Chicago Celebrates World Series Triumph

Loud and boisterous celebrations swept through the Windy City as Chicago residents celebrated the White Sox World Series victory.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

We are checking out rumors that in Chicago this morning, the sun may rise in the West. NPR's Cheryl Corley has been unable to confirm these rumors, but she did spend the evening with White Sox fans.

(Soundbite of cheering)

CHERYL CORLEY reporting:

Fans slapped their hands in high-fives, shouted in victory and poured out of Jimbo's, the neighborhood bar closest to the White Sox stadium, as soon as shortstop Juan Uribe made the final play. The White Sox were the world champions, and it was a moment Danny Humanike(ph) said he'd always dreamt of.

Mr. DANNY HUMANIKE: As a little boy, you always want this day to come. You hope and you hope, and it comes, and when it comes...

Unidentified Man: A dream come true.

Mr. HUMANIKE: ...you cry like a little boy. It's unbelievable. It's awesome.

Unidentified Man: (Singing) Hey, hey!

CORLEY: What do you think this means for the city of Chicago?

Mr. HUMANIKE: Who's the number one team around here? Who's the big dog?

Unidentified Man: Forget the Cubbies.

Mr. HUMANIKE: White Sox. White Sox.

Unidentified Man: Sox all the way.

CORLEY: It was raining lightly outside, but fans didn't care and they danced in the street while police kept a watchful eye. James Brewer(ph) walked by holding a broom in his hand.

Mr. JAMES BREWER: I had a feeling that they was going to sweep them today. That's why I had this broom. From the beginning of this series, I had this broom. I had a feeling it was going to be four games. That was it. The pitching staff was too strong for them. They couldn't handle it.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Singer: ...White Sox...

CORLEY: Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, a longtime White Sox fan, attended a few meetings earlier in the day and then headed for Houston for the game. He said the White Sox really worked together as a team.

Mayor RICHARD DALEY (Chicago, Illinois): No one's a great star. Everybody contributed in each game in a different way, and that's what I like about it.

CORLEY: Daley says the White Sox were often underrated and that the city's North Side baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, received more publicity in recent years since they are owned by a media conglomerate. That sense of neglect, whether right or wrong, helps fuel the rivalry between the White Sox and the Cubs and even permeated the victory celebration inside Jimbo's sports bar. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908, and doorman Eddie Reyes(ph) said he was glad the White Sox reached the World Series first.

Mr. EDDIE REYES (Doorman, Jimbo's Sports Bar): Rubbing it in their face. Bragging rights. That's all that is basically, just bragging rights.

CORLEY: After the Boston Red Sox finally won the World Series last year and the White Sox this year, the pressure will grow on the Cubs to come through after all these years. Major-league baseball historian Jerome Holtzman says the divisions between the White Sox and the Cubs didn't used to be so strong. He was a young sportswriter in 1959 when the Sox last appeared in the World Series.

Mr. JEROME HOLTZMAN (Major-League Baseball Historian): I grew up a White Sox fan as a little boy, but I'm not just a Whi--I'm a fan of both teams now. I have been for years. The city seems to be split. I feel sorry for the Cub fans who are unable to root for the White Sox. They missed out on the fun and, more important, a memorable Chicago experience.

CORLEY: And for a team that hadn't won a World Series for 88 years, the White Sox's sweep of the Houston Astros was like a storybook ending. Northwestern University Professor Bill Savage teaches a class about baseball's portrayal in literature and film. He says the Sox's victory changes the entire story of the franchise.

Professor BILL SAVAGE (Northwestern University): Instead of being another futile losing franchise whose high point historically is the embarrassment of the Black Sox scandal, the White Sox become sort of the darlings of the 21st century, a team with players from all over the world, a team that plays baseball the right way. It changes the latest chapter in the story.

CORLEY: It's a chapter that jubilant White Sox fans say they'd like to continue with another appearance in the World Series next year.

Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Chicago.

INSKEEP: Here's one more piece of information this morning on the withdrawal of Harriet Miers from consideration for the United States Supreme Court. That withdrawal means that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will have to delay her retirement even longer. Justice O'Connor wrote to President Bush nearly four months ago saying that she wanted to retire but would serve until her successor was confirmed. The president nominated John Roberts for her seat, but he moved over to Rehnquist's seat after William Rehnquist died, and the president nominated Roberts for that seat. Then Harriet Miers was the nominee, and now Harriet Miers has stepped away under pressure from many people in her president's own party. And now that she has withdrawn, we're told that Sandra Day O'Connor will stay on the US Supreme Court, a ninth justice, for the foreseeable future.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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