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Meet the Players: Ashley Sanders

Research project: Ms. Sanders swears she was not trying to get any hints on future #SoxMath categories during the taking of this photo.

Our growing staff increases by one today, with the debut of Ashley Sanders to South Side Sox. There is no truth to the rumor that South Side Sox is slowly absorbing all the #SoxMath ringers out there, but at the same time, I wouldn’t line up against Ashley and Joe Resis during the trivia portion of the next SSS Methup. Oh, and she’s a jock, too, so best you not line up against her during the Wiffleball portion of the next SSS Methup.

Let’s just talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand: Stay on Ashley’s good side. Remind me to ask her how one “Pierzynskis up” a badminton game.

And finally, as good a sig as any for Ashley, as she breaks into SSS: I came for the onesie.

Ashley, like the rest of us a sharp and diehard White Sox fan, tweets at @Ashley22Sanders. Give her a warm welcome and enjoy her work; she’s on the gamethread/recap tonight!

Hometown Southwest Chicago suburbs

White Sox fan since Birth (shoutout to Mom for being my biggest White Sox inspiration!)

First White Sox memory When I was a couple years old, I came across a baseball in my older brother’s room. He told me that Paul Konerko had tossed it to him, and seeing that baseball sparked a passion and interest that became much bigger than me.

Favorite White Sox memory On Sept. 1, 2018, Guaranteed Rate Field had the infamous White Sox onesie giveaway. My stepdad and I had purchased tickets a few weeks before the game, so when we arrived at the stadium, I was surprised when we parked in a different lot and made our way to the media entrance. Once inside, we grabbed our name tags and made our way to the field to watch batting practice! Unfortunately, there wasn’t any batting practice that Saturday. However, a few pitchers were playing catch, and Daryl Boston was out and chatting.

As I’m watching the players warm up, I turn and see the one and only Jason Benetti has come out from behind home plate and made his way over to where I was standing by the White Sox dugout. I have won #SoxMath several times during the past three years and was the only female in the first annual #SoxMath semifinals in 2018, so my stepdad, Joe, was able to arrange a meetup with Jason. I had won a week or two prior, so I was able to receive my prize in person (an Authentic Fan fanny pack). But better than that, I had a full conversation with Jason. We took a couple of pictures, and I was in awe at how incredibly genuine and hilarious Jason is as a person. I have idolized Jason ever since he came onto the White Sox scene, and I am incredibly grateful for being able to meet him. As we enter the fourth year of the Jason Benetti broadcaster and #SoxMath era, I am thrilled to see where it continues to head. As the Spring Training 2019 #SoxMath champ and with two wins this April, I know I aspire to meet Jason again, but at SoxFest 2020 — as a competitor in the #SoxMath finals.

After Jason, Joe, and I said our farewells, Joe went to grab the onesies at the gates, and I stayed on the field to take in the sights before I was asked to leave. However, as if this memory could not have been any better, I heard Daryl yell my name from the dugout. Once I turned to look at him, he motioned for me to meet him. When I greeted him at the dugout, and to my utter surprise, he took me under the dugout and dropped me off at the underground batting cage with Todd Steverson. There, I was able to watch Nicky Delmonico, Daniel Palka, Adam Engel, and Kevan Smith take a few swings all while picking Steverson’s brain about the players and batting.

During our conversation, Steverson asked who my favorite player is, and I responded with the goofy Yolmer Sánchez. To my surprise once again, he called for Yolmer to come down and meet me. Yolmer and I hugged, chatted, and took a few pictures. It was a dream come true.

Before I knew it, the boys were done in the batting cage, and it was time to make my exit. I made sure to share my gratitude to Steverson and Boston, and I made my way up to the dugout to greet my stepdad in the stands. After he snapped a picture of me leaning on the dugout railing, I hopped over the stands and told him all about it. This was a generous act put together by Daryl Boston himself, and I will forever be grateful.

I came for the onesie, and I left with the greatest of memories.

Favorite White Sox player Without a doubt, it is Yolmer Sánchez. His infectious personality, love for the game, and baseball IQ is second to none. He is a joy to watch, he always signs before games, and he’s the player that is needed for a World Series team. A.J. Pierzynski is a close second because my coach always called me the Pierzynski of my badminton team, and I took that compliment to heart.

Next White Sox statue It is only a matter of time before Mark Buehrle gets his White Sox statue.

Next White Sox retired number Jose Abreu’s No. 79 if he’s a White Sox for his whole career.

Go-to concession food at Sox Park Ice cream. Rain, snow, or a hot, sunny day, the answer will always be ice cream.

Favorite baseball movie Angels in the Outfield. Baseball is more than a game. It is a way of life, and it can bring people together in unexpected ways.

South Side Sox on the field I would be captain of the infield: shortstop. Although, I wouldn’t mind playing center.

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. True