After completing their sweep of the Houston Astros on October 26, 2005, the White Sox returned home to Chicago the following morning and were greeted by hundreds of fans at Midway Airport. That was merely a taste of the celebration to come the following day.
Mayor Richard Daley, a long-time White Sox fan, and the rest of the city of Chicago organized a ticker-tape, double-decker bus victory parade. The route began at U.S. Cellular Field and, after winding through a few South Side neighborhoods, headed north to downtown, where the "Parade of Champions" began outside the Board of Trade at Jackson and LaSalle.
20,000 pounds of confetti fell on the parade route as the team made its way to Wacker and LaSalle for the victory rally. Estimates of the number of people who attended some part of the parade and rally approached 2 million (although, with time, it seems to have inflated to 2.5 million). Whatever the number, it was a lot.
At the rally, all the usual suspects took the opportunity to thank the fans and savor the city's first World Series win in almost 90 years. While there were many memorable moments, the one that has always stuck in my mind is Paul Konerko giving Jerry Reinsdorf the ball he caught for the final out of Game Four.
The White Sox owner had been the target of lots of criticism during his 20+ years leading the ownership group - much of it well-deserved. But, particularly as Reinsdorf aged, it was clear that, despite six championships with his other team, the Chicago Bulls, he wanted a World Series more than anything else. When he told the crowd "Getting this ball from Paul Konerko is the most emotional moment of my life," he meant it. And his joy was a reflection of the joy of White Sox fans everywhere.