As is the case with many sports fans from Chicago, the matter of his baseball fanhood is a complex question for Francois Battiste.

“I should be a White Sox fan because of where I’m from geographically,” Mr. Battiste, who is from the South Side, said recently. “But when you’re growing up you identify with players more so than you do a team. So I grew up wanting to watch Shawon Dunston, so I became a Cubs fan.”

It’s with that understanding of a connection players have with a fanbase that Mr. Battiste will play the roles of Elston Howard and Reggie Jackson in the new play Bronx Bombers. Mr. Battiste played baseball all the way up to his senior year in high school. “It’s something that matures with you even though I’m a father and husband … I can literally go somewhere and park my car and watch a Little League game. I get as much enjoyment out of that as I do if I’m watching a high school game, college or the pros. It is a game that you will never master.”

Previews begin next week...

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