Tony celled me up at the Cell Tuesday night to say, he was coming to town from Florida. He comes to town about once every five years, never in the summertime. We’ve been friends ever since he lived across the alley from me in Chicago when we were kids. Playing wiffleball was our bond then, along with playing APBA Baseball, Strat-O-Matic Baseball. He’s cool, even though he’s always been a Cub fan, and my heart has always been on the Southside. Tony used to wait for his heroes to drive down Berteau from Wrigley on their way to a local steak joint, stop signs provided the perfect autograph opportunity.

He got off work early enough Wednesday to make it to my house from O’Hare in time for us to grab some Thai, and head out to the Cell. It was Navy Night at the Cell, there was a fly-over as I was buying our tix, we quickly entered the ballpark, and took our spot behind the plate. It soon became obvious there were a couple of seats just in front of where we stand, so we put our butts down, had no idea how long it would be.

KC DH Miguel Olivo homered off John Danks in the second inning to open the scoring, then tacked on another when Mark Teahen knocked one over the wall in the 4th, 2-0 Royals. But Jim Thome got ahold of one with a runner aboard in the bottom of four to even it up at two.

I told Al & his wife (friends of Dick & Bea, not Al from Al & Anthony, father/son fame) the Sox were gonna score twice in the 5th. It looked like my prediction had a good shot, especially after Joe Crede ripped one out. Then Alexei Ramirez walked, with one out A.J. Pierzynski singled, and Carlos Quentin hit a hard grounder to SS Esteban German that handcuffed him. German then chased the ball into short rightfield, Ramirez hustled all the way in from 2nd, beating the throw home. However “safe” was never ruled and Alexei was ruled out on appeal. Paul Konerko popped out with 2nd & 3rd with two outs to mess up my prediction of two runs.

The White Sox bullpen did the job. Nick Massett looked sharp coming on in relief of the starter to get out of a jam, followed by Matt Thornton, & Scott Linebrink. That brought on Bobby Jenks to close it out, I stood up to root him on, which was a major mistake. John Buck & pinch hitter Alberto Callaspo singled to open the 9th, Joey Gathright was brought on to run for Callaspo, Esteban German two-strike bunted the runners up, and David DeJesus delivered with a game tying two RBI single. Jenks settled down and worked a scoreless frame after spitting out the lead. I learned a lesson, not to get up and ready to bolt the park before the 3rd out is made.

Royals relievers Ramirez, Soria, & Yabuta each worked two scoreless innings, while Boone Logan & Octavio Dotel worked five innings without allowing a run. A fan stood up and yelled, “Not Boone Logan” to Ozzie Guillen, when Guillen signaled for his young southpaw. But the pen did the job. There were some defensive gems, Joe Crede grabbed a shot barehanded, while playing, might’ve injured his thumb, but threw out the batter, before having to leave the game to have his thumb examined. Alexei Ramirez, did he even use gloves growing up in Cuba? Alexei made five barehanded plays in the game. Not to be out done, KC’s Alex Gordon dove over the tarp down the leftfield line to turn a foulball into an out.

Rain fell, rain stopped, Hot Chocolate Jackie (selling Crackerjack & whips) went home, Caramel Corn Mike cleaned up his stand, the pops Terry brought us were all gone, and Roland & his four friends made their way from their rightfield seats to join us behind the plate, as the game entered the 15th inning, after a second 7th inning stretch in the bottom of the 14th inning.

The White Sox were down to newly re-acquired Esteban Loaiza, while the Royals were forced to bring on Jimmy Gobble. Gobble walked Carlos Quentin and up stepped Paul Konerko. Tony exclaimed, “Paulie’s hitting .198. He weighs more than that!” A few seconds later everybody was chanting, “PAULIE PAULIE PAULIE”, as the ball disappeared into the night to left, 6-4 WHITE SOX WINNER, YES!!!


  1. Sox fans love their Paulie. I remember that from my few visits to the Cell.

    Go Crede! (don’t get hurt)

  2. Teddy,

    One hell of a game, I can’t thank you enough, I had a smashing time.
    Hey Thanx I had my 15 min of fame cool, Nick said he saw you briefly on TV when they were panning the crowd.
    Thanx Bro

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