That was the headline on the front page of both the Chicago Tribune and The Daily Herald this morning. Last night the Chicago White Sox defeated the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 to clinch the American League Championship for the first time since 1959. After dropping the first game in the ALCS to the Angels, the Sox took the next four - including three in Los Angeles - to earn their first trip to the World Series since Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the White House.
I'm a Cubs fan, but even I am excited about the Sox winning the pennant and going to the World Series. I did a little attention to the Sox during the regular season, but regularly followed the Cubs. I took a stronger interest in the Sox at the end of the season when they were blowing their 15-game lead in the Central Division. I didn't watch any of the White Sox - Red Sox Divisional series game, though it was a blink and you missed it three game series. The White Sox completed dusted the boys from Boston. My interest and excitement in the team has only begun to build when they took game two on that controversial call in the ninth inning. Since then I have been watching every game from start to finish. Call it band wagon jumping, I don't care. It's exciting to see a Chicago team being a champion again. We haven't had that here since the mid-90s with the Chicago Bulls.
The White Sox are doing it in impressive fashion, too. They quickly dispensed the defending world champion BoSox in the three games. Then with the Angels, they bounced back from a loss in game one and got a little help from an ump to eventually win game two, and then completely dominated the Angels out in Anaheim. Along with solid hitting and strong defense, the Sox have put the type of pitching on the mound that another team from Chicago was suppose to have these last few seasons. The Sox starters had four complete games in a row and limited the Angels to just 11 runs in the five games. Impressive.
Now the Sox will sit and wait to see if the Houston Astros can close the deal and take game five from the St. Louis Cardinals tonight and earn their first ever trip to the World Series, or will the Cardinals battle back to set up a World Series matching two teams a die hard Cubs fan would hate: White Sox vs. Cardinals.
Me? I don't care. I've already thrown my support behind the Sox. It's good to have a champion in Chicago, and regardless of my allegiance during the baseball regular season, I have to be excited about what the White Sox are doing this October.
Oh, by the way. Dad, didn't you lose an old, old bet with a good friend last night about who would make it to the World Series first? I was thinking of that last night while watching the champaign flow in the club house.
Another funny thing that occurred to me while watching the celebration on TV last night. I was flipping between all the major Chicago stations: CBS-2, FOX-32, NBC-5, ABC-7, and WGN-9, and I felt bad for WGN. The TV station is owned by the Tribune Company, the same company that owns the Chicago Cubs and who, according to White Sox fan #1 Mayor Richie Daly, has continually turned it's back on the White Sox in favor of promoting the company owned Cubbies. The sports guys from WGN couldn't seem to get any good face time with any of the Sox players. All the other stations were talking to Joe Crede, Aaron Rowland, or A.J. Pierzynski. The WGN team seemed to be spending a lot of time back at the studio listening to the sports guy there talking about the Sox win and what's coming next. Maybe I just wasn't hitting Channel 9 at the right times, but that was the impression I was getting.
Oh well. Maybe the Tribune Company can earn some points back with the South Siders with their coverage of the ALCS victory on WGN and in the Chicago Tribune and get some meaningful interviews when the Sox win the series in a couple of weeks.