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) …
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.
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.