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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

A Plea for Sox & Spring!
by Hal Vickery

Now comes the long wait, the longest two weeks of the year. SoxFest is over, but itís still a couple of weeks before pitchers and catchers report. Outside the Vickery compound about eight inches of snow are on the ground. Baseball season seems so far away.

SoxFest was a success by all accounts. I managed to throw out my back while helping to set up the Windy City Sox Fans booth. I spent forty-five minutes standing in line for autographs of Mark Buehrle and Joel Horlen after that, using the MVP pass one of our members had purchased for club use. The muscle spasms told me to forego that.

We were also a little short handed on Friday and again on Saturday morning because our president was ill and didnít arrive at the hotel until about 10:30 Saturday. So I spent most of my time in the booth.

From the clubís viewpoint, SoxFest was extremely successful. The pencil pull made a nice profit (which will go to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities next January as part of our donation). In addition we auctioned three pictures that were quite popular. So weíre on a good start for a very successful 2008 season.

Now weíre in limbo, the long wait for pitchers and catchers to report. The snow on the ground doesnít make things any easier. There is really no news. The Sox havenít traded their entire farm system for a fifth starter or signed any saviors of the franchise. It appears that Kenny Williams is done with his winter dealings.

Weíll just have to wait now to see how things pan out. Thatís one of the things that makes this period so interminable. There is really no news. There is even less speculation. That was all covered in the months preceding SoxFest and during SoxFest itself.

Now we just have to wait. Itís cold. There is snow on the groundÖlots of it. Nothing will happen for at least a couple of weeks. This is baseballís true winter. It is mercifully short, but it seems like forever.

What makes it seem so long is the anticipation. When pitchers and catchers report, the speculation can begin again. How does Gavin Floyd look this year? Is Contreras back? Every time a Sox pitcher gets shelled because his breaking ball refuses to break in the Tucson air, people will speculate and curse Kenny Williams.

Of course thatís what makes spring training fun. Itís also what makes this season of baseball winter so long. Nothing is happening. All speculation is based on the thinnest of premises. All you have to do is go to the WSI message boards and see what kind of wild and crazy stuff fans start thinking this time of year.

At least that stuff is good for a few laughs. I guess Iíll enjoy the Super Bowl, but football isnít baseball, and it never held me in its grip the way baseball has. It keeps me amused, just as basketball and hockey do, but I just donít have the passion for any of those sports that I have for baseball.

Please spring! Come fast! I need you!


Editor's Note: Hal Vickery has been a White Sox fan since 1955 when he was five years old. For much of that time he also had a secondary rooting interest in the Cubs, which he has shown the good sense to abandon. When not cheering for or writing about the Sox, Hal teachers chemistry and physics at North Boone High School, in Poplar Grove, IL. Hal commutes there daily from Joliet, where he lives with his wife Lee, and their dog, Buster T. Beagle. Hal's opinions are not necessarily those of North Boone High School, his wife, or Buster T. Beagle. You can write Hal at

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