World Series Memories

Monday, November 7, 2005, 2:09 p.m.

Sorry to disappear for the last week again, but I ended up splitting time between City Hall, the State House, the golf course (sorry, it was in the 70s) and my kids.  Plus, I picked up a cold in Houston that has left me with little hearing in my left ear … such sacrifices! I spent Friday-Sunday trying to reply to the thousands of emails and voice messages we have received and to plan for how we might hit the ground running this week.

A few odds and ends …

The GMs are meeting this week.  This get together usually is a chance for them to discuss business and to informally meet to compare needs.  Often, conversations now lead to trades and player moves at the Winter Meetings.  More and more media cover these meetings, but often they amount to people standing around in the lobby sharing rumors.

The business side of baseball front offices head to Orlando next Sunday for a few days of internal meetings.  These are a great chance for people to share new ideas and best practices in a casual setting.

The trophy … a newspaper called me on Friday to say there was a City Hall rumor that the trophy had been lost.  Well, I had it on Wednesday and handed it to Ozzie, who strapped it into the passenger seat of his two-seater BMW and drove off up Central Ave. with it from Midway.  Ozzie and his family headed to Venezuela with it Thursday.  He told me they were going to meet him with an armoured truck and military guard for the trophy (as opposed to Ozzie’s BMW).  Anyway, Saturday morning, the Tribune ran a photo of Ozzie, in Venezuela, clutching the trophy and kissing Ernesto Aparicio, so I knew all was well.  Ozzie was back in the offices today, tired, but he did return the trophy.

We are working on a way to bring the trophy around to as many stops as we can so that as many fans in Chicagoland can see and take photos of the Commissioner’s Trophy … stay tuned.

Also, many people have called and asked about DVDs of the World Series and season.  The World Series DVD by MLB should appear just after Thanksgiving, while MLB’s season highlight video for the Sox should make its appearances on store shelves in early December.  Both will make great stocking stuffers.

Reports from MLB say White Sox merchandise is flying off store shelves at an amazing pace across the country.  It’s great to see all the Sox hats and jackets around town.

A week ago I promised to walk you back day-by-day through the World Series, so here is Game 4 (or at least what I can remember) …

Game 4

We had agreed to take a cameraperson from Comcast Sports Net Chicago up to the suite where Ken Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf were to tape the final inning of the game, should we win.

Well, of course, nothing is easy.  We are ahead 1-0 as I walk into the suite with the cameraman.  He shoots a little of the group, which includes Dennis Gilbert, the Reinsdorf family, grandkids, etc. as well as Dave Wilder, Rick Hahn and the Williams family.  It’s tense.

Then the Astros get the potential tying run on base.  I am thinking this is my last game as a White Sox employee if we blow this now that I have come into the suite with a cameraman, shattering our karma.  (Conversely, I thought this would be something all of us would want on video for future generations).

I slid over next to the camera guy and asked him to step back for an out or two.

Then Juan Uribe makes that amazing play in the left-field stands.  The camera guy comes up again.  Things are so tense.  You can see it in everyone’s eyes and on their faces.  High hopper over the middle, Uribe charges and makes the throw.

Bedlam.  Hugs.  Kisses.  Tears.  We were World Champions.

Someone from MLB quickly passes out championship shirts and hats.  We all begin a sprint down the hallway toward the elevator to take us to the clubhouse.

We pack into the elevator (thanks for the Houston fans who graciously let us go first) to the point where I am thinking, "Great, we are World Champions stuck in an elevator while everyone else celebrates."

But we make it down and head into a small auxiliary weight room just off the clubhouse where Commissioner Selig presents Jerry with the trophy.  You saw it on TV.  I stood among a group of family, friends and employees.  The sense of pride.  Of accomplishment.  Of happiness … for Jerry, Kenny and Ozzie was overhelming.  You literally could feel the fans at home watching.

The players celebrated next door with champagne.  We could not have been happier.

After that, we tried to help out Chicago media with interviews, most of which happened on the field.  Ozzie and our players carried the trophy proudly over their heads.  Our families and employees had come down onto the field and the Astros kindly let us celebrate.  Drayton McLane, Houston’s owner, graciously congratulated Jerry on the win.

The rest of the night is a blur.  We went back to our hotel for a huge party of fans, employees, owners, players, etc.  My wife flew in from Chicago, arriving just before the game.  She flew on to New York at 6 the next morning, so we spent the night at the party and just soaking in the fact that we had done it.

Sleep was not an option.  Who could sleep?  We were World Champions.

Letters

So many fans have written us with letters and thoughts about what this World Series title means to them that I would love to hear from you all.  We plan to print out emails and letters and have them in a book in our reception area for other fans to read.  Send along a note about where you were and what you did once we won … I now have a little more time to catch up on reading your responses to my posts.

15 Comments

Scott-

This all just brought it back- and I swear I still can’t find words to express the excitement. What is the email address that I can send you a paper I wrote about what the White Sox mean to me? Thanks!

This was a great post, I keep reading it over and over again. I am still so proud- nothign could ever knock me off this mountain!

I was out at a sports bar with friends and fellow Sox fans. Most people in the bar did not know each other, but you could never tell. We all watched the game and cheered for the Sox when we could. The excitement began to really build toward the 9th inning. Juan’s play was spectacular and the bar was going crazy. It quieted down a bit and then THE FINAL OUT happened. The place went up for grabs. People were screaming and hugging and hi-fiving. Champagne was being tossed around (we were in Macomb mind you, not even close to Chi-town) and people were smiling and happy. Cigars were lit all around the room and everyone was excited. It was such an icredible feeling that I will never forget. I think about the 2005 White Sox every day. Thanks for everything!

Scott –

I am a Chicago exile, living in Baltimore and working in DC. I proudly wear my Sox on the train to work. It is encouraging to see the smiling faces of people as they pass me by. Just a few days ago, a passenger on the train yelled out to me GO SOX!! Another passenger from Detroit congratulated me on the victory, stating his newfound pride of the AL Central. Still another passenger, fully decked in BoSox gear calmly acknowledged that they had their year but this is ours! I know these sporadic otbursts could never replace the euphoria I witnessed and felt watching the post-game show and the parade, but I just wanted to let you know that no matter where we are, White Sox Nation is everywhere, including the nation’s capital, and we are showing our pride.

I just received an email from MLB that my WS Champs hats are on their way – Once I put the hat on, I don’t know if it will ever come off!

Scott, please keep this blog going even in the offseason. It gives us a constant connection to the magic. I don’t want to let this go! What a thrill! Let’s keep the ride going!

Dynasty time! Let’s do it again in Two Thousand and SOX!!

Scott-

In regards to the Astro’s fans on the elevator being kind… Just be glad you weren’t on the lower level… I can’t tell you how many of the Astros ushers wouldn’t let Sox fans down toward the dugout after the win, even after all the Astros’ fans vacated the area. I personally had to move from the concourse area behind the plate all the way to past the 3rd baseline before I was able to find an usher that let us down.. Only reason I was let down was because my seat was around that section and they had no choice… I kept thinking to myself that the ushers were really sore losers… Anyways… Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Scott-
I am a 22 year old fan in exile. Where you ask? In the lovable loser capital of the world (well losers that happened to start winning only after I started going to school here four years ago)…yes you guessed it, Boston, MA. It has been tougher than tough over the last few years watching them win championship after championship in football and baseball. It has been difficult to watch my classmates riot in the streets and shut the city down for each victory/parade. As far as baseball goes in this town, if you’re not a Red Sox fan or you are not a Yankees then what is the point in living? The town is painted in Red Sox. So you can imagine my surprise last weekend when I was walking through downtown and came across a pushcart vendor selling baseball caps. He had rows upon rows of every possible color Red Sox hat but on the far right I saw a row of black hats that were unmistakeably White Sox hats. (I am still in a state of disbelief). I ran up to the vendor and thanked him. He must have thought I was nuts.

I was one of about 100 fans at Fenway Park for game three of the ALDS. I thought it was THE single most exciting moment of my life. But when I saw that row of White Sox hats in the middle of Red Sox Nation, my heart swelled with a sense of pride for Chicago and that became the most meaningful moment of the 2005 season.

My friends no longer laugh when I say I’m a White Sox fan. We’ve made it! Now let’s do it again

Scott –

I’m going to try to get throught this without crying again…..

I was at my “downtown Cheers” bar with a few friends. When the last out was made I fell to the ground crying because I was so happy.

Friends and strangers alike shared in much champagne and dancing on Wabash Avenue. My Phone exploded with phone calls and text messages of congratulations from my friends and my brothers and my older sister calling me up – I am the die-hard fan in the family.

I am so happy and I knew this was going to be the year. I love my White Sox and can’t wait for opening day.

Jennifer

Scott,
I’m a lifelong Sox fan (since 1963) from Glenview (yes, a northside Soxer!!) now living in Salt Lake City. I manage an upscale restaurant and was watching in our bar with a former employee of Jerry Reinsdorf at Balcor. We jumped for joy after Uribe’s great play. Finally, after 42 years of loyalty! It brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations to all of you who work for the White Sox…you’ve all done an incredable job and deserve every bit of what you’re now experiencing. GO SOX! MORE OF THIS IN 2006!!!

Larry Pontarelli

I was 6 yrs old the last time the Sox were in the series, and I can remember listening to every game.
Now 46 yrs later, I watched the game on TV from my home in Florida. I woke up my sleeping 8 yr old as soon as Uribe made the game ending play, so he could watch the celebration. This is something he will never forget.

Thanks to all the Sox for making my lifelong dream come true!

I was at the United Center when the White Sox won, and what an experience that was!

From the pre-game introductions, the between-inning games and the 7th inning stretch, it was just like being at the game! A few people commented how we were screaming at a TV, but us die-hards knew the Sox could “hear” us – and knew we were behind them 100%.

The entire UC stood on every 2-strike call for Garcia, stood whenever the Sox were on base (especially when we finally scored!), cheered for every catch, every out and when the 8th inning ended, all you heard was, “Three More Outs! Three More Outs!”

When the last out was made, the United Center exploded. It was so loud – everyone (strangers and friends alike) was hugging each other, high-fiving each other and screaming. Many of the fans (me included) were crying. We all went and bought our World Champions T-shirts and were proudly wearing them home!

A lot of fans stuck around and watched everything – the trophy presentation, Dye’s MVP award, the celebrating (which we were doing right along with them, wishing we could be in Houston at that moment!). And the celebrating poured right out into the UC parking lot – even though it was drizzling. Nothing was keeping us from celebrating our Sox! And the whole way home everyone was honking their horns, and the signs on the Kennedy had already been changed to say Congratulations White Sox, which only added to the horn blowing and screaming heard out of many cars that night!

Although we weren’t at the “real” game, this was so close – and it’s an experience I will never forget. I still get choked up about the whole thing! It was an incredible night, and one I am going to keep talking about for years to come!

Thank you White Sox!

Like most people I watched the game and celebrated at a local sports bar. But after the game I made it an extra special evening by proposing to my girlfriend (a recently converted cubs fan who was just blown away by the attitude and togetherness of this team). I popped the question by presenting her with a white sox jersey with my last name and her softball number on the back and the ring attached to the front. She did say yes. So my girlfriend and I both thank the White Sox for making it a special year and a special night.
GO SOX!

Hey Scott, I just wanted to take the chance to thank you for your updates throughout the season. It’s awesome being able to read what goes on from inside the clubhouse everyday. Keep up the good work!

Also, is it possible to get the most recent Highlight Video with the postseason as well? Thanks for the help, and once again for making this season that much sweeter.

Scott, here’s hoping the organization brings the trophy with them to Spring Training. A lot of us western fans who attend Spring Training every year can’t wait to see it!

Scott,great work this year.I was lucky enough to watch the game with 3 die-hard Sox fans, one of which was my pregnant wife ( 9 months). Luckily our daughter waited to come out… she knew the game was on. When asked for names at the hospital, I almost yelled out Ozziette. What a year for the south-side!

Scott, I wish I had the little red Chicago White Sox windbreaker I received while attending my first MLB game with my Dad as a kid. A free coat, fireworks, The green seats of old Comisky Park,a steamed hot dog w/mustard and a new favorite team. I could actually taste that hot dog all the way from Wilmington, NC when the CWS won. I’m a ketchup guy but that mustard never tasted so good. Well done.

I’m still in awe and somewhat shock and/or disbelief that my beloved team are really the baseball champions of the world. Wow!When the final out was made I laid face down on the floor pounding my fists repeatedly into the carpet. I was so overwhelmed emotionally, I just didn’t know how to react….and wound up watching everything (celebration, etc.)stunned and speechless. I started following the Sox in 1953 as a nine year old and hooked for life. My father was a die-hard fan and definitely influenced me. I only wish he was around to have witnessed this….oh man! He woulda went nuts! It’s almost like now I can actually rest in peace knowing that the Sox have won the world series in my lifetime. As far as emotional release, I already started crying when they beat Boston to finally win a division series and then again when they defeated the Angels to win the AL Pennant. By the time they beat Houston (plus including the entire season), I was so emotionally exhausted, I thanked it was over! I neede the off season to recuperate almost as much as the players. And now this feels too good to let it end…so lets get greedy and win it again. Do you realize that other than the Yankees, the only other team to repeat in the last 25 years has been the Blue Jays. That’s how difficult it is to do. so what an accomplishment it’ll be to do again next year. Go Go White Sox!!!

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