By Matt Dewoskin
My favorite baseball memory is fairly forgettable to the majority of baseball fans, but it’s one of the most important in the history of team, my beloved Chicago White Sox.
My dad and I plunked down for a partial season ticket plan in 2005. It was our first time doing anything like this. We had been to slightly more than a handful of games together, but we never made a full-season commitment to a baseball team like this before.
Thanks to picking the perfect season for the White Sox, we were able to have the first crack at playoff tickets. Our package entitled us all the opening round games, a pair for the ALCS and a pair for the World Series. The first round was a blur, the ALCS was bizarre, but the World Series was a completely different experience. The idea of the White Sox, a team that had been good enough to fail, in the World Series was a little silly to hardcore fans. Especially the ‘05 team. This was a team without a household name as a star. Most casual baseball fans probably couldn’t name someone on the roster than Ozzie Guillen and he wasn’t playing.
The weather was absolutely miserable. It wasn’t just a normal, cold Chicago October. It was raining. Not heavy drops, but an annoying drizzle that ensured that there wouldn’t be any warmth to be found at our seats. There was also no way that FOX was possibly going to allow this game to be canceled. Canceling a national broadcast on a Sunday night would have required a monsoon, hurricane or locusts falling from the sky. This game was being played and I was going to sit in the cold for three hours.
Paul Konerko put the Sox ahead with a grand slam (on the first pitch! I’ve seen almost every at bat Paulie has had and he had never swung at the first pitch he saw. Ever) The White Sox actually had a lead in the late innings…until Bobby Jenks started giving up walks and line drives and Astros managed to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Dad and I were staring at the prospect of extra innings…in this crappy weather. The White Sox could never make it easy on us. Not in ‘83 with an unbelievably likeable team. Not in ‘93 with one of the most talented teams I’ve ever seen. Not in 2000 with a team of young, exciting players. Not in ‘05 with this…group.
Then it happened. The White Sox made it easy on us. A possibly herniated Scott Podsednik stepped to the plate and hit a fly ball to right/center. It kept going. And going. And going. And it landed a few rows back. Homerun. Scotty Pods had been playing hurt for months, but he managed to hit one out to walk-off the Astros and end one of the coldest, longest evenings of my life.
The crowd didn’t cheer right away. There was an audible hiss that was the sound of 40,000 people gasping at the same time. I’ll never forget the look of shock on my father’s face. I’ve never seen him that surprised before and I haven’t seen it since. I don’t remember what we said or what we did after, but I do remember what my dad looked like. For that reason….and the White Sox winning a World Series game with a walk-off homer, this is my favorite baseball memory. I’m probably going to forget a lot of things in my life. I’ll probably forget how to spell ‘Podsednik’. I’ll probably forget the final score. I doubt I’ll ever forget the gobsmacked shock that was on my dad’s face that night.
#Blogathon Guest Post
This post was contributed by a guest for our #Blogathon. You can find more information about the author within the actual post. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed in our effort to raise money for The V Foundation.