Monday, October 17, 2005

Mrs. Linklater is Verklempt

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I've been a White Sox fan since I was seven or eight years old and Ferris Fain was playing first base. I remember Jim Landis' rookie year, his first day in centerfield.  

I followed the fortunes of Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, and "Jungle" Jim Rivera, saving their baseball cards when they showed up in the gum I bought. Who could forget manager Marty Marion, Hall of Famer George Kell, and the big knuckleballer whose name I don't recall, Early Wynn perhaps? Those were the players I loved, whose stats I followed, even when I moved to the north side and had to embrace the Cubs or be drummed out of the neighborhood. Wrigley is a great place, but the White Sox were all that mattered to me.

My father and I, who were not exactly close, had a few moments of peace together. Watching the White Sox was one. When they were playing he would stay in the room and I could talk to him.

When they won the pennant in 1959, he did something completely out of character and bought a commemorative tray with the headline from the newspaper, declaring that the White Sox had won the American League Pennant.

It sat on the ledge by the stairway to the second floor of our house with all the decorative value of a Lava Lamp. But my mother knew how big a fan my dad was and she let it stay there.

One day I was racing off to school and I accidentally bumped the tray off the ledge and it broke into a dozen pieces. I really felt bad about it because he didn't have anything else to remind him about that wonderful year. But he didn't say anything, for which I was grateful. Of course, he didn't forgive me either.

A couple of years ago he died.

I don't miss him the way some people miss their fathers. I didn't cry much either. He was always more of a thorn in my side than a supportive parent.

But last night when the Sox won the pennant, I knew he would have been as thrilled as I am. So I was truly sorry he couldn't be around to enjoy the excitement that's just rocking the city.

Then I remembered that tray. For some reason, it got me thinking about my dad. In a good way for once. That moment was the very first time I actually missed him and I found myself shedding a tear.

Of course, based on how many years it takes the team to win a pennant, that may be the last time I feel nostalgic about my father.

But I'm sure he'll be on my mind during the World Series and for a change it won't be because he has said something unpleasant to me. It'll be nice to have a happy memory about him.



ally123130585918 said...

Mrs L - I'm glad you have some happy memories of your Dad, I reckon if they win the World Series your Dad will be cheering with you.......Ally

ber144 said...

As a life long, die hard Cubs fan, I am so envious I could spit!  But that does not mean I am unhappy about the Sox.  I want what you have, dammit!  When's it going to be our turn?  OK, this is not about me...I hope the Sox win it all, especially if they wind up playing St. Louis.

PS Loved your comments at Armand's today.  I would have said something there about it, but I seem to be casuing more trouble there than it's worth.


bluwave9 said...

Can't really play the depressed Angels fan after reading this entry.  Nothing brings fathers and daughters together like a baseball game- at least it's been my experience.

I might, just MIGHT, end up rooting for the Sox during the World Series.  Still licking my wounds over here!


sunnyside46 said...

it hits you every now and again, sometimes you grieve for the dad you wish you had

salemslot9 said...

I shed a tear, too
for my Dad :)

psychfun said...

Lovely! Ha! Did you see my entry?

bosoxblue6993w said...

the knuckleballer was Wilbur Wood ... who grew to the size of a Macy's parade balloon.    the guy couldn't keep mash potatoes out of his craw.

remember Walter 'no neck' Williams?

and if you recall billy pierce ... you'll remember his catcher, sherm lollar.

jevanslink said...

Oh right, Wilbur Wood.  Early Wynn wasn't exactly tiny either. Sherman Lollar. OMG.  It took him a week to get from first to second. How about Larry Doby?  And how come you know so much about the White Sox?  Were you a sports best guy in back in Boston?  Or just a baseball junkie?  Mrs. L

judithheartsong said...

I so admire your candor............. judi

mombzbe said...

Dads, daughters, and baseball.
Like Martha says, it's a good thing.

yakvette said...

I totally relate to your verklemptness.  As a diehard Boston fan who witnessed the "reverse of the curse" in 2004, I can safely say there were many tears a-flowin.   I'm rooting for your Sox this year, in the hopes that all the great Chicago fans can experience what we did.   I have rewatched a gazillion times, the final play of Keith Foulke throwing the last out to first base just so I can hear AGAIN:  "Red Sox fans have long been waiting to hear..... they are the World Series Champions"    It will never get old.  

And bloody hell, WHAT a parade you will have in Chicago!!  

Best of luck to the kick-ass White Sox!   A whole bunch of Boston fans are rooting for you guys.  


onemoretina said...

 Enjoy those good memories... they are the only ones worth hangin onto.  Tina

belfastcowboy75 said...

When White Sox fans were enjoying the slick fielding of Aparicio and Fox arond the second base bag, the Red Sox fans were watching Don Buddin and Pumpsie Green.

swibirun said...

An excellent entry, Mrs. L.  Sort of a Field of Dreams moment, huh?  Did you ever tell your dad you couldn't respect a man who's hero was a criminal?