In Tuesday’s White Sox Red Sox game, there was a clear nod of respect to the past. Ex-White Sox players A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy returned to the South Side of Chicago, and every player was wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. It also marked that one year had passed since the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
If you remember, last year, the day after the bombings, the Chicago Tribune paid a classy tribute to the city of Boston. In a similar move on Tuesday, the Chicago White Sox players lined up before the game for a moment of silence, wearing “Boston Strong” warm-ups. It was a reminder that this is just a game, and though we all root for different teams, we stand as one nation.
Tuesday was also Jackie Robinson Day across the MLB. It marked the 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in the majors. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball and helped make the game into what it is today.
Said White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez prior to the game, “To me, it’s an honor to be able to wear that number 42 on my back, in honor of someone that opened the doors and made so many things possible for African-Americans. And me as a Cuban, to be able to come here, he opened doors for me as well.”
A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy both returned to The Cell as well. Pierzynski was always a fan favorite in Chicago. Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen once said, “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.” Pierzynski won a World Series in Chicago, caught a couple no-hitters, and always played with heart. He is the type of player every fan wants on their team.
On coming back to Chicago, Pierzynski had nothing but positive things to say. “I don’t think you can beat Chicago in a lot of things. Lake Shore Drive is about as good as it gets. The city’s clean. Nice people, they look out for you and take care of you.”
As for the actual game, it did not disappoint. It was a tightly contested defensive battle with only eight combined hits from both teams. Adam Dunn hit a solo home run in the second inning and Daniel Nava tied it back up with a home run of his own in the fourth. In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and runners on first and second, Marcus Semien grounded to the shortstop, Xander Bogaerts, who botched the throw to first, allowing Alexei Ramirez to score the winning run from second base, in walk off fashion.
It was an exciting finish and a worthy conclusion to an emotional game. Days like this make you reflect on the past, and be thankful for all that you have in life. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those still suffering the after effects of what took place a year ago.