White Sox Spring Training, Day 8
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Rain eliminated major outdoor activities, while Photo Day and the annual MLBPA meeting took up much of the early morning of Day 8 of spring training.
I spent much of the morning with Ken Williams as he spoke to the MLB Network crew for creation of The Club. The neat part was that the NFL Draft Combine was be shown as Kenny spoke with MLB. He interrupted the interview from time to time to watch his son Kyle, a senior wide receiver from Arizona State, run the 40-yard dash. Kyle turned in a 4.36 mark his first sprint, one of the best of the day, and KW’s phone started to go crazy with well wishers, Kyle’s agent, etc. Papa was pretty proud.
It made KW talk a little about his high school career as a track sprinter, baseball players and football star in Oakland.
Kenny spoke of the first time he ran a 9.3 100-yard-dash in a high school meet and came home feeling pretty proud.
“My godfather was John Carlos (a sprinter and football star in the 1960s, famous for raising his fist at the 1968 Olympics), and he and my dad were sitting at home when I walked in the door,” Williams recalled. (KW’s dad was also a sprinter who raced with, and beat, Carlos). “They told me to get my tennis shoes.”
The group went outside in the street in front of Williams’ house. The race would be from one telephone pole to another. The adults took off their shirts but still wore dress shoes.
“That’s when I learned there was a difference between speed and world class speed,” he laughed.
He joked again that the scenario repeated itself with him and his sons a few years ago.
“We went out to race, I pulled a hamstring and still feel it to this day,” he said.
Finally, we begin Cactus League play this week (Thursday). A “practice” game is scheduled with the Dodgers for Tuesday (8 innings beginning at 11 am for those of you in Phoenix).