CHICAGO — One of the most beloved players on the last team to win a World Series championship for the club is back for the home opener.
A.J. Pierzynski, the catcher for the 2005 White Sox, is throwing out the first pitch for the game against the Giants on Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, the first of 81 in 2023 for the team.
As he takes the mound, he does so as part of a fundraiser that concerns his social media accounts.
Pierzynski will donate $1 for every follower that he gets on his Twitter and Instagram account from late March through the April 3 home opener to White Sox charities. The former catcher will donate up to $25,000 to the organization as part of the effort.
You can find Pierzynski on Twitter @aj_pierzynskiFT and on Instagram @aj_pierzynski_ft.
A 19-year MLB veteran, the catcher joined the White Sox before the 2005 season and would play eight years for the club. He was a 2006 MLB All-Star and helped the team to the World Series championship in his first year then the AL Central Division title in 2008.
During the championship campaign in 2005, Pierzynski was a big part of one of the biggest moments in White Sox playoff history in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Angels.
Tied at 1 in the ninth, Anaheim pitcher Kelvim Escobar got the catcher to swing and miss at the third strike to end the inning. But Angels catcher Josh Paul appeared to have trapped the ball and never tagged Pierzynski or threw to first, so the catcher ran down the line to take the base.
Home plate umpire Doug Eddings ruled him safe, keeping the inning alive. After Pablo Ozuna, who pinch-ran for Pierzynski, stole second, Joe Crede knocked him in with a hit to give the White Sox a 2-1. They would go on to beat the Angels to win their first pennant since 1959 before sweeping the Astros in the World Series for their first championship in 88 years.
Pierzynski is currently the host of the “Foul Territory” show with form MLB players Erik Kratz, Todd Frazier, who played for the White Sox from 2016 through the middle of 2017, and Adam Jones.