Kimbrel meets fan who imitated his delivery

September 16th, 2021

CHICAGO -- Chase Boykin, a 10-year-old White Sox fan from the South Side of Chicago, had a plan in mind when he stood in the aisle and perfectly mimicked reliever during the eighth inning of Friday’s 4-3 victory over the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Well, I wanted to help him get through the inning,” Boykin said as he stood near the White Sox dugout prior to Wednesday’s contest against the Angels. “And he had a big strikeout. I helped him.”

Kimbrel walked Xander Bogaerts in that eighth, but he struck out Hunter Renfroe and Bobby Dalbec during his lone scoreless frame of the series. So, Boykin’s plan clearly paid dividends.

Boykin smiled when one of the fans sitting near his family showed that imitation made its way to the White Sox broadcast. And on Wednesday, Boykin actually had the chance to meet Kimbrel in person.

Joined by his mother, father and grandmother, the fifth-grader spoke to Kimbrel for about five minutes before batting practice. Kimbrel signed a baseball for Boykin, took pictures and went to the clubhouse to retrieve a pair of cleats to give to him. Kimbrel said it was a pleasure meeting Boykin.

“He said, 'I saw the video you did,' and I was so surprised,” Boykin said of his talk with Kimbrel.

While Kimbrel is Boykin’s favorite White Sox pitcher, shortstop Tim Anderson is his favorite White Sox player. He also spoke with Anderson on Wednesday, along with pitching coach Ethan Katz and executive vice president Ken Williams, while picking up numerous autographs.

As a player for the West Englewood Tigers, Boykin rotates between second base, shortstop and pitcher. He has never employed Kimbrel’s unique pitching style.

“No, but I will,” Boykin said. “I’m going to try it.”