On the 11th anniversary of the White Sox winning the World Series, here is a column I wrote shortly after the victory parade (“Fishing from my stream of consciousness” was a bit I had as a columnist):
Fishing from my World Series stream of consciousness:
Wow: World Champion Chicago White Sox.
Ticker tape parades.
Throngs of fans greeting the team at the airport.
Even a day later, it all seems so unbelievable. It will take some getting used to. …
(A few observations) …
He’s the man: As a player with the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen was the American League Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner and a major contributor on a division-winning team.
As a manager with the White Sox, Guillen completely changed the mindset of the franchise while guiding the club to only its third World Series championship and its first since 1917.
Through it all, despite some bizarre comments and a few verbal skirmishes with fans, Guillen has sustained his popularity.
Based on that, I deem Guillen the most significant figure in the 105-year history of the Chicago American League Ballclub.
Happy 76th! How fitting was it that Wednesday was Roland Hemond’s birthday?
Hemond spent his birthday soaking in the Sox’s clinching win in the World Series in Houston in his capacity as executive advisor to general manager Ken Williams.
Hemond, who served as White Sox general manager from 1971 to 1985, pulled off the trade that first brought Guillen to the White Sox.
On Dec. 6,1984, Hemond made the bold move of dealing former Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt and minor leaguers Todd Simmons and Kevin Kristan to the San Diego Padres for Guillen, an unknown with no big-league experience, and pitchers Tim Lollar and Bill Long.
So long: Sadly, Wednesday marked John Rooney’s final game as White Sox play-by-play man.
It was revealed late in the regular season that Rooney would not be returning to the booth for a 19th season calling White Sox games in 2006. Ed Farmer, Rooney’s partner for the last 14 years, will be back next year and beyond.
Rooney, who called White Sox games with so much class since 1988, went out describing a White Sox World Series winner.
FYI: Only the legendary Bob Elson, aka “The Commander,” announced White Sox games longer than Rooney.
A look back: Wednesday’s Kenosha News ran stories on the front page and on the sports front trumpeting the White Sox World Series victory.
The headline on the front page of the sports section was 150-points, a rarity in this business.
On Oct. 16,1917, the Kenosha News announced the White Sox’s World Series title to its readers with a page 13 story and a modest headline that read, “White Sox Win World Series.”
Oddities: First baseman Paul Konerko made the final putout in all four of the White Sox 2005 clinching victories. … The White Sox ended the season just as they started it on Opening Day with a 1-0 victory.
Memory: Aside from the obvious postseason moments, my favorite White Sox memory of 2005 occurred on a Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
On Aug. 21, the White Sox were in dire need of a victory. The team had lost seven in a row by a combined score of 42-20 and the seemingly insurmountable lead atop the American League Central appeared to be diminishing.
The fact that the White Sox were facing Randy Johnson and the Yankees on that 78-degree day compounded the feeling of doom.
The White Sox lineup card didn’t provide much solace either.
While the Yankees fielded a team that included Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, Bernie Williams and Timo Martinez, Guillen’s lineup card had Pablo Ozuna at third, Chris Widger behind the plate, Brian Anderson in left and Geoff Blum at first.
The Sox clubbed four home runs off the “Big Unit” in the fourth inning en route to a rousing 6-2 win.
When Widger capped the outburst with a three-run bomb off a pitch at his eyes, I knew 2005 was not going to be a typical Sox season.
Two months and five days later, I was proven right.
And I still can’t believe it.