CHICAGO – The accomplishment might have slipped through the cracks at ESPN, but on the South Side, this date is always circled.
October 26, 2005.
“Believe It!” screamed the large headline on the Chicago Tribune the next morning as the White Sox completed a World Series sweep of the Houston Astros with a 1-0 win in Game 4 at Minute Maid Park.
World Series MVP Jermaine Dye broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth with a single up the middle that drove in Willie Harris. Bobby Jenks then came on in the ninth and got the save in dramatic fashion. Juan Uribe’s dive into the stands for an out down the left field line was dramatic enough, and so was his play on a slow roller from Orlando Palmiero with two out.
The charging shortstop picked up the ball and threw in a fluid motion, hitting the glove of first baseman Paul Konerko just in time to beat the runner and set off a celebration 88-years in the making.
While ESPN twice has forgotten this World Series both on air and on Twitter the last two years, this run remains one of the greatest in MLB playoff history – a point of pride for White Sox fans who watched their team dominate over three special weeks in October of 2005.
Starting with the sweep of the defending World Series champion Red Sox American League Division Series, the White Sox rand through their three series with an 11-1 record. Their only loss came in the first game of the American League Championship Series against the Angels – a 3-2 defeat that was followed by four consecutive victories for the team’s first AL pennant since 1959.
Adding more to the feat, those final four wins featured complete games from White Sox starters Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia, and Jose Contreras.
For the first time in franchise history, the White Sox made it a clean sweep in the World Series, and again it wasn’t without some theatrics.
Paul Konerko’s Grand Slam in Game 2 remains an iconic moment in franchise history, yet it was Scott Podsednik’s homer in the ninth that proved to be the game-winner. Game 3 was the longest in World Series contest in history by innings (14) and time (5 hours, 41 minutes), with Geoff Blum winning the game with a 14th inning homer and Buehrle getting the rare save.
On October 26th, the White Sox finished it off in more thrilling fashion to bring home the team’s first title since 1917. It’s a moment that still resonates in the history of Chicago sports – even if others around the country choose to forget it.
But for the record, they shouldn’t.