- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2005

The Chicago White Sox may have finally put to bed the old joke of a businessman who, entertaining clients from out of town, calls up the White Sox ticket office and reserves plush box seats for himself and his dozen clients. Before he hangs up, he asks the ticket agent what time the game starts. “Well,” the agent replies, “what time can you get here?”

For much of the season, the success of the White Sox wasn’t sufficient to shed this stigma. But shed it they finally did — bringing an atmosphere of renewed vigor and excitement to the South Side and tickets with price tags in the thousands. Although they were plagued throughout the season by doubts and questions about their lack of playoff experience, the Sox battled on, embarrassing Boston, besting the Angels and sweeping the Astros.

The year after the Red Sox exorcised Boston’s World Series curse, which dated back to 1918, the White Sox brought a championship back to Chicago, a feat last accomplished in 1917. Both teams won in convincing fashion — sweeping the World Series after winning four straight in the AL Division series. The two teams share the record for longest postseason winning streak. The White Sox were an impressive 11-1 in the playoffs and swept the World Series — a first for the franchise.

The White Sox are only the fifth team in major-league history to move into the lead on opening day and maintain that position through October, and only the third team to go wire-to-wire and sweep the World Series (this honor puts the 2005 White Sox in the company of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds and the legendary 1927 New York Yankees).

And the team, which took over first place on opening day, saw their lead slip away to a meagre one and one-half games down the stretch going into the playoffs. The White Sox recovered from their late-season slide, however, and showed that they could play solid baseball when it mattered most. “Eighty-eight years is a long time and you’re playing with that weight on your shoulders,” first baseman Paul Konerko said, “Ever since we beat Boston in the Division Series, we knew it was there. If we didn’t go on and win it all, it would be just another year you failed.” You’ve just got to believe, as the saying goes.

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