GREAT DAY AT THE CELL

Some time over this three game home stand against the LA Angels of Anaheim, I got a cold, with a wicked cough, and some nasty stuff in my lungs. Still I knew Sunday could be the day that Jim Thome would hit his 500th home run of his career, something never accomplished by a player wearing a White Sox uniform. I liken it to when Tom Seaver won his 300th game as a member of the Pale Hose in 1985.

It was Jim Thome Bobblehead Day, so I got on the L at 10:10 AM, but didn’t arrive at the Cell till two hours later, “surprise” there were delays on the Red Line. I chugged down a purple Gatorade, settled in along with my bobblehead, and my Sox friends 35 rows behind home plate. After saying hello to one of Scot Shields’ family, 21 were in attendance, she told me that Scot didn’t miss the tag on a disputed call from the night before, it was almost time to play ball. But not before saying hello to the always smiling Nancy Faust. Even said hello to Jermaine Dye’s Dad as he was picking up his daily bag of caramel corn/cheesey popcorn mix.

With Mark Buehrle toeing the rubber, eight good White Sox fan friends (Tade, Al, Anthony, Dan, Dick, Bea, & Caramel Corn Mike and his brother Scott) in attendance, it was a perfect day for Thome’s 500th, Jim’s picture was even on the day’s tickets.

The White Sox couldn’t get their offense going, while the Halos took advantage of the Sox bullpen to build up a 7-1 lead. Alot of the fans stuck around hoping to see Jimmy’s Big Fly and then in the bottom of the 7th Chicago jumped back into the game 7-5, tied it seven up in the bottom of the 8th. After the 7th the group by Nancy counted off and knew Jim would bat in the bottom of the 9th. Tade said, “Wouldn’t be cool if it was a walkoff!”

After Darin Erstad leadoff the bottom of the 9th with a single against his old mates, Jim Thome drove one over the left centerfield wall to end the game. Everybody was truly happy for Thome, he’s such a great guy, a local kid from Peoria, who made good. The fans went crazy cheering as Thome hugged his father, wife with tears in her eyes, and several members of his family, before being hoisted onto Jenks & Dye’s shoulders.

This is what baseball is all about! Even Bubba had to smile…

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