"Tying run at second, two out, Palmeiro, over the head of Jenks, Uribe charges, throws - OUT AND THE WHITE SOX HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES!"
- Joe Buck, Final out call of the 2005 World Series
Nine years ago today, on my 15th birthday, that happened. And I'll be damned if that's not the best birthday gift I ever got, or ever will get. I was a young girl, who had recently fallen in love with baseball after my life being almost completely devoid of it for many years, and I took this as a sign, all things pointed towards the rest of my life being about this great game we love. I was all in, I was not only officially a baseball lifer but just like my grandpa and my whole family before me, I was a White Sox lifer.
There's nothing like the magic of postseason baseball, especially when it's the first time you're witnessing your team play in October. That's an experience that everyone remembers, watching their team play in the Fall Classic for the first time as a kid, and if you're lucky enough like I was - win the World Series.
I'm probably being biased when I say that was my dream team, but they really are. In my eyes, as a romantic, there will never be another White Sox team that I will love and feel were so perfect as the 2005 team. Scott Podsednik, Aaron Rowand, Jermaine Dye, Joe Crede, Juan Uribe, Tadahito Iguchi, Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, and the superhuman team of pitchers that pitched four complete games in a row in the World Series, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras, plus the rest of the incredible roster, rotation and bullpen - which had none other than "Big Bad" Bobby Jenks. Could you dream up anything better? I sure couldn't.
The memorable moments and feeling of pure magic you felt during those four nights was not something that can be described, you just have to experience and remember it. I hope every baseball fan does in their lifetime. We had it all - a World Series lead-changing-game-two-grand-slam, that would forever be branded into the minds and hearts of White Sox fans everywhere, a bottom of the 9th walk off home run, belted by a guy who hadn't hit one out all season, four complete games pitched in a row, a shortstop diving into the stands of a visiting ballpark and somehow making the catch for an out, Bobby Jenks 99MPH heaters in a year when he recorded 102mph, and that's not even everything. You name it - we had it in 2005.
A few people are comparing the momentum of this Kansas City Royals team to the 2005 White Sox on their spectacular tear, and I have to admit - I feel a similar affinity to these Royals. They've given us one of the most exciting postseasons I've watched in the last 9 years, and their desire to win is shown every night on the field, much like it was with the 2005 White Sox. Unfortunately, after last night's somewhat devastating loss to the Giants, there will not be another World Series won on my birthday, at least not yet.
So here I am, 9 years later, neck deep in the beloved life of a baseball and White Sox fan, watching highlight reels and pointing out how crappy the broadcast quality was, how Brad Ausmus who played for the Astros in the 2005 World Series is now a MLB manager, how outdated the World Series logo looks, and thinking to myself "Yeah, because this is no longer "a few years ago" anymore." This is a timeline to me. It takes me back to my early roots in baseball, and makes me remember how I started loving this game. Did I ever expect when a family friend started taking me to White Sox games and buying me Scott Podsednik shirts and explaining to me what a "bag" is, that this would happen so quickly? Never. It was a dream come true. I hope for many more special World Series in our lifetime, but hope that none will ever be as special as this one was. Here's to many more White Sox seasons ahead, we may have shed the last player of the World Series team this past year, but that just means it's the start of a new chapter for the White Sox.
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