers). He’s surprisingly supportive of me writing here.

Favorite White Sox memory Ozzie Guillén hitting Simon Diamond with a chair. Of course, I wasn’t there for that, but I propose a recreation of this event so I can be. Also, getting that sweet Sox Hawaiian print bucket hat freebie (sponsored by Beggar’s Pizza) in the 2018 season.

Favorite White Sox player Tim Anderson, a fellow Alabamian and general enigma

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Elotes, followed by a churro(s).

Favorite baseball movie Mr. Baseball. “Baseball is a game. Games are supposed to be fun.” Love you, Magnum.

Hall of Fame: speed round

Mark Buehrle Yes
Joe Jackson Yes
Paul Konerko Yes
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel No
Chris Sale Yes

South Side Hit Pen on the field A flashy and slightly egotistical center fielder. Probably wearing my Sox Hawaiian print bucket hat freebie.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. I am not qualified to issue medical advice.

Liked it? Take a second to support Brett Ballantini and Keelin Billue on Patreon!
Author profile

Actor (final credit: murdered by Albert Einstein in "Carnage Hall"), musician (Ethnocentric Republicans), and Nerf hoops champion, Wiffleball aficionado and onetime bilingual kindergarten teacher, Brett Ballantini also writes about baseball, basketball and sometimes hockey, publishing at the NBA, MLB, NHL, and for Slam, Hoop, Sporting News, the Athletic, and others. He was CSN Chicago’s Blackhawks beat writer for their first Stanley Cup season of 2009-10, and took over the White Sox beat after that. He currently is the editor-in-chief of South Side Hit Pen and managing editor of SB Nation's South Side Sox. He also wrote a book about Ozzie Guillén but is running out of space, so follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and he'll probably tell you even more about himself than you ever wanted to know.

Author profile

Chicago-based writer by way of Alabama, New Orleans, and Nashville. Writes primarily about music, sports (sort of), and the topics that usually piss people off at work and family holidays.

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Right Size Wrong Shape
Right Size Wrong Shape
6 months ago

She doesn’t look like Tommy Barbee’s grandson to me.

Tommy Barbee
Tommy Barbee
6 months ago

Genetics are weird.

katiesphil
Editor
katiesphil
6 months ago

Welcome, welcome. Glad to have you with us.