Friday, October 21, 2005

An excited (if out of place) Sox fan

My whole life I've loved the White Sox. The "winning ugly" team of 1983 is my earliest memory of baseball. I still compare home runs to what I remember Ron Kittle hitting for the Sox. I've still never seen one hit farther than what he hit one. I remember when everyone who's now coaching for the sox played there. Greg Walker was at first, I still have a 1986 Topps baseball card of him. Harold Baines, whom I always thought was sleeping, playing in the outfield. I was at a couple games where he hit the game winning homer. I was at a couple more where he was the last out of the game with a drive caught on the warning track. He always made it interesting. Joey Cora was there in the 90's as part of the Smurfs. Does anyone else remember Craig Grabek? Tim Raines was there late in his career and wasn't the prolific basestealer of his younger days, but it was always fun watching him. I've got a lot of fond memories of the White sox. In 1990 or 91 I bought a White Sox team pack of baseball cards. There were 2 cards in it that were draft cards that I thought about getting rid of. After all a draft card can't be that good. I had a Bo Jackson Rated Rookie, but these are just draft cards. Instead I bout 2 more team sets and have a couple copies of the Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura draft cards. They are now some of most special cards. We've had a lot of good players go through Chicago in their one year that no one else seemed to want them. Ellis Burke, Kenny Lofton, George Bell (ok, we traded for him). This is not just a walk down memory lane. I want to be clear, I'm a sox fan, first and foremost in baseball. I love my Braves also, but I'd sacrifice to see the sox, the Braves I'll just cheer for.

At work, I'm an outsider. Here in Central Illinois there are precious few White Sox fans. It's pretty much split down the middle between Cubs and Cards. And they are back and forth at each other all of the time. We're rare enough, that when I'm out shopping wearing my Sox hat, if I stumble across another Sox fan they have no shame in saying something about it. It's rare, maybe once a month someone else will say something. It's strange now with it being the Sox and Houston in the world series how quiet the Cubs and Cards fans are. I'm sure if the Sox take a nose dive I'll hear all about it, but for now they are sitting back and waiting. For Cubs fans that's kind of a typical thing, they always seem to be waiting until next year. It drives me nuts that by June they are usually preaching it too. I could never be a part of that. I have be able to pull for my team all year. They don't have to win it every year, but start with a fighting chance and fight. I'll keep supporting them even in bad times, so long as that's the attitude that they take.

You know, it wasn't that long ago that the owner of the White Sox brought a few basketball championships to Chicago. I hope he can do the same thing in baseball. Let's go White Sox. Win or Die Trying.