04/11/08 9:30 PM ET
White Sox unveil monument, plaza
Organization celebrates run to 2005 World Series title
By Kerry Walls / Special to MLB.com
Prior to the game against the Tigers, team officials, local luminaries, former White Sox players and fans showed up to view the uncovering of the Champions Moments monument in Champions Plaza, located outside of Gate 4 at U.S. Cellular Field. The diamond-shaped plaza contains legacy bricks, which are inscribed with fan messages and memories. The plaza also chronicles the key moments in franchise history.
Among those in attendance were Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Ken Williams, as well as former White Sox greats Harold Baines, Ron Kittle, Billy Pierce and Joey Cora. Several current players also came out to witness the unveiling.
Catcher AJ Pierzynski said of the structure: "It's awesome. You see the way they etched the players in and put the photos in it. It's going to be here for a long time. When my kids grow up, they can always come here and look at it."
Large bronze images of Joe Crede, Paul Konerko, Juan Uribe and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez stand out prominently on the monument. Each image symbolizes a key moment during the team's run to the World Series title.
Despite blustery winds, mist and winter-like temperatures, fans showed up in force to witness the unveiling.
"For the fans to come out and brave [the weather], it's a testament to what kind of fans they are," Pierzynski said.
Blagojevich, who is a fan of the crosstown-rival Cubs, was booed mercilessly after being announced. But he took it all in stride during his speech.
"I sure am glad this isn't an election year for me," Blagojevich quipped.
Proceeds from the sale of the legacy bricks went to White Sox charities. The organization says it soon will announce details for the second round of brick sales open to the public.
The white bronze and black granite monument was constructed by local sculptor Julie Rotblatt-Amrany of The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany.
Kerry Walls is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.