The 2005 World Series: Chicago Triumphs at Last

In case you couldn’t hear Richie Kaknes’s screams of joy last Wednesday night, you probably overlooked the fact that the Chicago White Sox won the World Series. No need for a double-take here, it actually happened, slaying the monster created over 88 years of futility. Upon their return from Houston they are bringing the city of Chicago, a city with two teams, their first World Series championship since 1917.

What did Richie Kaknes, a sophomore on Redstone Campus who hails from the greater Chicagoland area have to say about it all? “16 and 1.”

Indeed. The 2005 White Sox had one of the most improbable seasons of any team in major league history. For most of the season they claimed the best record in baseball. However, when September rolled around, they then began one of the greatest downward spirals in major league history as well. They had a stranglehold on first place in the AL Central at the beginning of the month, but when the season ending series against a hot Cleveland Indians team came around, the White Sox were two losses away from missing the postseason. Needless to say, they swept the Indians and made it into the playoffs, the first three wins in their 16-1 finish to the season.

However, to the dismay of New England, the White Sox also swept the Red Sox in three games. That, along with the Yankees loss in their division series against the Angels led to UVM’s general disinterest in postseason baseball this year.

Kaknes, the die-hard Chicago fan was disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm surrounding this year’s series, saying, “I wish I was in Chicago, no one cared here.”

In the ALCS, the White Sox lost the only game in their last seventeen of the year to the Los Angeles Angels. They went on to win that series and set up a showdown with the Houston Astros in the World Series, a place the Astros had never been and the White Sox hadn’t been in quite some time.

And the White Sox certainly made a statement on baseball’s grandest stage, sweeping the Astros in four tremendous games and even though it was a sweep, it was by no means easy. Every game in the series was spectacular. “Tense” just doesn’t adequately describe the atmosphere of the four games.

In a quick recap, the series involved incredible pitching, clutch hitting, superb managing, a walk-off homerun, a fourteen inning game that went for almost six hours, an incredible foul ball catch in the stands, and a 1-0 final game that didn’t have a score until the 8th inning and eventually came down to the last few at-bats.

16-1 in the last 17 games? 11-1 in the playoffs? Sounds like you won a World Series, Chicago.

When asked what single play sticks out in his mind from the series, Kaknes is at a loss for words. “Just one? Oh man…Konerko’s grand slam…Uribe’s catch…any time the ball came near Crede.”

For a team that isn’t even the favorite team in its own city, the gratification from a World Series championship must be incredible. It certainly is for Richie Kaknes and his fellow Southside faithful. But what does it mean to them?

“World domination – being better than everyone else. Being able to brag. Being able to yell in all of those Red Sox fans’ faces!”