Last night--after seven innings without a hit and nine innings of nail-biting nervousness on my part--the White Sox won the World Series. They swept the Houston Astros in four games. I was thrilled.
Since I'm from Boston, and am a fairly vociferous Red Sox fan with an impressive collection of t-shirts and baseball caps, this might not make a lot of sense. But hear me out.
Last year during the World Series between the Red Sox and the Cardinals, my father was in a hospital bed. He was dying-- and he was wearing a Red Sox button on his pyjamas.
Daddy was born in Boston in 1918, the last year the Red Sox had won the World Series. He died on Monday, October 26, a couple of days before they won the World Series for the first time in 86 years.
At his memorial, my brothers and sisters decorated lots of tables with pictures and memorabilia from Daddy's life--his school years, his music, his service in WWII, his business, his travels. And there was a table with Red Sox memorabilia--especially the magazine covers that said 1918-2004.
During the lead-up to the final White Sox win, the Chicago Tribune was full of stories about long-time die-hard Sox fans. On the South Side of Chicago, the florists are selling White-Sox-themed wreaths, and people are hanging them on the tombstones of their fathers or grandfathers who were devoted White Sox fans.
I wouldn't necessarily want to do that--but I can sure understand the impulse. Because so many of us are thinking "If only Daddy were here to see this."
So I'm celebrating a White Sox World Championship for the City of Chicago. For the American League. For the amazing players I've been watching. For the fans who never lost hope. And most especially, for the fans who never had the chance to see it happen.