Saturday, October 29, 2005, 11:04 a.m.
In case any of you missed the news, the Chicago White Sox are WORLD CHAMPIONS.
I say "missed the news" because you would not have read it here, on this site. I am sorry to fail you but there has been zero time to stop and post to this blog. From when I posted on Monday until this morning, we have been going non-stop. I finally was able to sleep 9 hours last night which equals all of our sleep for the previous three days.
Since I owe you a recap of the past days, I thought I would take this approach: beginning today, I will work my way backwards, giving you whatever moments and memories stick in my head. Each day (probably skipping tomorrow because I owe it to my kids), I will work backwards through the World Series.
First, a few newsy updates from today …
Coming into the ballpark, I saw El Duque and Aaron. El Duque stopped to say goodbye and we wished one another a good offseason. There is a lot of class in that man and it’s pretty apparent why he is called, "The Duke."
Aaron was driving his BIG red truck and said he was eager to head home to Las Vegas with his family.
The national television requests are already pouring in. Several of our guys appeared on the Oprah Show Friday AM, Scott Podsednik will appear on Saturday Night Live tonight, you will see Sox players on the Tonight Show next week and then Letterman the week after. Guys are enjoying the new-found attention.
MLB Productions continues to sit down and talk with guys on film about the season and the series. They are putting together a must-have DVD on this year’s series that should be out by Thanksgiving. All of our players, Ozzie, Kenny, Jerry and others have sat down over the past few days to offer their thoughts on the past weeks.
SI’s commemorative edition will be out soon, as well.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Words cannot come close to expressing how yesterday felt for our staff, players and front office. Guys could not speak, they were so moved by the adoration of our fans.
Most of us boarded the double-decker buses at the ballpark expecting a nice parade and rally. What we experienced dwarfed those expectations.
As the buses left the ballpark and wound their way through Bridgeport, Bronzeville, Pilsen and other neighborhoods on our way to the Loop, thousands of people lined the streets, cheering and thanking us for the season. We should have been applauding you. Schools came out along the way. Kids held out handmade signs. Construction workers around McCormick place flew banners. Fans of every ethnicity celebrated. Truckers honked horns. As Mark Buehrle said, we had chills the entire way.
Once downtown, the sights took your breath away. Thousands and thousands lined the streets between skyscrapers. Ticker tape and paper swirled in the air. The crowd roar was continuous … to the point where you couldn’t hear the person next to you. It was what you imagined a parade was like for World War II generals or for the astronauts. Police estimated the crowd at 1.75 to 2 million people. Chicago roared. Chicago celebrated.
For me, the rally itself, at the corner of LaSalle and Wacker, was anticlimactic after that parade. But others said it was just as special.
Ozzie wore a Venezuelan flag drapped around his neck. Ken Williams carried the World Series trophy onto the stage. Frank Thomas, fighting back tears, kissed the trophy.
In the most moving moment, Paul Konerko presented Jerry Reinsdorf with the baseball from the final out. Jerry fought back tears as he said this was the single, most moving moment of his life. How classy of PK.
Yesterday was the greatest single expression of SOX PRIDE we have ever experienced. Fans were crying. Players cried. We all cried together. I saw fans holding photos of relatives who had passed away, yelling to us, "Thank you. This was for my mother."
How can you even communicate the emotions? The passion? The joy everyone felt? Even as I write this now, a day later, tears are in my eyes.
If you did not see yesterday’s parade and rally, make sure you check it out. I believe several of the Chicago television stations had it posted on their websites (in addition to whitesox.com).
Thank you, White Sox fans. We cannot express how great your reaction to our team made us feel. This World Series Championship, that Commissioner’s trophy, is for you. Enjoy. After 88 years, you deserve it.