CHICAGO – Take a moment today to live in the past.
Don’t do it all the time. It’s not healthy. What happened in the past sometimes needs to stay there for good.
But not today. Remember where you were and who you were with as you turn the clock back 10 years ago to this exact day.
White Sox fans, you deserve it.
Whether you grew up on the South Side or didn’t. Whether you are a die-hard White Sox fan or a casual observer of the team. Take a moment to flip on the VCR, DVD or even YouTube for the moment that happened on October 26, 2005?
Go back there right now.
If you cared about the White Sox you probably didn’t sleep much. The chance of this day being special actually came much earlier in the day. Geoff Blum’s homer in the 14th inning and Mark Buehrle’s rare save gave the White Sox a Game 3 victory in the early hours of October 26th.
A triumph in a World Series record 5-hour, 41 minutes contest gave Ozzie Guillen’s team a 3-0 series lead and a shot at the first championship since 1917.
To put the day in perspective for baseball fans, it was the first time since the White Sox beat the New York Giants on October 15th of that season had the team played a game to capture the championship. In 1959 they lost in Game 6 of the World Series to the Dodgers and failed to get their during playoff appearances in 1983, 1993, and 2000.
For Chicago, it was just the second time in 88 years that a team from the city played a game to win the World Series. The Cubs lost Game 7 of the 1945 fall classic to the Tigers at Wrigley Field some 60 years earlier.
But there was no failure on this night. No Cubs talk of any kind. This night belonged to the White Sox and worthy of reliving.
There was drama of the different kind than the night before where runs were aplenty early. Game 4 was a pitcher’s duel.
Freddy Garcia for the White Sox and Brandon Backe for the Astros quelled a few minor threats through the first seven innings. Each went that amount of time on the mound and left without allowing a run.
A Chicago breakthrough happened in the 8th with a little old fashioned small ball. A Willie Harris hit, Scott Podsednik sacrifice bunt, and Carl Everett groundout to second got the White Sox a runner to third with two outs.
Jermaine Dye brought Harris home not with the power he’d used to homer in the 1st inning of Game 1 but rather the precision to knock a grounder past reliever Brad Lidge into center with the hit.
The lead lasted through the eighth and eventually into the 9th where Bobby Jenks was in for the fourth time in the series. After a leadoff hit and sacrifice, he found himself with a runner on second with one out.
Cue Juan Uribe.
First he made a catch that is highly underrated in World Series history, diving backwards into the stands on the third base side to snag Chris Burke’s fly for the out. Then there was the bouncer off the bat of Orlando Palmeiro.
Over Jenks’ head it went and then slowed on the infield grass. The charging Uribe fielded quickly with a glove and in one motion tossed it to Paul Konerko. At 11:01 PM the ball slammed into his glove a half-step faster than Palmeiro’s foot hit the 1st base bag.
“Out! Out! A White Sox winner! And a World Championship!” said John Rooney on the radio call as the chaos of happy players raced towards Jenks and catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the mound.
Remember where you were?
I was with my mother, a long time White Sox fan as I called my late grandfather, a fan of the team for most of the 89 years he’d live up till the moment. I grew up a Cubs fan but I appreciated this moment for him, her and the history of baseball in Chicago.
You have memories, too. It could be watching the final out with friends or family or partying it up at a Sox bar somewhere in town. Some even watched from the United Center where the game was on for fans to watch.
Wherever or whomever you were there with, take some time to remember. Give thanks to one of Chicago’s greatest teams as the once in a lifetime run their made over the course of 12 games and 22 days in October.
Recall the joy that was 88-years in the waiting that was in the making for three hours and 20 minutes at Minute Maid Park. Remember those who shared in the moment that are here and who have since passed on. My grandfather, Raymond Creagh, passed away in December of 2009 four years after the title.
I’ll remember him today and the joy in his voice over the phone ten years ago on this night. Living in the past on this day, October 26th, will be a great thing for me.
If you’re a fan of the White Sox, I recommend you do the same. It will probably be the same for you.