Well, it will be untold until you’re finished reading this.
As I said in an earlier entry, friends, start a blog, start commenting to Scott Reifert’s blog, or befriend a blogger so you can go to next year’s blog night. We had a ball, no pun intended.
I have made a small slide show (like 8-9 pictures) of the night in Flash and will try to post it soon. Please excuse the quality of the pictures; they were taken with the camera on my cell phone. Also, the slide show is in Flash version 9. Scott Reifert has (or is trying to) post some pictures on his blog http://whitesoxpride.mlblogs.com That link is being provided without permission, but considering this is another White Sox blog, I don’t think there will be any trouble.
We started off in the conference room. This is the same room where Ozzie Guillen gives the post-game interviews. Everyone signed their name on an index card, which were used later in a drawing to give away door prizes. Once we signed in, we got our t-shirts and went on in to the conference room and picked up copies of the 2008 White Sox Media Guide and I think the 2008 White Sox Yearbook (I’m not sure because I think my copies somehow got left in Illinois when I came back to Seattle!)
We were asked how far we had traveled to be there. I thought my daughter and I would be the ones who had traveled the farthest to be there but I think someone beat us. I can’t remember where they were from, though.
We were treated to three speakers, two of which primarily took questions. The first was broadcaster Steve Stone. God bless him, he gave a very nice answer to my 10-year old daughter when she asked him why there were no women in major league baseball. I don’t remember his exact words, but basically he said that what mattered on the baseball field was talent. If there were a woman who could hit .310 and play third base like Joe Crede, she’d be out there playing with the men. The fact that there haven’t been any women who can do that doesn’t mean it’s not possible, just that it hasn’t happened yet. So if she thought she had talent, she should give it a shot.
At this point, I sort of crossed my eyes at him because I was the one who would be responsible for taking her to practices and games and helping her deal with people who refused to let her play because she was a girl. Honestly, and this may be bad to say, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted him to encourage her. Any parents out there would probably know what I’m talking about on this point. We would like our kids to do amazing things, but we don’t want them to get hurt physically or emotionally in the process. If my daughter seriously tried to make it to the big leagues, she’d be walking a very hard road.
The lady sitting next to me pointed out that Bill Veeck would have loved it if a woman could play that well. I thought she was absolutely correct. I’ll bet Veeck would have signed her, too. Remember, Veeck signed the first African-American player in the American League, he had the White Sox players try wearing shorts for one game, invented the exploding scoreboard, and signed a midget because he had a strike zone of something like 1 and ½ inches. (I must ask: Isn’t the ball wider than 1 and ½ inches?) Don’t believe Veeck did all of those things? Check it out: http://espn.go.com/classic/veeckbill000816.html
By the way, I’m providing that link without permission from ESPN. So if I’m in trouble, then I’m in trouble. I’m taking the risk.
Overall though, I thought Steve Stone provided a wonderful answer to the question. I’m glad he answered it, because my daughter had asked me the same question a week prior to this, and I really didn’t have an answer for her. She hasn’t said anything to me about wanting to play softball or baseball. I think she was mainly just curious.
The second speaker, “Moose” Skowron, was absolutely hysterical. He told stories from his playing days. Most of his stories were about his time with the Yankees, but that was fine with me (and probably most people there) because he was a Yankee when players like Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra were Yankees. Can you imagine getting to hear funny stories of what went on behind the scenes with Hall of Fame caliber players? To me, that’s entertainment. You can keep reality television (please, take it! Take it off the air!)
The third speaker was Assistant G.M. Rick Hahn, and we got to ask him questions. I asked how big the scouting staff was and did a scout get bonuses for finding a really good talent. Kind of a boring question, but I always wondered just how big a scouting staff had to be for a major league team. What’s the answer? Around 50 people, and while they don’t get bonuses for finding good players, they may get promoted if they can consistently find talent.
Finally, just before we went up to our seats, we held the drawing for the door prizes. There were four of them (none of which I won, unfortunately.) The prizes were: four tickets to an upcoming White Sox game, a baseball autographed by Nick Swisher, a Joe Crede autographed jersey, and a bat autographed by Jermaine Dye (I think – it might have been Jim Thome.) How’s that for cool stuff?
To top it all off, we got to go sit in the stands and watch the Sox win. This lady has had fun at the ballpark before, but that night was the best. Thanks to the White Sox organization for hosting such a fun event.