White Sox Make Triumphant Return to Chicago

The Chicago White Sox make a triumphant return to their hometown following their sweep of the World Series. They are greeted by a parade and welcome-home celebration. Chicago Public Radio's Jay Field reports.

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Baseball fans poured into the streets of Chicago today to celebrate the White Sox World Series win. Double-decker buses ferried the team in an old-fashioned ticker tape parade from its ballpark on the city's South Side through nearby ethnic neighborhoods to a rally downtown. Chicago Public Radio's Jay Field was along the parade route.

JAY FIELD reporting:

To grasp the emotional catharsis taking place in Chicago right now, a brief history lesson is in order. It goes something like this. Cubs, woo-hoo; Sox, eh. For years the White Sox have plodded along in the shadow of that other Chicago team and its famous stadium. But no more.

(Soundbite of parade)

Unidentified Man #1: All right, Sox.

FIELD: Today thousands of White Sox fans streamed into downtown Chicago, turning whole city blocks into rivers of black and white. Some fans, though, decided to watch the parade closer to home.

Mr. FELIX MEDRANO(ph) (White Sox Fan): I've been waiting 50 years for this. I've got my granddaughter here. We've been standing here since 10:30 this morning. So we're hoping--we're hoping--right, Melanie? You go, Sox. What do you say? Go Sox.

MELANIE MEDRANO(ph) (Six Years Old): Go White Sox.

FIELD: Six-year-old Melanie Medrano and her grandfather Felix stand on a street corner in Hilson(ph), a largely Latino neighborhood west of downtown and walking distance from where the White Sox play. The Medranos and hundreds of other fans are waiting for the world champions to roll by in double-decker buses. Felix Medrano's friend, Louis Reyes(ph), says the neighborhood is especially happy for Ozzie Guillen, the brash, confident White Sox manager from Venezuela.

Mr. LOUIS REYES (White Sox Fan): Most of this area here is a--there's a variation of Latin people. It's all in their hearts for him today.

Unidentified Man #2: Ozzie.

FIELD: Finally, the parade made its way past the cheering throng. Manager Ozzie Guillen stood atop the last bus beaming, his arms spread wide taking in the cheers. The caravan then made its way into the heart of downtown where an avalanche of confetti rained down from the surrounding skyscrapers. Later, with the World Series trophy sitting nearby, Guillen thanked Sox fans and the city.

Mr. OZZIE GUILLEN (White Sox Manager): Thank you guys for waiting that long. Thank God. We did it for you guys and we did it for Jerry.

FIELD: The Jerry he's talking about is team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who cried when White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko handed him the ball he caught for the last out of the World Series. For NPR News, I'm Jay Field in Chicago.

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