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White Sox lookback, Part 7: The parade

Celebration a culmination of magical 2005 season

CHICAGO -- The White Sox will be honoring the 10-year anniversary of the team's 2005 World Series championship this weekend at U.S. Cellular Field. And this latest celebration presents a chance to look back at key moments from that postseason run, with a special focus on the World Series, with the words coming primarily from the participants themselves.

Here is Part 7 of this championship oral history series.

The World Series celebration

Trips to the Oprah Winfrey Show for members of the team and an appearance on Saturday Night Live for Scott Podsednik followed. But nothing could compare to the victory parade. The White Sox won on a Wednesday and had little time to prepare for the outpouring of love and genuine euphoria coming two days later throughout the streets of Chicago.

White Sox lookbacks: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

White Sox captain and first baseman Paul Konerko: "As a Major League baseball player, you are like, 'What does the All-Star Game look like? What does the World Series look like?' If you've never been to one, you can kind of imagine close to what it's like before you go. If you go, it's kind of in the ballpark of what you thought.

Konerko: "You spend your whole life thinking about getting to the World Series and the big leagues. We thought about the parade for a day. Nobody thinks about the parade well in advance. No team is out there going, 'I wonder what the 2016 parade is like?'

Konerko: "There's no lead time to think about it, so when you are hit in the face with it, it makes you feel small. It was like, if we would have known something like that was on the end if we win this thing, we would have been nervous. You don't realize how many people cared about it.

White Sox lookbacks: Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Konerko: "When that parade happened, I think I speak for everyone on the team, you don't realize how many you touch with something like that. That's a good thing we didn't know while doing it because it would have made you maybe think more. But you just played the game. Now that it's over, you realize."

The highlight of the parade festivities came when Konerko reached into his jacket and gave Reinsdorf the ball from the last out from the clinching Game 4. Konerko said that Reinsdorf had earned it and deserved it. An emotional Reinsdorf said it was the greatest moment of his life, a comment which he admitted in humorous fashion at SoxFest 2015 that he heard about from his wife.

Reinsdorf: "That was incredible, especially when you think about what had happened the year before, when [Doug] Mientkiewicz and the Red Sox got in a big dispute about it. I never really thought about where the last ball was. If someone had said, 'Where is the last ball,' I would have assumed Paulie has got it because he caught it. I never would have made an issue about it. As far as I was concerned, if he caught the ball, it was his ball."

At Konerko's retirement ceremony on the final Saturday night of the 2014 season, Reinsdorf joked that he wasn't giving back the ball from the last out. The White Sox did track down the ball from Konerko's grand slam in Game 2.

Up Next: Memories of the team

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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