Skip to comments.Chicago celebrates White Sox's World Series victory
Posted on 10/28/2005 2:16:32 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson
CHICAGO (AP) -- The party was in full swing.
Two days after the White Sox swept Houston for their first World Series title since 1917, the team hit Chicago's streets Friday for a ticker-tape parade and rally.
Double-decker buses filled with players, coaches and their families left U.S. Cellular Field as hundreds of fans cheered. And they kept cheering all the way to the Loop for a celebration and a parade. There, one after another, the players and team officials took turns thanking the fans.
``Chicago, second city no more,'' said Paul Konerko, the first baseman who brought team owner Jerry Reinsdorf to tears when he presented him the ball he caught for the last out of the World Series.
``Getting this ball from Paul Konerko is the most emotional moment of my life,'' Reinsdorf said.
One of the first to speak was Frank Thomas, for years the team's best player, but who missed much of the season and all of the playoffs with an injury.
``Chicago should really appreciate this and understand what this is all about,'' said Thomas, who was handed the World Series trophy by general manager Kenny Williams. ``This is the pinnacle.''
Mayor Richard Daley, a lifelong White Sox fan, clearly agreed.
``I am pleased to say 2005 world champs, the Chicago White Sox,'' he shouted to the crowd.
The fans, many of whom had waited for hours and were streaming into downtown even as the players were appearing on the ``Oprah Winfrey Show,'' roared with every player introduction. Tens of thousands of fans, sporting black, white and silver White Sox hats, jerseys and jackets, packed the downtown area.
Many waved team flags, black and white balloons, white socks, their faces painted black and white. Others clamored onto light poles and utility boxes for a better view of the ceremony, while dozens stood perched on the oversized windowsills of City Hall along the parade route.
Children with faces painted black and white stood shoulder to shoulder with officer workers in suits and ties, straining for a glimpse of the players.
``We all woke up at 6 a.m. and we painted our faces and we came down here,'' said Jimmy Aguayo, 16, of Steamwood, who skipped school with four friends to attend the rally. ``We got a spot against the rail, we saw our favorite players, we took pictures and it was just fantastic.''
Across the Chicago River, hundreds of fans lined the top level of a parking garage for a view. Above the crowd, office workers looked on from high rises, some pressing White Sox signs to their windows. And above them, F-16s flew over as part of the tribute to the team.
Andy Wilson, like many of the tens of thousands who turned downtown into a giant block party, was playing hooky from work to take part in a celebration of a championship that he still doesn't quite believe really happened.
Exhausted from staying up late into the night to watch the games on television -- something that didn't even exist the last time the White Sox won the World Series -- Wilson said it may not be until this winter when the White Sox victory sinks in.
``When I'm at a bar enjoying a beer, saying 'our world champion Chicago White Sox,' that's when it's really going to hit me.''
It hadn't quite sunk in for Williams, either.
``It's really kind of overwhelming,'' he said before the team left U.S. Cellular Field for the Loop.
Steve Perry, who co-wrote the song the White Sox took as their theme, ``Don't Stop Believin,'' was also on hand and led the team in a rendition of the song.
``They've always believed,'' Perry said.
Konerko talked about how many didn't believe the team could do what it did. He thought about how the players might be able to win over doubters.
``The only thing I could come up with is maybe we'll have to do this one more time next year,'' he said.
ONE CHICAGO! CHICAGO WON!
Congratulations, White Sox.
Congrats, indeed. You guys earned that trophy.
And with that, the 2006 MLB season came to a close.
Any incidents of random gunfire into the air?
The closest we could get to the parade was about a block away, on Clark and Wacker. Those pictures don't even begin to tell the story.
There were crowds lined up all along the route from Cellular One Field through Bridgeport and Chinatown to downtown.
In that picture on the top left, that's me with the black shirt on.
Oh come on, you know the Cubs fans are feeling like crap today knowing that next year when they play the Sox, they'll be hearing chants of "1908!" ad nauseum.
Did any Cubs fans show up to FREEP the parade?
The sports store that charged me $29.95 for a Sox cap ten days ago was empty of customers today, which made me laugh. The owner is probably on the Riviera as we speak.
I love this toddlin' town.
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