October 14, 2005
It is 6 p.m. on a Friday night, and I am on the West Side of Chicago attending a grant information session for a client. In my defense, I scheduled this six weeks ago. And I can’t skip it, because they take attendance, and if you don’t show up, you don’t get to apply for the grant.
So. Here I am, ninety minutes before Game 3 of the ALCS. I am ready to shout at people during the Q&A if they go on too long. [Note from the future: Just a reminder that this is pre-smart phones.]
The host arrives at the podium and says, “I promise we won’t take up too much of your time. I believe there is a White Sox game this evening.”
I get to my car at 7:35. Shortly thereafter, the Sox are up 3-0.
Jon Garland throws a complete game, giving up only four hits and two runs, the latter when the Sox were already up 5-0. Any concern about the Sox being distracted by the events of Game 2 are out the window.
October 15, 2005
I’m in Dwight watching Game 4 with Mom and Dad. A couple of years ago, Dad installed a TV outside on the patio, even building a little shed around it to protect it from the elements. It is another night game, crisp autumn weather, and Dad has the fire pit going. Now this is the way to watch baseball.
Mom has fashioned some home-made shakers: two pencils with black and silver curly ribbons taped to the end. She has a pom pom routine to “Let’s Go Go-Go White Sox.”
My parents are nuts.
Another Paul Konerko home run, another 3-0 lead at the end of the first.
Joe Crede is putting on a clinic at third.
Another complete game, this one by Freddy Garcia, and the White Sox are one win away from the World Series.
October 16, 2005
Back and forth this goes, and I am pacing the floor of the neighborhood bar around the corner from my apartment. The TV is really large [note from the future: even by today’s standards], and I can see every pore on Paul Byrd’s face.
Up 1-0 after two, tied 1-1 after three. Up 2-1, down 3-2 after five. Tied 3-3 after seven, then a Joe Crede single puts them up 4-3 in the eighth. Jose Contreras retires the final 12 Angels batters. I barely notice the fact that it’s another complete game as a hug a few strangers.
“You know, Laura,” my father says later, after I get home and call him, “I don’t care what happens now. I’m just happy they won the pennant.”
Dad grew up in the era of just two leagues, no divisions. Winning the pennant was a big deal. He remembers in 1959, when the Sox clinched, my grandfather firing a couple rounds of the shotgun into the corn field behind their house in celebration.