Twenty five years ago today my father took me to my first baseball game. By the time I first set foot inside Old Comiskey Park I was already a baseball junkie. The great finish by the 1983 White Sox helped get me started. Seeing the team at the winter caravan which came to my town that off season really started me loving this team. I even won one of the door prizes which was an autographed ball by Minnie Minoso, Mike Squires, Ron Kittle, The Hawk, and Ribbie and Rubarb. 1984 was the first year that I started collecting baseball cards as well. Of course all of the cards that I really wanted had White Sox players on them. My summer was spent watching the White Sox on a small black and white TV that got WFLD in good enough to watch. This was in the days of rabbit ears and dials helping you fine tune a station. If you would have asked my nine year old self what the term HD I would have told you heavy duty. Just a couple of days before I turned nine though my father took me to see Comiskey Park which was in its 75th year. I normally will not post pictures that are not my own, but since I did not have a camera that day I had to make due with other peoples. Things will be back to normal tomorrow though. Continue reading
While searching for a clip of the 1975 home run yesterday on youtube I stubled upon this old commercial for Pizza Hut. It features Carlton Fisk and Rich Dotson eating and talking about the White Sox placemats. I used to have those things, and I know they were thrown away which makes me sick. Readers of this blog know that I met both of these players at my first game in 1985. That makes this video even better. This is a great clip that reminds me of the good ole days. It also makes me hungry.
On this day in 1975 Carlton Fisk hit the biggest home run of his career. I had completely forgotten about what day it was until I saw a post on 30 year old cardboard that reminded me of it. Thanks for the reminder. His home run made him a national name, and probably helped speed up his induction into the Hall of Fame. It is his most well known moment, and although I wasn’t even born yet one of my biggest memories of him. It is the home run that I measure all home runs with. In 2005 my team hit some big home runs, and actually won the World Series. Some of those are pretty close to this one, but they don’t compete.
Now that the Sox are done I have to pick someone else to pull for the rest of the way. I always would pull for the other Sox since my favorite player used to play for them, but ever since 2004 it has been harder to do. Once they won it I felt like a bandwagon guy. I bought a Red Sox hat a month or so before they won the ’04 series, and have only worn it a couple of times since then. I could root for the Dodgers since they swept the Cubs, but they beat the Sox back in 1959. Right now I am not the biggest Rays fan, but I think they have the best shot of winning it all. It would be hard to suddenly root for that team though. I really have nothing to say about the Phillies. What I have decided to do is to make a scientific pick. I will check the rosters of each team, and whoever has the most former White Sox players will be my new team. That should do it.
Red Sox 0
That did not work at all. I now have a three way tie. The Phillies have Scott Eyre, the Dodgers have Pablo Ozuna, and the Rays have Chad Bradford. I was going to give it to the Dodgers because Ozuna won the series with the Sox, but decided to look at the 40 man roster and go deeper. Here is what I came up with there:
Red Sox 2
The Phillies have Tom Gordon and Tadahito Iguchi injured right now, so they count towards the Phillies side. The Dodgers stand pat with Ozuna after the 40 man. The Red Sox gain a couple with David Aardsma and Bartolo Colon. The Rays stay put with one. So it looks as though I will have to root for the Phillies. I can also root for the other Sox team to make it to the series. Wait a minute. Both Sox teams won their last titles back to back (’04 and ’05). They did the same thing the time before that (’17 and ’18). The Red Sox won the series last year so maybe they are on tap to win this year, and then the White Sox will take the next two. I guess I will root for the Phillies and Red Sox to meet in the series, then see what my gut tells me.
Last night I was supposed to head to Indy, but I had to postpone the trip just long enough to get to Comiskey for Carlton Fisk Night. The White Sox put on quite a show for the former catcher. Bo Jackson, Ron Kittle, Ozzie Guillen, Harold Baines, Joey Cora, and Roland Hemond all were on hand to honor Carlton. Fisk, Jackson and Kittle all came in from center on bikes with a fireworks show in the background. It was a great night that I was glad to attend. Here are some images from last night as time permits I will post more:
On Carlton Fisk Night Carlos Quentin drove in two runs to give the White Sox the 3-1 win. Of course I was going to the game because of the occasion, but I really wanted to see the Sox pull out the win. I am now 2-0 this season at the stadium. That is a lot better than my TV record. I cannot seem to tune in to the wins except for this win streak. I was able to see my favorite pitcher Mark Buehrle on the mound. That was good because I was leaving from the stadium after the game to get down to Indy for the weekend. Mark came through and got me out of the park in good time. The close game even allowed me to see big Bobby Jenks pitch. He closed out the game to get his 99th career save. I had a great time, thanks to George Bush’s check. I may have to use that check to get to a couple more games.
I was shocked this morning when I was working out and saw something about Carlton Fisk on the bottom crawl of Comcast Sports Net. I was so far away that I could only make out “Welcome Back Night.” I had to work so I just got home to see what I had missed. It turns out that Carlton Fisk will join the ranks of Minnie Minoso (my father’s favorite player), and local boy Ron Kittle as a White Sox ambassador. I have met Minoso a couple of times while he was in this roll, and I hope that others will get a chance to meet Carlton because of it. Carlton will be honored during the May 22nd game against the Indians with a “Welcome Back Carlton Fisk” night at U.S. Cellular field. I am already scrambling for tickets to the game. I will be there for a couple of reasons. One is that I really have been wanting to see another game, and the other is the obvious one that my favorite player will be there. Thanks to George Bush and the stimulus check that I received yesterday I will be at the game no matter what. Nothing like supporting your economy starting with your favorite baseball team. I think it is almost time for another countdown.