Tuesday, October 26, 2010

World Series Five Year Anniversary (Re-mix)

Five years ago today, the White Sox won the World Series in Houston. Mike and I watched it at the United Center, and then, needless to say, I got a little nuts with the celebration, including a psychotic blog rant the morning after. I called people I hadn't spoken to since 1993. I bought multiple hats and t-shirts. Baseball. It makes us do, and say, stupid things.

I spent most of the Series working at the bookstore, turning on and off the radio broadcast, depending on what was happening on the field. I was horrified I'd miss something, and terrified I'd hear something, losing my mind every ten minutes. Putting on my Sox cap, taking it off, hiding in the basement and driving my co-workers nuts with a tangle of irritable facial tics and anguished moans. Also there was some unmitigated boasting when Clemens left Game 1, and a booty dance on the front counter when Konerko hit the grand slam in Game 2. Customers were afraid of me, as I was acting like a drunken Jerry Lewis, somewhat.

Best of all, I'll always have the memory of walking home with my cheap AM radio headphones in my ears, thumb glued to the on/off switch, hearing Rooney and Farmer call Podsednik's Game 2 walk-off bomb. After the shot, Farmer just laughed. He couldn't even speak to wrap up the game. If you live above that one Pawn Shop on Divison St., I'm sorry I woke up you, your dog, and your long-passed relations with my howls. I just couldn't believe that a guy playing for my team had hit a walk-off home run in a World Series game. It was one of my happiest moments on earth, so cut me some slack.

Anyway, here is the rant, slightly re-mixed this morning with a few extra jabs. I am a Sox fan, after all, and we never forget.

"To the White Sox family I have known...today is for you. To my Mom, who loved Carlton Fisk nearly as much as I did, and bought me my first Sox shirt and cap from the Montgomery Wards catalog, today is for you. I love you. We deserve this. To Brian Trembley, the first Sox fan I ever met in 1982, and your dad Gary who let us watch games on SportsVision, today is for you. To Mike Meyer and his dad Dave, Congratulations. To Eric Dever and your step-dad Pete, White Sox diehards back in the day: today is for you. To the old guy I met two years ago and spent four innings talking to on the concourse in 2004, who grew up in Niles and has lived and died with the White Sox for years: today is for you and your sons. To the pitching staff of Blaul Motors of the Crystal Lake American Little League, who idolized the Sox, congratulations. Today is for you. As little boys, we saw Bob James throw 100 MPH smoke for the Pale Hose at County Stadium in Milwaukee. Remember? We deserve this day. To my 5th Grade teacher Mr. Szucs, congratulations. To Mr. Hawkinson, my favorite English teacher in High School, today is for you. To the old crazy dude who stands every night by the White Sox bullpen screaming his head off, waving a t-shirt and causing a ruckus, congratulations. To Jake Austen, to Todd Price, to Darcy, to Jeremy, to Martha, to Chuck at the baseball card shop who ripped me off countless times, I'm a world champion. Those Bo Jackson cards you charged me so much for are worth sawdust these days, and hopefully you're having a last drink at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn bar, wishing the Cubs weren't such dogshit and wondering how I'm feeling. I'm feeling pretty fucking good, motherfucker. To Scott Browne, to Mr. Weller, to Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jackson, Beltin' Bill Melton, Moose Skowron, Minnie Minoso, Wilbur Wood, Luke Appling, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Ted Lyons and Billy Pierce, to Britt Burns and Tito "Fucking" Landrum, to Scott who has taken me to so many games over the last few years to all the Sox freaks I have known, we deserve this; to all the Sox haters, bow down; to the dozens of strangers I have bored senseless with batting line-up gibberish and pitch selection dissection, today is my day. My team and my baseball family have reached the promised land at last. I'll see you all downtown at the parade."

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