10/27/05 2:55 AM ET
Trip to Houston was worth it to fans
By Ben Platt / MLB.com
"I'm just feeling great," said John O'Connell from Oak Lawn, Ill., who skipped work Wednesday on a lark and got down to Texas to see the sweep of the Astros. "I can't believe it. I'm 58 years old and I've been waiting a long time for this. It's unbelievable, unbelievable."
And the roar got louder from the stands: "BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE! BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE!"
O'Connell's friend, Ed Gencilli, was beaming with pride.
"When I was a kid, I could remember my dad taking me to old Comiskey Park," said Gencilli. "I've been a White Sox fan my whole life. For this thing to happen like this, for it to be a sweep, not only here in Houston but against Boston. A true White Sox fan can't tell you how good it feels. Chicago is a big city market and it's all about respect, and I think the city of Chicago finally got the respect. And now, maybe because of the White Sox, the Cubs might be able to do a little damage, but this is the White Sox year!"
Holding signs saying "October Sweep!" and "Sweet Home Chicago, home of the Champs," fans kept watching the field as the players and coaches celebrated by passing the World Series championship trophy around, taking pictures with it and the chant returned: "BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE! BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE!"
"We're a baseball hometown," said Jim Cortez, who hails from Chicago. "I root for the White Sox. I root for the Cubs. And the White Sox proved themselves tonight and they're my team. I have to give them credit tonight. They came from the bottom. The fought and scrapped and they really proved themselves. They really came through."
"I've bee a Sox fan since I was 9 years old," said Jan Ward from Woodstock, Ill. "I still don't believe this happened, it's the greatest moment in Chicago baseball history without a doubt. I'd say there about at least 3,000 fans here and there's one great big party going on right now. This city deserves it. Finally a world champion!
And the chant continued: "BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE! BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE!"
Scott Podsednik came toward the stands and asked a security guard if he could get some of his friends down on the field. The guard tells him he wouldn't be able to get into the stands to get them down. The White Sox outfielder understands.
"Look at these fans. They've been behind us since Day 1," said Podsednik. "It's nice to see them here. They went out of there way to travel down here to support us, and so it will be fun to get back to Chicago and celebrate with them."
And still the fans pleaded with their team: "BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE! BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE!"
Standing in the front row were longtime fans Irv and Fern Jacobsen, who attended every playoff and World Series game the team has played in this year. Staring out at the field, Irv Jacobsen's light blue eyes welled up with tears.
"I can't talk," he with a raspy voice. "I yelled so much I have laryngitis. This is unbelievable, unbelievable."
"These last two games -- I don't think we were going to make it," his wife Fern said with Irv nodding in agreement.
The chant reached a fever pitch: "BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE! BRING THAT TROPHY OVER HERE!"
Finally, Ozzie Guillen, the team's beloved manager, did what he did as player and manager -- come through for the fans. After posing with his former teammate and current coach, Harold Baines, Guillen took the trophy and raised it over his head and ran it over to show the cheering fans the hardware they so wanted to see.
After a few moments, Guillen ran back to the field and the fans started a new chant that will be heard throughout the Southside of Chicago for many years to come: "THANK YOU, OZZIE -- THANK YOU, OZZIE!"
Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.