September 17, 2021

We’re Back (At Last)

September 18, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

We’re Back

White Sox 4, All You Assholes Who Don’t Like The White Sox, 3

September 17, 2020

Two thousand eight. The world has changed a bit since then. Two thousand eight was the last time the Chicago White Sox made the playoffs and now they’re finally back, braving into the postseason based upon a regular season and year unlike any other.

The Sox clinched their first playoff berth in twelve years thanks to Thursday’s come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins at an empty Guaranteed Rate Field on Chicago’s South Side. The Sox’ rally was led by a man who might take home an American League MVP award this year that will be no less meaningful coming after just five dozen games, 1st baseman Jose Abreu.

The 33-year-old Abreu, known more for his power than his speed, did something MVP-esque in the 7th inning, legging out a two-out infield hit that scored pinch runner Jarrod Dyson from third to knot the score 3-3.

It was a pump-your-fist moment in a head-scratching season.

Another possible future MVP, and certainly a someday All-Star, leftfielder Eloy Jimenez, stepped up next and delivered a run-scoring double to give the Medias Blancas what would be the decisive run.

Pump that fist again and shout into the crisp September air, the White Sox are back, baby.

The Sox’ silent victory came 37 years to the day after one of the loudest moments in South Side history, when the White Sox topped the Seattle Mariners, 4-3 at Old Comiskey Park to win the AL West and enter the postseason for the first time since 1959. That team fell short in the playoffs but we knew they’d be back the next year.

They weren’t, though, and true Chicago baseball fans had to wait another ten years for a trip to October.

The Sox lost in the playoffs in 1993 as well, and fell again in 2000 before finally, as we gloriously recall, winning it all in 2005. Did that really happen? We still have the scars of joy to prove it.

This year’s playoff-bound White Sox are different from all those others, though, because they truly feel built to last. They are not just constructed; but crafted. They’re not playing to win; they’re aiming for a legacy.

In 120 years of White Sox baseball, they have never reached the playoffs two years in a row. That unhappy math might be half-way to being over.

But let’s not look too far ahead or lament too strongly about what’s left behind. Let’s enjoy a quiet Thursday afternoon at 35th and Shields in front of dozens of cardboard cutouts and a team that makes us pump our fists for pride and smile in appreciation knowing that strange years can bring wonderful endings.

And beautiful beginnings. –TK

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