October 26th, 2005. Juan Uribe streaked accross the field toward a high bouncing grounder just over Bobby Jenks' head. A snap throw to Konerko.... pop the champagne.
Boy did I ever. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the greatest day of my life. Sad really, that it trumps the day I lost my virginity. That it trumps my first beer or my 21st birthday. It trumps the day I first took a step. But that day became a beacon of hope to the rest of my life. It proved that no matter what life throws at you everything can work out in the end. I argued for twenty one years with Cubs fans about who suffers more, us or them. I pointed out, they'd won more series, they'd been to more series. They were loved world wide. And most prominently I argued, at least they had an identity. They were the lovable losers. The Red Sox were the Cursed ones. But the White Sox 86 year drought? Nearly never talked about. That was the pain that I carried for all of my short life.
That is until, that fateful day last year, when it all changed. I had had the championship experience with the bulls, six times in fact. But for me that was never a question of if, just when and how. Come on, who could beat Jordan? With the White Sox, my whole life, talking with elder Sox fans, I always wondered if. IF they could make it the whole way. And I'll be honest, years of bitterness, the white flag trade, letting go of Ventura, the 1993 playoffs, the strike shortened year when we were the team to beat, all that had made me skeptical. They seemed to let me down. In 2000 I sat in the stands and watched them swept by the wild card Mariners. Ouch. And so they couldn't do it to me again, I told everyone they would lose the first round to Boston.
It took three games for me to realize what was going on. By the time the ALCS rolled around, I refused to make predictions. "We'll see what happens." I'd say. Game one, sad. Game two, sitting in the upper deck, more confused than everyone at home, Something lit up. With A.J. running to first with three outs, thats when I knew what was happening. Three games later, I'm jumping up and down celebrating a world series birth. After a whole night of watching game three, in the wee hours of the morning on October 26th 2005, Geoff Blum ended all of my fear and doubt. I cried that morning, I'll admit it. After that home run I knew we were the champs. Then I celebrated that night.
But it's so fast gone. The Tigers are the new cinderella darlings. The Cardinals are trying to prove that the National League is worth something. And the south siders are at home. And their fans can only remember that day. October 26th 2005. I'll remember it forever. If I have my way I'll be married that day. I'll find a way to make sure that all of my children are born on that day. Just so that my wife and my kids won't feel like second fiddles when I tell them that the greatest day of my life was October 26th.