Minnesota Game 2
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Pods 8, Beckham 5, AJ 2, PK 3, Kotsay dh, Ramirez 6, Quentin 7, Getz 4, Rios 9. Danks pitching.
Paul Konerko is the latest player to be honored as Army Strong. This is a great interview with Paulie.
A 14-year-old girl was here yesterday before the game to meet the White Sox. Originally scheduled to meet Jim Thome, instead Gordon Beckham filled in as her host (which, no offense to Jim, but I am guessing any 14-year-old girl will pick Gordon right now!). The very special guest brought a smile to everyone’s face, and manager Ozzie Guillen invited she and her family back as his personal guests on Saturday.
I am told that ABC7 will be running a story on this special Sox fan at 4:30 pm today.
Also on Saturday, we are going to host a special soldier who is returning from his deployment overseas. His first wish: attend a White Sox game. During his deployment, he met a special friend, a 12-year-old boy from Chicago who helped raise money to buy phone cards for soldiers overseas. During the past year, this kind-hearted kid was diagnosed with luekemia. So now, this soldier wants to bring his new buddy to the game so they can enjoy it together. They will be my guests on Saturday.
A few days ago, I asked fans via twitter, facebook and here, to write me with their special story of why they are a Sox fan. I told people to limit it to 25 words or less and received great replies. This one was the winner (even though she went over 25 words). See what you think:
Hello Mr. Reifert,
I have been trying to figure out who to send this to for a couple weeks now, and when I saw your tweet, I finally knew. My story is a bit of a long one, so bear with me. However, it is in recognition of my appreciation of the people who work for you and why I owe my summer to the White Sox. I have never had a bad time at the Cell, in fact when I am in the gift shop or at the concession stand, I regularly strike up a conversation with the workers; this particular game was an exception though.
My story starts in the spring when I (finally) started rooting for the White Sox hardcore as in paying attention to the games, transactions, news, etc. It had been two years since that happened (back when I was in high school). Anyways, it even gave me my career goal, which since I’m in my third year of college, needed to happen…. become a sports writer. I started following the Sox Machine blog (Jim even let me write a few recaps), along with yours and Chuck Garfien’s and even signed up for Twitter to get the game updates since I’m often at school or work during games.
But the reason I truly owe my season to the White Sox is because after four years, it gave my Dad and I something to talk and laugh about. When I was a jr. in high school, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has since made a full recovery but it definately took its toll on the relationship between me and my Dad because all of a sudden, there was nothing light hearted that we could talk about.
Until this summer. It took my dad about a month to come to terms with the fact that his little girl was now a Southsider (he was born and raised a Cub fan and although he was pretty diehard, he was realistic enough to know when they were bad and stop watching). After that month though, he and I would talk more than we had a long time. He made sure he knew who the players were and what they accomplished so that we could talk about it when he got home from work. When Buehrle threw his Perfect Game, I was in Ohio visiting some friends. Without me even calling to ask him, he taped the recast of the game and the next day bought all the papers and surprised me with them. The night Konerko had his three home runs, we were at that game. He had been telling his bosses that I was a huge Sox fan and wanted to be a sports writer, so they gave him the tickets to that game and we went with my cousin and my uncle. It was funny because every time Paulie hit a home run, he would clap but he would tease me by not standing up because he was a Cubs fan. It was cold that night, and he kept offering to buy me a sweatshirt since I didn’t have one with me. I kept saying that I was ok and that it wasn’t necessary (mostly because I knew how much they were) and we went home that night with a lot of laughter and memories and the promise that we would do it again next year.
Unfortunately, there won’t be a next year because my dad passed away very suddenly in his sleep on September 3rd. It was an incredible shock to everyone, but especially myself because a few days earlier, I had painted my room with him and we talked about the Sox game that was on while we painted. The next night, Thome and Contreras got traded and we talked about that. The last conversations we had were about the Sox. All I could think about the day he died was how I should have let him buy me that sweatshirt, because then I would have that final memory with him. The story has one final twist though. I was supposed to go to a game the Sunday after he passed with my friends, and at my Mom’s insistence, we did. Before we left, my Mom and I were going through some of his stuff, and we found some money. She gave it to me so that at the game I could buy that sweatshirt. I had Upper Deck seats but could not find a sweatshirt that I liked in the gift shop there. I asked the lady working there, Ann if I could go down to the big store on the main level. Both Ann and her superviser (I apologize because I don’t remember her name) were sympathetic and the superviser escorted me downstairs where I found the sweatshirt.
Now that I have this last gift from my dad, I will never be cold at a Sox game again. Ann brought a smile to my face in a time where that didn’t happen much and I truly am greatful for her compassion, just as I am thankful for the summer that I had with my dad that led to many final memories. I stuck a scorecard and a pencil with my dad as a reminder to him of the summer and I figure that while I know he is watching over me, he will also watch over the Sox. So the next time an error is made, a fly ball is dropped or the ball just takes a funny hop, think of it as my dad smiling down on the guys, but also having a little fun with them because they turned his daughter into a Sox fan.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. It truly is great to be a Sox fan.
PS, forgive some of the repetition, writing this was much harder than I thought it would be.