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Chicago White Sox Headed to the World Series

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

All over the South Side of Chicago, it's a moment of sweet satisfaction; another high point of Soxtober.

(Soundbite of ESPN Radio broadcast)

Mr. JON MILLER (ESPN): Here's the pitch now. Ground ball, first base side, picked up by Konerko, he steps on the bag. And for the first time in 46 years, the Chicago White Sox are heading to the World Series!

BLOCK: That's Jon Miller calling the final play in last night's game in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels on ESPN Radio.

The White Sox won the American League Championship Series four games-to-one. The last time the Sox made it to the World Series was 1959; the last time they won the championship was 1917. So for White House fans like George Bova, these are heady times. Mr. Bova created the fan Web site WhiteSoxInteractive.com, and joins us from his home; not on the South Side, but in Elmhurst, Illinois, outside Chicago.

Thanks for being with us.

Mr. GEORGE BOVA (Creator, WhiteSoxInteractive.com): Well, thank you. Glad to be here.

BLOCK: And how did you celebrate?

Mr. BOVA: Oh, gosh, what I normally do when there's something very important on television--I had the TV on, the radio on and my computer, getting into the many different ways of tapping into what Sox fans were saying and feeling.

BLOCK: Well, describe for us, if you could, what it's like to be a White Sox fan having waited this long for this chance?

Mr. BOVA: Well, I haven't been around long enough to know exactly how long it's been. They haven't won a pennant since 1959; that predates me.

BLOCK: Hmm.

Mr. BOVA: And they won't have won a world championship since 1917; that predates my father. So when you're a White Sox fan, you measure time in terms of generations. And in our case, we're very, very happy because we only know that there's a lot of Sox fans that we love that aren't here to necessarily share all of the excitement that we're feeling today.

BLOCK: You know, at the same time, the team has made it look pretty easy, at least in this last stretch. I like this comment from Rick Morrissey, writing today in the Chicago Tribune: `One moment we're working on a 46-year-old case of dry mouth, and the next we invent water.'

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BOVA: It's almost biblical in its scope because there are so many different angles to what the Chicago White Sox franchise represents; not just to the city of Chicago, but to Sox fans specifically. We're almost like a self-selected bunch. You don't become a White Sox fan unless you have a darn good reason, and for most of us, it's because of our family and the people that we grew up with. And it's just very different to be a White Sox fan in Chicago than most any other kind of fan that you could find because of the years of futility and because we live in the shadow of other teams that have had more success or, in some cases, even more years of futility.

BLOCK: Well, I guess you're referring to the Chicago Cubs there...

Mr. BOVA: Oh, yeah, absolutely.

BLOCK: ...which they haven't won a World Series since 1908. Is that right?

Mr. BOVA: And as we like to say, the White Sox can't even win when we're losing because our years of futility don't match with theirs.

BLOCK: Well, George, you've got the first World Series game on Saturday in Chicago. You've got home-field advantage, and the White Sox are going to have a whole week of rest.

Mr. BOVA: Isn't that wonderful? One of the great things about taking care of the Boston Red Sox in three straight was that gave the entire pitching staff an opportunity to be reset and ready to play for the first game of the league championship series that started last Tuesday. And the way things are shaking out now, the White Sox will definitely be able to reset the rotation with our four big horses for the World Series. And depending on how things turn out for the National League, they may or may not be able to get that same advantage. So we're very happy about that.

BLOCK: And would you be happiest if the White Sox are going against the Cardinals or against the Astros?

Mr. BOVA: Oh, we don't care. We're just glad we're here. And it's not going to make any difference in the long run anyway.

BLOCK: You're feeling pretty good.

Mr. BOVA: Oh, feeling great. Haven't felt like this in--well, since ever.

BLOCK: George Bova, thanks a lot. Enjoy the series.

Mr. BOVA: OK. Go, Sox!

BLOCK: George Bova created the fan Web site WhiteSoxInteractive.com. He spoke with us from Elmhurst, Illinois.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Group: (Singing) White Sox! White Sox! Go, go, White Sox! Root, root, root for the White Sox.

ROBERT SIEGEL (Host): This is NPR, National Public Radio. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Melissa Block
As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.