Judge Ryan Keefer openly wonders why the White Sox didn't do a cover of the Chicago Bears version of "Super Bowl Shuffle." And you think you've got issues...
"Palmeiro, over the head of Jenks, Uribe charges…throws…OUT!!! And the White Sox have won the World Series!!!"
Okay, so just why am I revisiting the success of the Chicago White Sox 2005 team that won their first World Series after an almost 90 year wait? Because I care, by crikey. As the lords of baseball unleash another regular season of hell and the boys in Chi-town unfurl their championship banner, why not reminisce on the things that made their year worth all of that and the proverbial bag of chips? And when the folks at Arts and Entertainment provide the world a seven disc, 18 hour collection of White Sox game action that was memorable during the postseason, now is as good a time to do that as any. Besides, after viewing the official World Series film several months ago, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.
The Sox stormed out to an early season lead that seemed insurmountable (and it almost was), but they had to hold off a late-season surge by Cleveland in order to win the pennant. Chicago met Boston in the Division Series playoff, to determine whether it was the White or Red Sox that would reign supreme. Chicago steamrolled over Boston in three straight games, with the winning game appearing on this set as the first disc. Chicago went on to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (people of California, why on Earth would you name a team like that?) and after dropping the first game, the Sox took control, with their starting pitching comprised of Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras starting (and finishing) each of the next four games, all White Sox victories, including disc two's clincher, a 6-3 win where Chicago scored the last four runs in the game's final three innings.
So then it was onward again, to face the Houston Astros, a similarly long-suffering team (though their 40 year drought since the team's creation paled in comparison to Chicago's 88 years since last enjoying postseason success) with two outstanding pitchers in Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite. Game 1 was captured fairly easily, as the Sox knocked Clemens out of the game early, en route to a 5-3 win (behind continued solid pitching by Contreras). Game 2 was a harder fight. The Astros went up 4-2 and maintained that lead, until a grand-slam put the Sox ahead 6-4. The Astros came back with two runs in the 9th to tie the game, but Scott Posednik's home-run in the bottom of the ninth sent the Chicago faithful home happy, with a 2-0 games lead in a best of seven series in their hats.
The hysteria in Houston surrounding the 'Stros was well-founded. They had never advanced to a Series but had come close in 1980 and 1986, never quite getting over the hump. So the city's first World Series game was one of Texas-sized proportions. The Astros jumped on top quickly, taking a 4-0 lead after four innings, but Chicago scored five in the 5th to regain the lead. A late Astros run tied to score at 5, where it stayed until reserve player Geoff Blum hit a two-run home run that provided both teams with a final score after almost six hours of baseball. The two teams played almost everyone on their rosters, so Game 4 later that same day required a call to moderation in personnel management.
Little did anyone know, a scoreless game after seven innings wouldn't do much to calm the nerves, but after the Sox got a runner on base, outfielder Jermaine Dye (who had three of the team's eight hits in the game) drove in the go ahead run, which the Sox relief pitchers helped make stick, despite a Astros threat with the tying run at third base in the 9th inning. Orlando Palmeiro's ground ball at the hands of portly pitcher Bobby Jenks helped seal a closely played Fall Classic.
Now, here are all the games, all on the shiny silver media for the first time. The problem with some of these broadcasts is that unless you've got a widescreen TV (I do), they don't really work for you, and the games are non-anamorphic for some reason or another, and they don't look too good on 4:3 sets. Compare that to the other team sets for the Red Sox, Mets and Yankees that have come out, and you can tell they look a little bit off. But on the flip side, there's a separate disc full of bonus footage and interviews with the players and management that helps serve as a complement to the season, combined with the 2005 disc that's already out there.
If you really wanted to see every nook and cranny of the 2005 World Series, the Collector's Edition sets continue to do the job of giving the team supporters a digital copy of a memorable event that they may never see again. They continue to do a good job of using the Major League Baseball archives to their fullest, and I'm sure that more quality sets are on the way.
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