Sultan’s day at Game One of the World Series

By Sultan Abdul-Ahad

As days go, this is one I will remember for the rest of my life. This was better than any Homecoming, whether the football team won or lost, better than any party I would’ve gone to on the weekend.

I went to the World Series.

Yeah, I know, you’re jealous. Well, except if you are a Cubs or Cardinals fan, but I digress.

It was a day, at least for me, which had everything I could ask for – drama, excitement, cold weather, drunken people and atmosphere.

After my mother took four or five photos of my sister and I with our tickets, and a couple of train rides, I arrived at the ballpark.

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Just walking around outside the ballpark, you knew something big was going on with all of the tailgating, masses of people, television news crews and last, but not least, a few of Chicago’s finest around ready to arrest people.

Even “Grandstand,” a store located three blocks away, had a Clybourne-type line just to get inside. After standing in line for about 30 minutes, we were able to get inside and start looking around for souvenirs. As it ends up, the only things my sister bought were two ticket holders that go around your neck for $10 each.

Walking from the store to the ballpark was pretty interesting, with a cop threatening someone in words not allowed in this article that if he didn’t shut up, he’d arrest him.

Inside the ballpark, the exploding scoreboard was going and the Astros were taking batting practice surrounded by members of the media.

My seats were in the much-maligned upper deck of U.S. Cellular Field and while I wasn’t down in the 100 level, for a World Series, every seat is a good seat.

Finally 6:45 came, and all of the pregame festivities began with a video montage of White Sox moments from this season. Game time was still 20 minutes away, but with the stadium full and everyone chanting, “Let’s go White Sox,” it felt like it was right around the corner.

With the player introductions and national anthem over, it was finally time for the game to start.

With Jose Contreras’ first pitch, it was amazing to see all the flashbulbs from the cameras in the ballpark. Even when Roger Clemens threw his first pitch, the flashbulbs were still seen throughout the park.

For me, I was excited to finally see Clemens pitch in person, but that whole pitchers’ duel between Clemens and Contreras did not happen because Clemens didn’t make it to the third inning.

Between the top and bottom of the first, I heard some boos coming from behind me. I turned around to look and there was a guy in an Astros throwback jersey and an orange Astros hat walking up the stairs to sit in his seat. One of the memories that will stick in my head the most was this one White Sox fan staring a hole through this Astros fan, while sticking up his middle finger at him. When I looked at him, he had that glaze in his eyes, and I could just tell that he was drunk. I’m sure most of you know what I am talking about.

When Jermaine Dye hit his home run in the bottom of the first, I had never seen so many people jumping up and down. Frankly, I had never seen that stadium sold out before, so it was just great not to see an empty seat.

When the game was going on, there was not anyone in the aisles, except for the food vendors. I’m sure there were some people that probably did not move the whole game.

We were all getting a little bit restless at how Jose Contreras was being hit by the Astros. Of course the way he has been pitching lately, he was bound to have a shaky performance. With the score standing at 4-3 after four innings, I thought this game was going to be an un-World Series like slugfest, but I was wrong.

In the eighth inning, when Willie Tavares led off with a double and Jose Contreras was promptly pulled, there was some tension in the stadium.

Neal Cotts did his part in relieving the tension in the stadium by striking out two batters, but when Ozzie Guillen came to the mound and gave the universal signal for Bobby Jenks, the Astros stood no chance.

As Jenks jogged to the mound, the POD song “Boom” was played, and with all of us chanting “Bobby, Bobby” he promptly threw a couple 100 mph fastballs and struck out Jeff Bagwell, and we all erupted with joy.

Scott Podsednik’s RBI triple made the stadium cheer even louder because we all knew the game was over at that point.

When the game was over and everyone spilled out into the streets, you could see people high-fiving, yelling and a couple of Astros fans getting heckled, but like most Sox fans, I did not see the incident.

But what I had just experienced will live in my mind for the rest of my life.

Thank You Sara for making it possible.

Sultan Abdul-Ahad is a junior in Communications. He attended Game One of the World Series and can be reached at [email protected].