Yesterday I made the trip to the Cell with a busload of White Sox fans to see the Sox take on the Royals. What made this trip special is the fact that it was my 100th Major League game. If you have been reading this blog for a while you know very well now that my first game was in 1985 so this is my 25th anniversary season of watching Major League Baseball live. Maybe it was just my imagination, but a lot of things made this game very cool for me. The first of those is the fact that the pitchers on the hill were Gavin Floyd and Brian Bannister. Put their last names together, and you get Floyd Bannister who was on the hill for the Sox for my first three games. He pitched the first two for the Sox, and the third for the Royals in 1988. Brian of course is Floyd’s kid so it makes it very cool. The picture above I thought was pretty cool because it showed both names on the scoreboard. It reminded me a little of the old Fleer card with Carlton-Steve and Steve-Carlton on it.
Yesterday continued another trend of ballgames lately. It was the sixth straight game that involved rain. It rained very hard for an inning, but then cleared up with no more rain in sight. Thankfully it did not delay the game like the two of the last three have. The best part of the rain though was the fact that the crowd used their beach towels that were given away as they walked in the gates. The above picture shows the fans with their new wardrobe on. This streak of rain during games also coincides with the turnaround by the team. If I have to sit through rain to see the Sox win I will take it. Bring it on I guess. Then again if it has nothing to do with the team winning can I please just see one game while being dry?
Gavin Floyd did not start the game off well giving up two quick hits. He then got David DeJesus and Billy Butler to strike out, and A.J. gunned down Pods at third to end the inning. Carlos Quentin hit an absolute bomb in the second to give the Sox the lead. At the time it was the longest home run at the Cell this season at 436 feet. Dayan Viciedo hit one that they said during the game was farther, but looking at the distance it was a foot shorter. So I guess technically it is still the longest. Carlos is shown above loading up to hit his dinger. The Sox would not score again until the fifth when Gordon Beckham came back from a delay in his at bat to hit his third dinger of the season. Pauly then hit a two out double to give the Sox their third run, and Quentin the hit his second homer of the day to give the Sox their five runs on the day.
Just before the seventh I decided to leave the bleachers and go for a walk. I stopped for a while near third base taking pictures before standing above section 129 to get a few pictures. While I was up there a nice woman walked by and asked me about my camera. I told her that I was just stopping to take a few pictures, and she gave me her ticket to sit in row 5 behind the Royals on deck circle. With the Sox coming to bat I was excited. A view from my new seat can be seen above. This is by far the best seat I have ever had for a game. What a way to end game #100.
At the end of the 8th inning A.J. Pierzynski was at bat with Andruw Jones on deck. I really wanted to be there when Andruw hit his 400th home run. All A.J. had to do was to get on base to make another plate appearance happen. He hit a ball up the middle to brings Jones to the plate. For some reason A.J. decided to run while the pitcher was still in the stretch. The above picture was taken during that rundown. A.J. was tagged out, and my shot at seeing #400 went down the drain. Andruw hit #400 today as one of four home runs hit in the third for the Sox today.
Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz came in to shut the Royals down to give the Sox the 5-1 victory to keep pace with the Tigers a 1/2/ game back. I normally bolt the second the final out is made to beat the traffic. Since I came on a bus yesterday I decided to stay and take advantage of my good seat. I got a few good pictures of the post game celebration by the team. When a team is as hot as the Sox are right now the players are loose, and that was evident at the end. They were having a blast, and I captured a few of those moments with my camera. I liked the above picture the best because it had a couple of my favorite Sox players in it along with the man of the hour Carlos Quentin.