A Memory of March

I saw the Sox from the 3rd row in Spring Training and got Ozzie to sign a ball...

  March 18, 2005, Tucson, AZ.  We were sitting in the third row behind homeplate, just a hair to the first-base side at Tucson Electric Park.  It was a typically beautiful Tucson day-- pyrex blue sky and warm.  Ozzie Guillen took up a spot on a folding chair right in front of us, and the White Sox took on the Cubs.  

The stadium was packed with Cubs fans, although I was surprised to see a fair amount of Sox gear.  It's always a hoot to see the pale-faced Chicagoans melting in the Arizona sun...always enjoyable to see a Cubs fan with a sunburn to match that annoying red "C"...

Between innings I talked the ballboy into giving me a ball, and my fiancee batted her eyelashes at Ozzie.  He leaned back in his folding chair and signed the rawhide.  Hell, I thought, if the Sox do something this year, I'll have a pretty nice souvenir.

Looking back, the game was a pretty good sign of things to come.  Iguchi, Everett, Rowand, and Uribe collected a couple of hits apiece and El Duque was touched for 5 runs.  They did beat the Cubs 11-9, but I have to admit, I did not leave the park that day thinking that Sox would go on the run they were about to go on.

As luck and karma would have it,  a couple of weeks after the game, my hyperactive husky got a hold of the basebaall Ozzie signed for mee.  Within minutes, he had mercilessly chewed it into a pulpy mess.  All you can make out on it now is a faint trace of the number "13."  

But that is appropriate to the superstitious tao of baseball.  Were the ball still in mint condition, there is no way they'd be leading the division by 9.5 games on September 6.  The Twins wold be on top, the Sox would be imploding, and I would be stuck resenting the stupid souvenir.  As it is, all things are in balance...


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