This is our national holiday for White Sox fans. On Oct. 26, 2005, all of our years of faith and frustration finally were rewarded when the Sox closed out their four-game sweep of Houston.
It was a moment we never expected to see in our lifetimes. And it was an intensely personal moment for me.
The White Sox dream year coincided with my sons, Matt, then 10, and Sam, then 8, finally getting into sports. And it happened overnight. They went from watching “Spongebob” to “SportsCenter.”
During Game 4, I was supposed to report on John Rooney’s radio call for the Chicago Tribune. As the game neared its end, I took my recorder and went to another room. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I didn’t get far enough away. When Paul Konerko collected the final out, my kids erupted. When I turned on my recorder, all I heard was Matt and Sam screaming over Rooney’s call. Safe to say, it has become a cherished piece of audio.
After filing my story, I then called my father, Jerry, who was living in Sarasota at the time. Despite failing health, he insisted on coming up for Games 1 and 2 in Chicago. It wasn’t easy, but he made it. They turned out to be the last Sox games this true diehard Sox fan ever saw in person. There’s something poetic in that.
When Dad picked up the phone after Game 4, he didn’t say hello. “Can you believe it? Can you believe it?” he said.
In that instant, I thought of all those years of going to Sox games together; complaining about players we hated; lamenting over victories that evaporated in the ninth inning; and the too few many cheers. All of those years with the White Sox deepening a bond that still endures even though Dad passed away in 2007.
After all those years, we finally had our ultimate moment.
“Believe it, Dad,” I said.