View Full Version : Carlos Lee exchanges jerseys with Lance Armstrong at charity event

10-09-2004, 06:49 PM
I dont know if any of you all have read this story already, but it was very nice of Carlos Lee to attend this event.

I found this story at whitesox.com:

'El Caballo' attends Tour of Hope

As soon as Lance Armstrong held up the jersey that read "Tour of Hope," it was clear that this shirt was not going to fit the massive frame of White Sox left fielder Carlos Lee.

"You are more buff than we thought," said Armstrong to Lee. "We are going to have to get you a bigger one. But we want to thank you for coming and helping us. It's really special."

Lee did not attend Wednesday's Tour of Hope charity event at Block 37, an area of land near State and Randolph in downtown Chicago, just to pick up a free jersey or meet Armstrong. His reasons for staying in Chicago an extra three days, before bringing his family back to Panama, were far more altruistic.

The talented young slugger has emerged as a central figure in the Chicago sports community through two consecutive seasons with a .300 average and at least 30 home runs. The community role that comes along with the athletic prominence is not only something that Lee understands, it's something he has started to take upon himself as a team leader.

So, on Wednesday, Lee exchanged jerseys with Armstrong in support of the Tour of Hope team, which visited Chicago as part of a weeklong journey across America to support the search for a cancer cure. Lee handed Armstrong a White Sox uniform top with the number six, in honor of the cancer survivor's six straight Tour De France championships, on the back. "It's great to be here helping the cause," said Lee on the dais, in front of hundreds of fans and supporters, following Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to the stage. "We wanted to congratulate you on the Tour de France and everything you are doing to help fight cancer."

"I was a catcher when I was kid, playing T-Ball," added Armstrong with a laugh. "I'm the worst player you've ever seen, but I'll come out [to U.S. Cellular Field]."

Lee just happens to be a big fan of Armstrong. In fact, he would watch Armstrong compete in the Tour de France, while he was riding his own stationary bike at home, and see how long he could keep up. As Lee expressed after the ceremony, cancer has luckily stayed away from his family and his friends to this point.

It didn't make his appearance any less important.

"So far, so good," said Lee of the health of his family, who appeared to be out in full force for Wednesday's event. "But I have the chance to help other people, and you have to do everything you can. You never know what can happen in the future.

"[Armstrong] is a special athlete. With everything he went through [surviving testicular cancer] and to come back and perform the way he did, that's amazing. It's a great cause, and this was an honor when they asked me."

The personal plan for Lee was to take time off baseball activities -- anywhere from two weeks to one month -- then start doing some light workouts to get ready for 2005. He has no idea whether Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas, his injured friends and teammates, will be back alongside of him with the White Sox next season.

Despite being under contract, with an option for 2006, Lee isn't sure if he will be back in 2005. But it's not something that he will focus on during the offseason.

"Who knows?" Lee said of the make-up of the 2005 White Sox. "All I can do is prepare myself for next season and the rest is out of my control.

"We did a pretty good job this season and fought all the way to the end. We never gave up. Everyone tried as hard as they could."

Battling for an American League Central title pales in comparison to some of the fights put forth by the brave cancer survivors who were in attendance Wednesday. The weeklong Tour of Hope journey ends on Oct. 9, with the bicyclists sharing their personal stories at each stop along the way and trying to motivate communities to learn more about the benefits of cancer research and to raise awareness of cancer clinical trials.

It's a concern that Armstrong believes needs to be stressed more on a national level.

"We will watch two more [Presidential] debates and they are never talking about cancer -- and that's a problem," Armstrong said. "Let the people know who spend our money for us that this is a priority."

Lee clearly had his priorities in order with Wednesday's appearance. As for the Tour of Hope jersey, Lee certainly didn't seem concerned that it was a bit too small for him to wear.

That particular jersey is going up on a wall at home, in a frame, in honor of this particular day.

"When you are in the ballpark, everyone comes to see you play and support you," Lee said. "You have to give back to them. Go out there and let them know that you are there for them too. "This is an opportunity that doesn't come around very often," Lee added.

It'll be great if Lance Armstrong actually does stop by U.S. Cellular Field.

:bandance: :supernana: :bandance:

10-09-2004, 09:50 PM
Here's a picture:

10-09-2004, 10:04 PM
Two of the finest athletes in the world together. Its a great moment.

10-11-2004, 08:40 PM
Way to go, Carlos!

It's good to know that he gets it.