2005 White Sox World Series Ten Year Anniversary

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox

By Casey Boguslaw

October 26, 2005 – A date forever ingrained in my mind. Up until 2014, that day was probably the best day of my life (I am married and have a child now, so some dates do rank above this one). I will never forget the feeling of having MY team win the championship. I was technically kicking and screaming during the 1985 Bears Super Bowl win (wasn’t even two years old) and I remember being very happy sporting my Bulls Starter jacket in middle school during the 90s. This was different.

Let’s go back a little bit first, about six months to April 4, 2005. I don’t remember this date as fondly but this was Opening Day for the 2005 season. The White Sox opened at US Cellular Field for a 2:10 game against the Cleveland Indians. I, along with most White Sox fans, did not have huge hopes for the season as I remember vividly that most analysts had them marked as the fourth best team in the AL Central. I remember getting home from class in time to sit down and enjoy the game – a fantastic two hit, eight inning beauty by Mark Buehrle with a stress-free save by Mr. Zero, Shingo Takatsu. The White Sox won 1-0 with their only run scored on an error. I had no idea how significant this 1-0 game would be in October, but hold that thought for now.

With the game taking only one hour and fifty-one minutes, a Mark Buehrle special, I had time to get prepared for the evening’s festivities. That evening my Fighting Illini played North Carolina in the NCAA Basketball Championship. There’s a reason why I don’t remember April 4th as fondly and if you don’t know why, you can look up the results of the game yourself. I had spent every night from November through April watching that unbelievable basketball team or awaiting the next time to watch them shine. I didn’t think there was any team in the world that could beat them and I was sure I was going to see one of “my teams” win a championship. Who would have thought that it would have come so soon after that crushing defeat (now you don’t have to look it up)?

As a college junior – a single man, who just turned 21 and who wasn’t the most studious – the baseball season was welcomed with open arms. I really do not believe a game went by without watching at least a portion. I immediately fell for this team. It was a new beginning for the franchise, which is probably why the analysts weren’t exactly sure how to judge how they would mold. The offseason ended the Magglio Ordonez (lost to free agency) and Carlos Lee era. Lee was traded for Scott Podsednik and Luis Vizcaino. This was a different move for a franchise that had long lived on players like Frank Thomas, Albert Belle and Magglio Ordonez, which relied on the long ball and whose park in 1991 was built to accommodate such an offense. Podsednik was coming off a 70 steal season and was a different kind of left fielder for the franchise.

To replace Magglio Ordonez, who had become the face of the franchise as Frank Thomas’s career had started to fade, the White Sox’s GM Kenny Williams went with oft-injured Jermaine Dye. Dye hadn’t played a full season since 2001 and was only a one-time All-Star, way back in 2000. The drop off seemed large from Magglio, but the price was just too high to retain him, and he went to division-rival Detroit.

The Brothers Alomar were both granted free agency by the White Sox, with Roberto retiring and Sandy getting near. Jose Valentin also left via free agency, leaving the double play combo a mystery. In came Japanese import, Tadahito Iguchi, not known very well in the US, but he did enough in Spring Training to become the opening day second baseman. With second base filled, Juan Uribe was allowed to become the full-time shortstop, whose arm surely fit the bill. To plug the catcher hole, “clubhouse cancer” AJ Pierzynski came aboard, and rumor had it that the signing was highly influenced by announcer Hawk Harrelson, who had known AJ since his high school days. With that, the lineup was set, but no one knew what to expect. There were four offseason acquisitions who became position starters including an import, a cancer, an injury risk, and a soft-hitting speedster.

There really was not a whole lot of optimism to believe in the rotation, either. Buehrle was Buehrle and had already become the staple that he only solidified later in his career. But after that, multiple question marks. Jon Garland seemed to have reached his ceiling – he came into the 2005 season with three straight seasons with 12 wins and an ERA in the high 4s. The White Sox had made two trades in the 2004 season to strengthen their rotation in hopes of having something to work for in 2005. The White Sox traded one-hit-wonder Esteban Loaiza, who was second in the Cy Young voting in 2003 but saw his profile drop quickly soon after. The White Sox flipped him to the Yankees for a not-so-young Cuban, Jose Contreras. Contreras had mild success as a rookie but the Yankees seemingly had given up on him by his sophomore season. Kenny Williams also traded for Freddy Garcia, or “Sweaty Freddy”, turning high prospect Jeremy Reed in for him. Garcia was second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1999 and also was third in Cy Young voting in 2001, but those years seemed well behind him. To complete the five-man rotation, they brought in another Cuban, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who also seemed to be a bit past his prime. This was a five man rotation with three reclamation projects, a solid “2” and a consistent “4 or 5”. This wasn’t exactly uplifting, but I had not much else to do other than sit back and watch.

The first four series were rather funny in their consistency. The White Sox won each series, winning exactly two games in each but always losing the third game of the series. I never did find out if this was true, but I had a theory that Ozzie sort of did this on purpose. I haven’t brought up the manager yet, Ozzie Guillen. My parents loved him as part of the 1980s teams and I had only good childhood memories of him as a player. When he was hired in 2004, it was somewhat curious, as Ozzie had no managing experience and seemed to be brought in as a favor to owner Jerry Reinsdorf. I’ll get back to Ozzie later, but let’s just say he didn’t give me any bonus confidence entering the season.

Back to Ozzie’s “Sunday lineups”. No, I don’t believe that Ozzie intentionally lost these games, but the mantra goes: in baseball, all you have to do is win series. If you keep stacking up the wins, you will be just fine at the end of the season. Whether it was providing physical rest or mental, Ozzie always put in a few backups the third game of the series. This wasn’t enjoyed by everyone. My mom and I went to many games when I came home that summer from college. We would always go to Sunday games since it was nice to get out to a day game in the middle of the summer. When my mom would see the lineup and there would be no Paul Konerko or Jermaine Dye, she would flip out. She thought it was wrong that Ozzie sat the good players on the Sunday games since that was when families came. I tried to defend him, but it always fell on deaf ears.

It of course helped that they won the first two games in the first four series, but part of me wanted to keep banking these wins early. After the fourth series, as baseball will do, they had a weird part of the schedule that had two two-game series in a row. It seemed since Ozzie didn’t have a third game of the series, he didn’t have a chance to put in his reserves lineup. The Sox won all four, and then they won the next four. They now had an eight game winning streak, were 16-4 and five games up in the AL Central. They finished April at 17-7 with a 1.5 game lead in the division.

Their lead only grew in May as they started off the month with another eight game winning streak. The division lead reached a peak of six games and never came closer than one game for the whole month. On May 30th, Frank Thomas made his season debut. I would be doing 10-year-old Casey a disservice if I didn’t at least mention the Big Hurt in here. He was my biggest sports hero growing up and I’m happy that he was at least part of this team. Thomas was not a factor in the 2005 season as he only played 34 games with only 27 starts although he still did hit 12 homeruns. It was touching to hear Big Frank after the season thanking his teammates for carrying him to a World Series ring. The two time MVP never got to play in a World Series game during his illustrious career but he was more than deserving to get this hardware.

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 28: Designated hitter Frank Thomas #35 at the Chicago White Sox holds the World Series Trophy during the victory parade on October 28, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros and won the 2005 World Series. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I headed back to the suburbs for summer break and tried to get to the stadium as much as possible. June was when the team really hit their stride. The team went 18-7 with yet another eight game winning streak in the middle of the month. Right in the middle of that streak was a game I attended that I will always remember. On June 18, the Los Angeles Dodgers were visiting the White Sox for the first time since the 1959 World Series, the White Sox last appearance in the Fall Classic. The team honored this by wearing the 1959 jerseys, which were very sharp I must add. I went to the game with my good friend and his father, who were both lifelong Dodgers fans. The Sox entered the bottom of the ninth down 3-1. After RBI singles by Carl Everett and Aaron Rowand, AJ Pierzynski walked the game off with a two run homerun. My friend now owns an AJ Pierzynski White Sox jersey.

The division lead was at its highest point thus far on June 30th (10.5 games). They then lost five of nine, all to the Oakland A’s, right before a much needed All-Star break. Despite having the best record in the Major Leagues only Paul Konerko, Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland were named All-Stars. Scott Podsednik became the team’s fourth All-Star when he won the fans’ Final Vote. Buehrle was named the starting pitcher (his first half – 10-3, 2.58 ERA) by Terry Francona and pitched two scoreless innings, earning the W for the AL team. He didn’t know it then, but that W meant that the World Series would begin at US Cellular Field.

76th Major League Baseball All-Star GameOn August 1, the division lead reached its season peak (15 games) after Mark Buehrle won his 12th game over the Baltimore Orioles. I returned back to college shortly after, soaking in watching every game with all of my friends. I’m not ashamed to say that my White Sox jersey was worn very often out to the bars which always garnered some attention. The team was finally becoming popular as this season-long stretch seemed too good to be true. By the end of the month, the first sense of doubt started creeping. By September 1, the 15 game lead was cut in half. The Sox went 12-16 during the “Dog Days” of August, but in addition to this, the Cleveland Indians went 19-8. Headed into the last month of the season after four months of coasting, we had a race, and with it potentially one of the largest collapses in MLB history.

The White Sox regrouped; they won the first seven games of September, however they only gained two games back on the still red-hot Indians. They then lost seven of their next ten, cutting the lead to 3.5, with the Cleveland Indians coming to US Cellular Field for a three-game set. On top of all this, along with (and partially responsible for) the losing, closer Dustin Hermanson was facing a lot of pain in his back. Hermanson was great all season as closer after the short stint of Takatsu (demoted due to poor play). On September 7th, he was 34 for 37 in save opportunities with a 1.59 ERA. His numbers started to fade as the pain increased.

The Indians won the first game of the series even though the Sox entered the 8th with a 5-4 lead. The next part of this story will be how my dad told it. He insisted that he had to go to the next game. He swore that there was no way they were going to lose this division lead. Since I was in Champaign, my dad rounded up his childhood crew. These were South Side men from the Back of the Yards. He told them they were going to the game, and they were coming home with a win. Mark Buehrle was on the mound so that gave my dad and his friends a lot of confidence, but the Indians scored two in the second to take the lead. Joe Crede (a lot more on him later) hit a two run homer in the third to tie it up. Travis Hafner led off the fourth with a solo shot for the Indians; the Sox tied it up on an Uribe single in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the seventh, Buehrle allowed another homerun, this time to Casey Blake. He left the game facing a loss. The bullpen did him no favors as Neal Cotts allowed another run. The White Sox wouldn’t quit, because my father wouldn’t let them. They scored three in the bottom of the seventh using small ball and some help from a Cleveland error. They now had the lead. Ozzie Guillen decided not to go with Hermanson for the save once the ninth inning came around. He went with an unproven rookie named Bobby Jenks. Jenks had been brought up in July and had become the setup man; he had done well with an ERA of 1.91 in 33 innings, but that night, Jenks blew the save. The “dreaded lead-off walk”, in the words of Hawk Harrelson, did him in. The White Sox loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but could not get a run in. Hermanson managed to scratch through the top of the tenth, and in the bottom of the inning Joe Crede led off with a game-winner. My dad brought home a win.Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox

They weren’t out of the woods yet. The Indians won the rubber match leaving town with a 2.5 game deficit. The Minnesota Twins came to town the next day and beat the White Sox in the 11th inning with Bobby Jenks taking the loss as he gave up three runs. The White Sox bounced back and won the next three games. The Indians followed suit and continued winning Friday and Saturday. They had a Sunday day game in Kansas City which they entered the ninth inning in a tie. With a runner on second and one out, a fly ball was hit to center field where a budding superstar, and future gold glove winner, stood. Grady Sizemore lost the ball in the Kansas City sun, some kind of gift from the heavens. The ball landed on the grass and the Royals had beaten the Indians. Four days later, the AL Central was clinched by the White Sox – Bobby Jenks had the four out save, ending with a lineout to the glove of Paul Konerko.

The White Sox were headed to the postseason, which meant I needed tickets. I entered the online auction screen and was able to nail down tickets to Game 1 of the ALDS. Four tickets – for myself, my parents, and my sister. The White Sox were matched up against the defending champion Boston Red Sox in a best-of-five series. We were going to see playoff baseball live! There was only one small problem. The game was at 3:05 in Chicago and I had concert tickets to a Weezer/Foo Fighters show that evening in Champaign. I decided I was going to attempt to do both. The game took slight precedence over the concert so I would stay the whole game but we’re talking two of my favorite bands ever. I needed to be in two places at the same time.

It’s almost if the White Sox knew. They scored five runs in the first inning and my family, along with the rest of the stadium, went crazy. After going up 6-0, giving me the idea that maybe I would actually be comfortable with leaving early, the Red Sox scored two runs in the fourth. The White Sox responded right back with two more. In the sixth inning, they got one more across, and then Scott Podsednik – he of the ZERO homeruns in the regular season – hit a three-run shot to make it 12-2. A ten run lead in the sixth was enough for me to comfortably move on to the evening festivities. I believe I only missed one Weezer song (and whoever was the opener before them). It was the perfect day.

Game 2 wasn’t as easy. After Mark Buehrle gave the Red Sox a four run lead, the White Sox started a rally in the fifth inning getting two runs across. With a runner on first and one out, Juan Uribe hit your tailor-made, ground ball double play. Old pal and ex-White Sox Tony Graffanino was playing second and simply whiffed on the play. The inning was still alive and two batters later, Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run homerun to give the White Sox the lead. Buehrle stayed in through seven and Ozzie went with Bobby Jenks for six outs to close the game.

The White Sox were one game away from advancing, but this was the Boston Red Sox. It was less than 365 days prior that they came back from 3-0 in a best of SEVEN series. We did not let our guard down. No, we brought in the big dogs – Keystone Ice, that’s right. My friends and I decided that since Keystone Ice was black and silver that it was the “beer of the White Sox”. We weren’t being smart. Since Keystone comes in 30 packs and there were three of us, well, you can do the math. In our defense, it was 4 o’clock on a Friday. It was one of the least tasteful experiences of my life. However, what happened on our television made it all worth it.

The game is well known as the “El Duque” game. Coming in a game, up a run, with the bases loaded and no outs, Orlando Hernandez induced two popups and struck out Johnny Damon. I can’t sell his performance short but I also have to talk about the top of the ninth. Some may call this “small ball”; our manager called it “Ozzie ball”. AJ Pierzynski led off the ninth with a double and Joe Crede, mostly a power hitter, laid down a sacrifice bunt. Juan Uribe was up next, a fly ball hitter, who just needed a deep fly ball to add an insurance run. Instead, Uribe laid down a safety squeeze, a surprise to everyone but mostly Mike Timlin, the Red Sox pitcher. The White Sox took a two run lead and Jenks put them down in order in the bottom of the inning. The last out being a groundout to Iguchi – winding up in the glove of Paul Konerko.

ALDS: Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox Game 3

The White Sox ended the regular season winning five in a row and with the three game sweep of the Red Sox, they had now matched, yet again, their season high eight game win streak. Their opponent in the ALCS was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who had won the World Series three years prior. They went the full five games with the New York Yankees so the White Sox were certainly more rested. Once again, the eight game winning streak could not be extended though. The Angels won a close game to open the series. Game 2 was a close game as well. Mark Buehrle was a few feet away from a “Maddux” (complete game shutout, with less than 100 pitches) in the freakin ALCS! The only run Buehrle gave was a homerun to Robb Quinlan (remember him? Me neither). However, the White Sox had only scored one run as well heading into the bottom of the ninth.

The Sox started the inning meekly – a groundball to first and a strikeout. AJ Pierzynski came up to bat, worked a full count and then swung at a ball in the dirt – and yes, it did hit the dirt. After the tiniest of delays, catcher Josh Paul threw the ball in towards the mound and made his way to the dugout. AJ, noticing this, ran to first and was deemed safe by the home plate umpire. It’s a controversy that will stick in White Sox and Angels’ lore forever. Mike Scioscia still talks about it and said it never touched the dirt. Regardless, Pierzynski did the right thing. He did several of these types of things in his time with the White Sox and became one of my favorite members of the franchise’s history. I believe he is the smartest player I’ve ever watched, always taking advantage of the situation. These days, I love when he is in the booth as an analyst or a commentator and I look forward to him doing that or coaching in the future. Back to the game, there was now a runner on first, but still two outs.

ALCS: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago White Sox - Game 2

Enter Joe Crede. I called my dad to talk about the Pierzynski play and was still on with him when Crede stepped up to bat. Now, full disclosure, up to this point Joe Crede was my least favorite player on the Sox. I felt that he always popped up whenever the game was on the line. To be fair, he hit .252 on the season with 62 RBIs and an OPS of .756, not horrible, but I told my dad a pop-up was coming. He thought differently. My dad always liked him more than I did but he was cemented as a hero for that game he went to in September. Pablo Ozuna pinch-ran for AJ and stole second. Crede hit a drive that off the bat, you would have assumed was gone if it didn’t go foul. It did neither, but it was long enough to get the job done. The White Sox had evened the series.

The White Sox didn’t trail again until Game 5. This was possible due to first inning homeruns in each of Games 3 and 4 by ALCS MVP Paul Konerko. Konerko’s series numbers: 6/21 with two homers and seven RBIs. They also never trailed because of complete game, two run outings by Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia, making it three CGs in a row after Buehrle’s Game 2 performance. Jose Contreras would pitch game 5, the losing pitcher in Game 1 – even though he pitched very well. Like I mentioned, the Angels took the lead in the fifth inning of Game 5. My hero, Joe Crede, tied it up with a leadoff homer in the seventh. His next time up in the eighth – he hit a go-ahead RBI single off lock-down closer Francisco Rodriguez. Jose Contreras was brought out in the ninth and finished the game off with the last out being a ground ball to the glove of Paul Konerko. Four straight complete games – unprecedented and frankly, unrepeatable. Not bad for two reclamation projects, a “2”, and a “4 or 5”.

Los Angeles Angels v Chicago White Sox

The White Sox were headed to their first World Series since 1959. Needless to say, I wasn’t alive then. I was beyond ecstatic for my first Fall Classic fan experience.

The next day my friends and I got to sit and relax a bit and enjoy the NLCS. We were rooting for the Astros since the Cardinals had been in the World Series the previous year and they seemed like the better team. Houston had taken a commanding 3-1 lead and took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning of Game 5 with their rock-solid closer. Brad Lidge was 42 for 46 in save opportunities in the regular season. He was about as untouchable as closers got. Albert Pujols came to the plate, one out from elimination, and two men on base. I’m pretty sure what happened next is the largest homerun I’ve ever seen. I am not sure if it has landed yet. Even though the Astros came back and won Game 6, I think that moonshot was a big game-changer headed into the World Series. Lidge could be had.

At this point, my friends and I had decided to watch each game at a bar in Champaign called Legends. We couldn’t go to a bar named Murphy’s for a White Sox World Series, right? Besides, Legends treated us perfectly. We sat at the same table each night for each game in the Series. There weren’t many classes gone to that week (sorry Mom).World Series Game 1: Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox

Since there were six days between games, Ozzie went back to Jose Contreras for Game 1. It wasn’t a complete game this time, but the White Sox won with a tie-breaking homerun by guess who? Joe Crede. Bobby Jenks closed it out as this was the game where Ozzie called for Jenks from the pen giving the “I want the tall, wide guy” motions with his hands.

Game 2 turned up the nerves by about 1000%. The Astros and White Sox went back and forth as Mark Buehrle struggled and Andy Pettitte allowed a couple of runs early, but then settled down. In the bottom of the seventh, Juan Uribe hit a one out double. After Podsednik struck out, Iguchi drew a walk. Relief pitcher Dan Wheeler then hit Jermaine Dye with a pitch, loading the bases. Team captain Paul Konerko came up to the plate with the bases loaded. I will never forget the name Chad Qualls. He is still actually on the Astros in 2015, which is fairly amazing. Qualls was brought in to face Konerko. On the first pitch, Paulie hit one into the Chicago sky. The Sox took the lead 6-4.

World Series Game 2: Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox

Bobby Jenks couldn’t hold the lead this time. In the ninth inning, the Astros managed to tie it all up at six. In the bottom of the inning, Brad Lidge was brought in to keep the game tied. Scott Podsednik, again he of the ZERO regular season homeruns, walked it off against the perhaps now broken closer. White Sox up 2-0 heading to Houston.

MLB World Series 05: Astros at White Sox - Game 2

Game 3 upped the excitement and the anxiety further. Jon Garland spotted the Astros four runs with their ace, Roy Oswalt, on the mound. The Sox finally got to him in the fifth, started off by a homerun from the greatest, most clutch player ever, Joe Crede. Four singles and a 2 RBI double by AJ gave the Sox a 5-4 lead. Our two season-long most dependable relievers, Cliff Politte (2.00 ERA in 68 games, and surprisingly was out of baseball after 2006) and Neal Cotts (1.94 ERA in 69 games, then had a 5.17 ERA in 2006), combined to help give up the one-run lead in the eighth. In the ninth, El Duque performed some magic again, although he put himself in this particular situation. He stranded the bases loaded and we all got some, albeit free, but stressful baseball. In the tenth, the Astros stranded runners on first and second. The eleventh – they did the same. This was the high point of anxiety in the whole postseason in my opinion. Even with a two game lead, I knew this one was for the taking and a 3-0 lead would be basically insurmountable.

The only acquisition the White Sox made during the season was Geoff Blum, a utility infielder with a .250 career batting average. He wasn’t anywhere near what the fans were clamoring for when they wanted their team to “go for it” at the trade deadline. Ozzie had Blum handpicked. It didn’t necessarily pay off during the regular season. He played 30 games as a White Sox during the regular season and only had one at-bat thus far in the postseason before coming in during a double switch (crazy NL rules) in Game 3 of the World Series. Blum crushed a 2-0 pitch for a go-ahead homerun. You couldn’t make this up.

The Sox were able to add an insurance run and went into the bottom of the 14th with the two run lead. The bullpen was taxed at this point with Damaso Marte entering his second inning of work. Marte put two runners on with two outs and Ozzie felt that he had seen enough. He called to the bullpen – for Mark Buehrle. On only two days’ rest, Buehrle was brought in to close it out. It only took three pitches as he induced Adam Everett to pop out. At 1:20 AM on October 26, 2005, the White Sox had gained a 3-0 lead in the series.

There was a game later that day and a few hours later, my friends and I were back at Legends. The pitching matchup was Freddy Garcia vs Brandon Backe – probably each team’s fourth best starter. They wouldn’t let you believe it; each pitcher threw seven shutout innings. The Astros decided to bring in Brad Lidge in the eighth inning in a 0-0 game. Utility player Willie Harris, he of the .238 career average, pinch hit for Freddy Garcia and led off the inning with a single. It was time for Ozzie ball as Scott Podsednik bunted him to second and then Carl Everett was able to move him to third with a groundball to the right side. Jermaine Dye slapped a seeing-eye single back up the middle to knock Willie in to give the White Sox the lead. Dye probably won the World Series MVP from that hit, but just for the record – Jermaine Dye’s World Series line – 7/19, 1 HR, 4 RBI; Joe Crede’s – 5/17, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Crede was just as deserving in my eyes, but I understand why the voters went the way they did.

Bobby Jenks entered the ninth with the slimmest of margins to protect. The first batter made them slimmer with a leadoff single. The Astros also decided to play small ball and bunted him over to second. The next two plays cemented Juan Uribe’s legend status in Chicago. The first play was on a foul popup that was sent over near third base. Uribe dove into the stands, catching the ball. There is no reason this play isn’t as famous as the very similar Derek Jeter play, but I digress.

World Series Game 4: Chicago White Sox v Houston Astros

The next hitter hit the slowest of bouncers, which just made it over Jenks’s head. Uribe charged it and fired a strike at Paul Konerko. Game over. The ball ended in Konerko’s glove, just as it did on the division clinching game, the ALDS clinching game and the ALCS clinching game. The White Sox won their eighth game in a row – again. The White Sox ended their season just as they started the season, with a 1-0 victory. Perfect ending to a perfect season.

On the way to Legends that evening before the game, my friend and I discussed buying cigars if there was a potential celebration that night. Our worry was the impending jinx that we may be putting on our team if we were to do so.

mesox

We didn’t jinx them.

Ten years later, I still have the voicemail from my mother from that night (I missed her call during my own victory celebration). I have saved it this long because that’s what the best part of this whole championship thing was – celebrating it with my family and friends. My family and I went to the parade together a few days later for yet another memory. One of the best things I learned from having your team win a championship, is it’s only as great of a memory because of the people you shared it with. As I was brainstorming for this article, I reminisced with several people about these times we shared. It’s almost as fun re-living it as going through it the first time – and far less stressful.

The other main thing this all taught me is in sports, there is always a fair amount of luck. Whether you have the most perfect team or a team prognosticated to end up fourth in their division, a fair amount of good fortune needs to occur for you to reach your goal. I guess that’s what makes the whole thing that much more fun. It’s about what you do with that luck and taking every opportunity you can get to the fullest. The 2005 White Sox did just that and it was one of the most fun rides I’ve ever had.

Oh yeah, Don’t Stop Believin!

***Thank you if you took the time to read through my personal story of the 2005 White Sox championship on the tenth anniversary. I feel like I have spent the past ten years working on this piece and I am going to be happy to have it ten years from now. I want to dedicate it to two people – one who won’t be able to read it for a few years and one who will never read it in this physical world. I love you both. Go Sox!***

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