Sox fans were thrilled seeing the 2005 World Series trophy up close on Friday at the Cancer Support Center in Homewood.
Young and old came in for a photo with the trophy, or just to admire this special piece of Chicago baseball memorabilia. A special bonus was the chance to try on a Sox World Series ring.
Stephanie Gates, in her Paul Konerko (14) jersey, brought her 9-month-old daughter, Avery, to be photographed with the trophy. They were accompanied by uncle Mark Aggen who was decked out in his Ozzie Guillen (13) jersey.
“We couldn’t come with my husband. He’s a Cubs fan,” Stephanie explained.
Beth Franczyk thought it was such a special event that she drove to Homewood from New Lenox with her daughters, Cora and Olivia, and their friends Kara and Karly Stegter to see and be photographed with the trophy. Franczyk said her girls went to their first Sox game this season.
The Prokop family of Flossmoor, Jack, 12, Larson, 10, and dad Terry, said the visit to see the trophy was like the cherry on top after a busy week at Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Jack, a center fielder, and his teammates represented Flossmoor in the Cooperstown Tournament of Champions where they played nine games and won six.
Jack’s favorite Sox player is pitcher Chris Sale, and Larson’s is center fielder Adam Eaton. The family has traveled to nine Major League ballparks thus far.
Kristin Troutman of Flossmoor brought her sons, Ben, 9, and Ryan, 12, to see the trophy. The family is very much in to baseball with the boys playing on the Flossmoor Firebirds.
Troutman said she learned about the rather impromptu event because her husband, Bruce, serves as a volunteer on the Cancer Support Center’s board.
The trophy was in the hands of Jo Simmons, manager of strategic partnerships and business development for the Chicago White Sox, who had “tour” responsibilities for the trophy this weekend as part of the Sox celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the championship season.
Simmons befriended Donna Anfield of Homewood several years ago when her family attended a White Sox Fantasy Camp during spring training in Arizona. When Anfield, a breast cancer survivor and Cancer Support Center volunteer, called Simmons this week to ask for a Sox donation for the center’s golf outing Aug. 31, Simmons said she’d happily come to the center for a visit and could make the World Series trophy available as part of its “tour” this weekend. Friday morning was open on Simmons’ schedule.
Anfield admits the offer “at first didn’t sink in” but when she realized what Simmons was proposing, she immediately thought sharing it with her friends at the Cancer Support Center was a terrific idea.
Seeing the trophy made “people feel a little closer to the White Sox. Winning the World Series was quite an accomplishment! That’s what this place is about,” Anfield said. “(The Cancer Support Center) makes people feel good and helps them recognize they too can achieve their goals.”