Archives for category: Baseball

So come on rally ‘round this brave and valiant cause
With tradition pride and honor at its core.
With swords drawn to defend,
stood these noble-hearted men.
Faugh-an-ballagh! Clear the way, me boys!

The White Sox won the World Series. Eighty-eight years have come and gone since the last time that statement was both true and relevant. Let me say it again. The White Sox have won the World Series.

The White Sox finished the regular season with a record of 99-63. The White Sox defeated the Boston Red Sox in the Divisional Playoff Series three games to none. The White Sox defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League Championship Series four games to one. The White Sox defeated the Houston Astros in the World Series four games to none. At the end of the regular season, the White Sox wanted to win eleven games. On October 26th, 2005 the White Sox had won eleven games. The White Sox played twelve games; the White Sox won eleven of them — Eleven wins and one loss; eleven wins and one loss in the playoffs.

I watched all twelve games. I cheered all twelve games. I yearned over all twelve games.

Muckrakers, pundits and malcontents will attempt to diminish this overpowering accomplishment. They will start by reminding anyone who will listen about the “strike three, not out” play in Game Two of the American League Championship Series. They will continue to second-guess, revise and recriminate a season’s worth of play. Some feckless, uninspired bastards may sink so low as to dwell once more upon the moral failure of the squad from 1919.

These assholes will fail.

The White Sox won the World Series.

Remember these names: Scott Podsednik, Tadahito Iguchi, Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Carl Everett, Aaron Rowand, A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Crede, Juan Uribe, Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia, Orlando Hernandez, Bobby Jenks, Neal Cotts, Cliff Politte, Damaso Marte, Luis Vizcaino, Dustin Hermanson, Brian McCarthy, Geoff Blum, Willie Harris, Timo Perez, Chris Widger, Frank Thomas, and Ozzie Guillen.

Remember them well. Remember them very well.

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I love baseball. I cannot say that I have always loved baseball. I played baseball as a boy. I played football and basketball, too. I was not particularly good at any of these sports initially and I did not stick with them long enough to become good at them. My fondest boyhood baseball memory is of hitting a triple. I did that once—in three seasons. As a consequence of all of this my interest in professional baseball was passing at best.

I did always want to play hockey but never got the chance. The father of one of my best friends was a goalie for a semi-professional hockey team. He took us to a number of hockey games and introduced us to the sport. I learned how to skate. I learned some of the game. I remember the miracle on ice. I watched it on television with my friends and family. Nevertheless, I was never successful in convincing my parents to let me play. No, my boyhood sports were swimming and cycling. I did well at those. But other than the Olympics, there was not a lot of media coverage paid to those sports. Lance Armstrong is a year younger than I am. The Tour de Lance does not start until 1999. In my time as a cyclist I did get a chance to meet Greg LeMond, Bernault Hinault, Connie Carpenter, Alexi Grewal, Mark Gorski and Nelson Vails, courtesy of the Coors Classic and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Those names are not particularly famous. No one would confuse them with professional ball players. If you wanted to follow major league sports in Colorado there were two teams: the Denver Broncos and the Denver Nuggets. The Colorado Rockies did not join the National League until expansion in 1993 along with the Florida Marlins. The Colorado Avalanche did not arrive in Denver until 1995.

At the time the nearest Major League baseball team was the Kansas City Royals—nearly 500 miles away. The Colorado Springs Sky Sox—45 miles up the road—played two seasons before I left for college. They got some coverage—but that was minor league ball for the Cleveland Indians. I think that if one was not already a baseball fan, the fate of the Sky Sox was not overly compelling. The Royals did not make the local papers or the local news other than the box scores. Even the 1985 World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals did not garner a lot of attention in my corner of the next state over. I remember watching some of the 1981 series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees with some of my friends. I did not do it because I was particularly interested in baseball. I did it because I wanted to be with them. They were Yankee fans—so the series was a disappointment to them. I did not really care. It would be over a decade before I watched another Series.

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