Cisco Carlos And 1968

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jake Peavy

Jake’s progress continued today as he threw 4.0 IP, allowing three earned runs in a 7-6 loss to the Padres at CBR.

Roster Move

After the game, the White Sox announced eight roster moves, meaning 38 players remain in camp.  RHPs Anthony Carter and Freddy Dolsi, INF Eduardo Escobar and OF Stefan Gartrell were optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, RHPs Kyle Cofield and Nate Jones were optioned to Class AA Birmingham, while RHPs Brandon Hynick and Miguel Socolovich were reassigned to minor league camp.

Cisco Moment

A couple of weeks ago, I received an unsolicited LinkedIn message from Craig Ahearns, a self-avowed White Sox fan from SoCal.  He was hoping to get in touch with former Sox players Ken Berry and Cisco Carlos to offer a long overdue thank you.

As a youngster at an Angels game in 1968, Ahearns had caught a line drive off the bat of White Sox outfielder Ken Berry.  In an attempt to get Berry to sign the ball as a momento, the young Ahearns stood by the Sox bus on getaway day.  Finally, pitcher Cisco Carlos came by.  Ahearns explained, as best he could, his goal of a Berry autograph.

Cisco took the ball on the bus.  One minute passed, then two, then three, then four. Ahearns best friend chided him for stupidly giving up his major league baseball.  He wasn’t going to get it back.

Then, Carlos re-emerged and tossed the ball to Ahearns.  On it were the signature of the entire 1968 White Sox team, including Berry, Carlos, Aparicio, et al.

As he grew up, enjoyed his family and started his own business, Ahearns often told the motivational story about how Carlos’ kind act made a lasting impact on a young boy.  It knawed at him that he didn’t ever have a chance to thank Berry or Carlos.

Through the magic of social media, Ahearns found me.  Sure, I told him, send me letters and I will forward them along.

Then I started to think … where is Cisco Carlos?

A quick google turned him up … living and working in the Phoenix area.  Ta-da. 

I called Ahearns.  Any chance you could come to Phoenix for a spring training game?  I called Cisco.  This is crazy but any chance you would want to meet a fan who remembers your kind act from 43 years ago?

Bang.  Done deal.

This morning, Ahearns — who has remained a White Sox fan for life even though he has never watched a Sox game in Chicago — drove over from LA (“I think I slept 20 minutes last night,” he said) and Cisco ran over to our complex from his job.

“I wish I could say I remember the moment, but …” Cisco laughed.

And just like that, the two met with a Comcast Sports Net camera running.  Ahearns showed off the ball to Cisco (“Looks like you’ve been taking some batting practice with it,” Carlos joked), the two told their version of the story, had lunch and then we surprised both with a chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

For Ahearns, it was a dream come true, four decades late.

For Cisco, it was a chance to remember when and to be honored for being such a stand up guy.

And as Cisco left the field after catching Ahearns ceremonial toss, he was greeted by shouts and calls from a family in the stands.

Turns out it was a teammate from a high school baseball team, a teammate and friend he hadn’t seen in over 50 years.

Karma?

For me, this is yet another example of why baseball is such a great game, so very rich with stories, smiles, history and passion.

Day Off

Tuesday is our one day off of the spring — except for Gavin Floyd who has to come in and throw to stay on rotation — and some of us are heading out for a morning of golf.  Forecast is for 90 degree temps, snake weather around here … but you never see rattlesnakes in the middle of the fairway, do you?

Let’s see if Harold brings his A-Game.

 

6 Comments

Awesome story, Scott!

It brought back memories of when I went to my first White Sox game in Baltimore. As a teenage kid who had never been to a Major League baseball game, I was in awe of the whole experience. I remember seeing Frank Thomas and Lyle Mouton standing side by side and remarking that they looked larger than life when compared to watching them on television. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get Frank Thomas’ autograph (there were masses of fans 5 rows deep trying), but seeing one of his home runs in person more than made up for it. I did, however, get a baseball cap signed by Mike Devereaux and Ray Durham that I still have to this day. It was just an experience I’ll never forget.

Again, thanks for sharing Craig’s story, Scott. Go White Sox!

Great story about Cisco Carlos. I have my own that means a lot to me. My dad passrd away Oct.31 2005. He did live to see the White Sox win the World Series. After a while I began to think about the first Sox game he took me to. I was 10 years old. Had a great time with just me and dad. Over the years my memory faded of the details. I had to have more info. I contacted the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame. I knew it was a Friday Night in May.1964. The Friday before Memorial Day. I also knew John Buzhart was the Sox pither that night. With only that info they sent me a six page printout of the entire game. Inning by inning. When I look back it was more than my first game. It was me and my Dad at that game. I love baseball.

Fantastic story, Scott. Thanks for telling in great fashion.

I just got back from my first spring training game of this year. I picked a good game to go to, as Mark Buehrle and Tim Lincicum squared off against the starters for each lineup. We broke out first in the second with a single by Paulie and then a triple (just missed going over the left center field fence) by Alex Rios. Unfortunately, AR was stranded at third after Q struck out and AJ bounced to the first baseman and Alexei flied out. Drats!

Mark was sharp, but gave up a run on three singles after two quick outs in the fourth . He left after five effective innings with the score tied at one. And then Gray came in and gave up two runs and I figured that was the hand writing on the wall, so I left after 6 to avoid the Phoenix traffic and made it here in a little over two hours. Great game. Disappointing results, and I missed seeing Scott!

Camelback park was nice, but I didn’t see it as anything so much better than TEP here in Tucson. But I guess the amenities must be better, and then of course there’s the reduced travel time, But we need a team or teams here in Tucson again. Come on Cardinals or Astros (you’re the closest two teams to az). The Twins are west of the Mississippi too! Oh, well……. I guess I’ll have to do the traveling….. Go Sox’11…j.k.

Thanks again Scott for putting together such a Perfect Day!

My day kept getting better w/every turn. Each time I thought, “it doesn’t get better than this”, you had yet another great surprise. The 1st one was w/Comcast Sports (what class acts these two men were from Comcast) when you shared that Cisco & I were going to be interviewed.

This was later followed w/me having lunch w/Cisco & the White Sox players like I do this every day of the week. While having lunch… out of the blue Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson shows up and speaks w/Cisco & me (what a nice guy). It was around this time I was told I would be throwing out the 1st pitch. I thought Holy Cow, but a second, “Oh my GOD, what if I bounce it.”

My moment is approaching, I was lead onto the field & saw close up Mt. Dunn (Adam Dunn is simply a beast) & it was at this time I met Ozzie Guillen. What a thrill & he even signed a baseball, he’s such a class act!!

Now the moment is here, ‘Throwing out the 1st Pitch”. Nervous as could be w/the PA announcer doing a wonderful job of sharing w/the fans the “Carlos & me story”… I build into a wind-up…. & thank GOD, a strike to Cisco Carlos, what a Perfect Day.

Thank you so much Scott & Christine!!!!!

Scott.. Great story..I happen to know Cisco As a friend and past professional ballplayer[ with the Brewers and Mets.] He is a great guy as well as a great father . He has a business in Phx.. Cabinets By Design. In fact he has his son work with him in the business. We both belong to Arizona Major League Alumni which helps Little Leaguers, Umpires, and x professional ballplayers in Arizona.. Good things happen to good guys and believe me Cisco Carlos is a good guy…Kevin Kobel

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