FRIDAY FINALE

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wrapped up the Friday seminars with a look back at the ride in ’05: Beltin’ Bill w/Neal Cotts, Cliff Politte, Pablo Ozuna and Joe Crede.

WHEN THEY KNEW THEY HAD A CHANCE TO ACTUALLY IN THE WORLD SERIES

> Cliff: Going up 2-0 on Boston in the ALDS, “we knew after that, with our pitching, we’d take our chances in a seven-game series.”

> Joe: same – “I saw Boston win the World Series the year before, and they were good.  So to play them the next season and win on their turf was huge.”

WHEN THE DIVISON LEAD WHITTLED DOWN IN AUG/SEPT

> Joe: “We didn’t panic.  We felt OK because of our pitching.”

> Cliff: “When it was going bad, the bullpen phone was ringing all the time.  I was like ‘Stop ringing!’”

ON THE CAMARADERIE OF THAT TEAM

> Cliff: “I keep in touch with Neal, Paul, Buehrle.  I haven’t seen Joe in six years, but it’s like I saw him yesterday.”

> Pablo: “I still talk with Uribe, Timo Perez, Damaso Marte, Freddy Garcia, Contreras.” (To which Melton replied, “So all the Irish guys.”)

Photo: Ron Vesely

WHAT THEY REMEMBER MOST ABOUT WINNING THE WORLD SERIES

> Joe: “I didn’t realize the impact when we were in Houston,  But when we got to Midway and saw all those people…and then the parade.  I mean, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Then I go to my hometown, which has like 300 people, for a parade - and 2,000 people showed up. “

> Cliff: “It was surreal, and you guys were awesome. I remember thinking, ‘This kind of thing doesn’t happen to me.’  And we couldn’t have asked for a better place to do it.”

> Neal: “Living in Chicago full-time, that offseason I got to see how much it meant to White Sox fans. And the parade, that crowd, that moment, pretty special.”

> Pablo: “A lot of champagne, making me crazy.”

                                                 Photo: Ron Vesely

And somewhere in between, a fan got Joe to hug his wife because his wife always said “Crede’s my sweetie.” (And after the hug, Joe said, “Well, now my back feels better.”) Only at SoxFest, indeed.

Plenty more SoxFest 2012 highlights to come; looking forward to seeing more of you throughout the weekend, and keeping the rest of you updated on all the happenings.  Make sure to keep track as well at www.whitesox.com/soxfest, on Twitter (@whitesox) and on the White Sox official Facebook page – lots of cool prizes, videos and updates all weekend long.

Until tomorrow…

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