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Michael Reinsdorf’s pitch-perfect moment

Michael Reinsdorf

Michael Reinsdorf

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Updated: July 3, 2012 12:49PM

A few weekends ago, my 15-year-old son Joey asked me to drive him and a friend to Bucktown. I was at home in Glencoe watching the White Sox game — which had just started with Phil Humber taking the mound for the Sox — but I always encourage my kids to spend time in the city, so we piled into the car.

By the time we got there, it was already the fifth inning. My son and his friend wanted to walk around, so I stayed in the car, listening on the radio. The game was just flying by ... three up, three down. We scored a few runs, which was great, but more importantly the first 15 Seattle batters were retired without anybody reaching base. My dad texted me in the seventh inning: “Are you watching this? Phil Humber has a perfect game going.” I texted my wife, Nancy, and told her to turn on the TV. Around the eighth inning, I thought, I can’t mess around. I have to find a TV. I found my son and we decided to go to Piece, a pizza place at North and Damen.

It was pretty crowded; there were about 100 people in the restaurant. Normally when you watch a game at a bar, there’s no sound — but this time, they had the sound up and every TV tuned to the White Sox. You could hear the room buzzing about Humber. A guy walked in with his girlfriend and explained to her, “He’s pitching a no-hitter.” I piped in: “Actually, it’s a perfect game.” His mouth dropped open and he said, “Oh my God.”

There have only been 21 perfect games in the history of baseball; three in the history of the Chicago White Sox, including Mark Buehrle’s in 2009. I actually missed that one because it was a day game, and at
the last minute I decided I needed
to finish up some work so I stayed back in my office up north. Not one
of my better decisions!

My son and I watched the last inning with this group of people in the bar while I was on the phone talking to my dad. The first batter in the ninth inning was at three balls and zero strikes, so a walk was likely. But he ended up striking out, and everyone erupted into cheers. And then, when Humber got the last out, everybody in the bar went wild. Joey and I were hugging each other, and people were looking at me like, “Why is he so emotional?” They didn’t know it was personal; as a kid growing up in the ’70s, I was a Sox fan before my father was a Sox fan, long before he bought the team in 1981. I was going bananas.

There are a lot of ups and downs in sports. Even the best team in baseball loses 60 games a year, so you’ve got to get used to the losses. But the highs are unbelievable. I’m watching this game at the bar and making friends with the guy next to me. I think what makes sports so special is how the game brings everyone together. I love that one random Saturday afternoon turned into a moment that Joey and I will remember forever. It was probably that way for countless Chicago White Sox fans.

Michael Reinsdorf donated his
$1,000 fee for writing this column
to Chicago Bulls Charities.

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