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In My Words

In My Words: Jerry Reinsdorf

When I first heard about Major League Baseball having a special day every year for Jackie Robinson, I thought it was a terrific idea. This Sunday, we will once again pay tribute to a great man.

I actually went to the first game Jackie wore a Dodger uniform in New York. In 1947, the Dodgers played the Yankees in a preseason game in Brooklyn.

When I first heard about Major League Baseball having a special day every year for Jackie Robinson, I thought it was a terrific idea. This Sunday, we will once again pay tribute to a great man.

I actually went to the first game Jackie wore a Dodger uniform in New York. In 1947, the Dodgers played the Yankees in a preseason game in Brooklyn.

Back then, the significance of his color didn't sink in to an 11-year-old. I just knew the Dodgers had two rookies coming up: Jackie and Spider Jorgensen, a third baseman. We just wanted to see them play.

I don't really remember what he did that day or much about that game. Maybe I should revise history to tell a better story, but the fact of the matter is all I cared about was if he was going to be any good.

The first time it dawned on me that something more was happening was when I asked my friend, Lester Davis, who was African-American, who his favorite player was. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said, "Jackie Robinson, of course."

I said, "Oh yeah, that's right."

I was 11 years old. What did I know about social issues? In fact, it wasn't until a couple of years later that I became more aware of what was going on. In 1949, our family took a trip to Mexico and we had to go through San Antonio, Texas. I saw signs for colored water fountains and bathrooms. I thought, "What is that?"

None of that existed in Brooklyn. I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, but our high school had a lot of African-American students. Looking back, Brooklyn probably was the ideal place for Jackie to play in the big leagues. It was a city of churches, and yet there was a big population of Jews, Irish and African-Americans. Everyone mixed with everyone else. It was a real melting pot.

It quickly became apparent that Jackie could play. He wasn't the best player I ever saw, but I always say he was the most exciting. He could do everything. He could run, bunt, steal bases and hit the occasional home run. I vividly remember Jackie jockeying back and forth on first base, messing around with the pitchers.

One maneuver Jackie loved was after hitting a single to right field, he would take a big turn around the bag. Very often, the right fielder would throw behind him and Jackie would race to second. Joe Torre once said the most exciting thing about Jackie Robinson is that you couldn't tag him out. He was incredible to watch in rundowns.

One time, I went with a friend to a sold-out game at Ebbets Field. This guy comes by and said, "Would you like to be on The Jackie Robinson Show?" He did a TV pregame show on the field. Well, we were pretty savvy and were thinking this guy just wanted our seats, so we said no. An hour later, these two kids came by and said, "Hey, we were on The Jackie Robinson Show." That's as close as I got to meeting Jackie.

When it comes to his legacy, Martin Luther King Jr. once said he couldn't have done what he did without Jackie Robinson. If Jackie had failed, it would have been years before we would have seen another African-American player in the big leagues. Everyone would have said, "They're not good enough." It was a major accomplishment for him to be able to face everything that was thrown at him and still be successful. It really opened the floodgates.

One of our initiatives with the White Sox involves growing the game in urban areas through our Amateur City Elite (ACE) program. Founded in 2007, it is designed to provide resources and hope to more than 100 inner-city youth each year, kids who might not otherwise be able to keep up with the travel-team culture that has permeated today's youth baseball.

We've had 19 players from the program get drafted, but the real goal of ACE is to help kids go to college, using baseball as a way to get an education. We've had 168 kids receive college scholarships.

I believe there is a crisis in this country with the underclass. The way to get people out of the underclass is through education and jobs. We didn't create ACE because of Jackie Robinson, but I would like to think he would be pleased with what we're doing with the program.

When I think of 1947, it makes me think of how old I am, and yet it seems like yesterday. Everyone from that era in Brooklyn felt like we were part of the Dodgers, and by extension, part of Jackie Robinson. I've always been very proud of the fact that Jackie Robinson was a Brooklyn Dodger, and that's where the color barrier was broken.

As told to Ed Sherman, a contributor to MLB.com.

Chicago White Sox

In My Words: Tim Anderson

White Sox shortstop discusses baserunning, having fun on the field
MLB.com

It's great to have fun playing baseball again. I'm enjoying the game a lot more than I did in 2017. Last year brought a lot of pain after the death of my close friend Branden Moss. I felt so numb. It was terrible to go through, but I learned from it and grew from it. It helped me mature as a player and person. Now, I'm getting back to my old self and having fun.

Sometimes, I feel like my friend is living through me. He was a happy guy, always positive. I'm talking more, and I try to always be smiling. If you treat people the right way in this game, your name goes a long way. That's important to me. I try to show up to the ballpark and be the same person every day. Not let the game get the best of me, try to have fun with it, no matter what happens.

It's great to have fun playing baseball again. I'm enjoying the game a lot more than I did in 2017. Last year brought a lot of pain after the death of my close friend Branden Moss. I felt so numb. It was terrible to go through, but I learned from it and grew from it. It helped me mature as a player and person. Now, I'm getting back to my old self and having fun.

Sometimes, I feel like my friend is living through me. He was a happy guy, always positive. I'm talking more, and I try to always be smiling. If you treat people the right way in this game, your name goes a long way. That's important to me. I try to show up to the ballpark and be the same person every day. Not let the game get the best of me, try to have fun with it, no matter what happens.

My family has helped me a lot. My daughter, Peyton, and my wife, Bria, are my world. I'm always with my family. I try to keep them with me as much as I can. To be hands-on with my daughter, be there every step of the way, and to be with my wife, it's awesome.

On the field, I feel like I am growing every day as a player. I'm getting better at shortstop. I'm getting better as a hitter, as a baserunner.

I am among the Major League leaders in stolen bases. I hope everyone in the stadium knows that if I get to first, I'm going to steal. That's always been my game. I feel like I got away from it last year. I wasn't using my legs. This year, I am.

Video: CWS@HOU: Anderson steals his 21st base of the year

My speed is something that works in this game very well. Being able to take that extra base, steal a base in a key situation, that's always huge for a team. You can score much easier from second than from first.

I'm doing a lot of homework studying the pitchers. I try to see what sticks out when a pitcher goes to the plate or when he goes over to first. Our third-base coach, Nick Capra, does a great job feeding me information. I use it, and it's been working.

I want the pitchers to know I'm over there, hopefully get them a little jittery. I drew two balks in one night. They know I'm over there, and they know I'm going.

The goal is to be a complete player. I haven't been a full-time baseball player for that long. Now I'm able to just focus on just baseball, and it's been great. I'm working my tail off every day, and it's showing. The more reps, the more games I play, it all allows me to continue to grow. There's still a lot more in there as far as what I can do as a player.

It's just great that everything has been better this year. The light has been bright from the dark moments of last year. I've been enjoying the ride.

As told to Ed Sherman.

Chicago White Sox, Tim Anderson

In My Words: Delmonico on chemistry

Special to MLB.com

I've been in a few locker rooms in baseball, dating back to my days as a bat boy when my dad was the baseball coach at Tennessee. I have to say, what we have right now with the White Sox is the best clubhouse I've ever been in. And the fact that it is at the big league level is unbelievable.

The character, the love we have in the locker room -- I don't think I've ever been a part of anything like it. It's a lot of fun to go out and play with these guys every day.

I've been in a few locker rooms in baseball, dating back to my days as a bat boy when my dad was the baseball coach at Tennessee. I have to say, what we have right now with the White Sox is the best clubhouse I've ever been in. And the fact that it is at the big league level is unbelievable.

The character, the love we have in the locker room -- I don't think I've ever been a part of anything like it. It's a lot of fun to go out and play with these guys every day.

:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::

Last year, at the end of the season, we were getting really close. We were playing well, and everyone kind of meshed. We saw it then. Then, when we all got together during the offseason at SoxFest, we grew even more. You could feel it when we came to Spring Training. It was awesome to have everyone feeling the same thing.

Ricky [Renteria] sets the tone of how we do things. Minor Leagues, big leagues, the White Sox are one big family. So if you're in our organization, you're a part of our family. That is what he has established. We've got everybody from top to bottom buying into this. I saw it last year, I saw it even more in Spring Training, and I see it even more now with the season beginning.

When I got called up last year, I got welcomed with open arms. Everyone was awesome. It made me feel so comfortable. All the success I had last year was due to my teammates treating me with the utmost respect.

The biggest thing is being comfortable with yourself. Coming into our clubhouse knowing you can be yourself, and then going out and playing hard, everyone is comfortable in the clubhouse with each other. There's no worry about fitting in, trying to do the right thing. Everybody knows what you're coming in to do that day. You feel like everyone has your back.

James Shields does a great job of bringing everyone together, getting people to do stuff. He is one of the best I've ever seen at doing that. He's one of the greatest teammates I've played with.

Tweet from @MLBNetwork: What's going on back there? 😂😂😂@TimAnderson7 & @Nicky_Delmonico had a little fun during @whitesox teammate @CarlosSan29's interview on #MLBCentral! pic.twitter.com/UcXHaAaFYU

You've got guys like Yolmer Sanchez, who keeps the clubhouse so much fun, loose. You've got Tim Anderson, who always has a smile on his face, cracking jokes. We just have a good group of guys who love coming to the field every day.

During Spring Training, we had fun with social media. Every day it was someone's day, and we all posted about him. For instance, we had a day where everyone would post about Matt Davidson. I had a day. It's just another thing we do to try to bring us together, along with interacting with the fans. It was a lot of fun.

Tweet from @whitesox: It's #NickyDDay! Give @Nicky_Delmonico a follow on Twitter and Instagram. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/dbM5lFq2Bk

Chemistry is big in this game. From my experience in baseball, the teams that get along the most, play for one another, play the game right, they tend to be successful. It was like that with my dad's best teams. If you look at any winning team, I don't think it has a bad clubhouse. They all get along. There are other parts, too, but chemistry goes a long way.

Everyone in our clubhouse believes that we're at the beginning of something special. We're all going to do it together and keep riding this train.

As told to Ed Sherman.

Chicago White Sox, Nicky Delmonico

In My Words: White Sox trainer Herm Schneider

MLB.com

It is hard to believe this is my 40th season with the White Sox. Sometimes, it feels like yesterday, and sometimes it feels like 40 years ago.

You could say I knew what I wanted to do as a youngster. Growing up in Rochester, N.Y., I was the "clubbie" for the Baltimore Orioles' Triple-A team. I was doing a lot of odds and ends for the trainer, and I thought to myself, "I kind of like this."

It is hard to believe this is my 40th season with the White Sox. Sometimes, it feels like yesterday, and sometimes it feels like 40 years ago.

You could say I knew what I wanted to do as a youngster. Growing up in Rochester, N.Y., I was the "clubbie" for the Baltimore Orioles' Triple-A team. I was doing a lot of odds and ends for the trainer, and I thought to myself, "I kind of like this."

I went to college to learn how to become a trainer, and eventually got a job as the assistant trainer for the Yankees in 1976. I remember walking into that locker room for the first time. Let's just say my heart was pounding.

It was a lot different back then. You'd massage a guy or tape an ankle. I remember we had a pitcher with the Yankees, Don Gullett, who was having some problems with his left pitching elbow. At some point, the elbow was just gone. Gullett probably needed Tommy John surgery, but it didn't exist. Maybe he could have pitched for a few more years.

Now, it's much more sophisticated. You have to set up these elaborate rehab programs. When I think of advances in medicine, I think of MRIs and CT scans. Sometimes, they're for the good, and sometimes they're for the bad when you get information you're not really bargaining for.

Some of the things we do now, we did back then, like cupping. Back then, the guys didn't like it. They thought I was hurting them. Now all of a sudden, it's in vogue. Go figure.

The players are different, too. We worried about nutrition back then, but you'd see them having a cocktail and a cigarette. They didn't train year-round like they do now. They didn't make the kind of money. Some of them had to get jobs in the offseason to supplement their incomes. Now, these guys know they have to train hard. They don't want anybody to get an edge on them.

I feel like I can take credit for turning around the White Sox sports medicine program. When I came over in 1979, the program was struggling. It needed to be beefed up. We wanted to make it more professional. We started the process, and kept moving forward.

Our track record has been pretty darn good as far as keeping our guys healthy. We do a lot of preventative work to try to head things off at the pass before they get out of control.

Early on, I wound up working with Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa for nine years. We became very tight, and still are. He liked the way I did things. Tony was about having the edge on things. He knew having me around, doing what I was doing, gave him an advantage.

I've had the good fortune to work with so many great players, and great guys with the White Sox. There's Harold Baines, Tom Seaver, Rich Dotson, Paul Konerko, (Jim) Thome and so many more. They've all had an impact on me. I hope I've had an impact on them.

I think about the two years Bo Jackson and I spent trying to get him back on the field after left hip replacement. He never said, "I can't do this or I can't do that." I can't tell you how thrilling it was when he hit that homer in his first game back on Opening Day in 1993. It was storybook.

I enjoyed working with Michael Jordan. Early on, his hands were bleeding from swinging so much. I remember he took us down to Spring Training in his private plane. Having him around was pretty incredible.

I worked with Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan. How many people can say that?

I've always felt all of the years I have been with the White Sox have been pretty good. Some years are a bit better than others. Winning the World Series in 2005 is the crown jewel.

It's hard for me to imagine that I have been with the White Sox for 40 years. There's been a lot of turnover, but the one constant is owner Jerry Reinsdorf. I'll do anything in the world for him. Every day I come to work, I want to make sure I do as much as I can for Jerry and the White Sox.

As told to Ed Sherman, a contributor to MLB.com.

Chicago White Sox

In My Words: Nick Hostetler

Chicago White Sox

You're never going to hear a scouting director walk out of a room and say, "Boy, we had a terrible Draft." But in my three years as the White Sox director of amateur scouting, [2018] is the most excited I've been after a Draft. There are some interesting guys in this class. This one is a bit more risky, and there's some more ceiling to it. It's going to be fun to watch it develop.

The MLB Draft is what we as scouts live for, but the three days are both exhilarating and excruciating. Leading up to the first day was miserable. Your mind is just racing a thousand miles a minute. All the phone calls, discussions, looking at the possible scenarios. It is just insane.

You're never going to hear a scouting director walk out of a room and say, "Boy, we had a terrible Draft." But in my three years as the White Sox director of amateur scouting, [2018] is the most excited I've been after a Draft. There are some interesting guys in this class. This one is a bit more risky, and there's some more ceiling to it. It's going to be fun to watch it develop.

The MLB Draft is what we as scouts live for, but the three days are both exhilarating and excruciating. Leading up to the first day was miserable. Your mind is just racing a thousand miles a minute. All the phone calls, discussions, looking at the possible scenarios. It is just insane.

Forget about getting any sleep during the Draft. After the first night, I went back to the hotel and I'm wide awake at 2 in the morning. I said, "What am I going to do?" I actually went down to work out until 3:30. Then I took an hour nap -- if you want to call it that -- showered and went to the ballpark.

It also was gut-wrenching waiting for our pick at No. 4 in the first round. Nick Madrigal was the guy we knew we wanted. I wasn't positive he would get to us. There was actually a rumor told to me by someone pretty high up in baseball that there was a possibility Nick could go as high as No. 1. Then the talk was that the Phillies, picking third, were wavering between Alec Bohm and Nick. We had to create backup scenarios and make sure everyone was on the same page. I did a lot of pacing about an hour out. I was texting the scouting directors in front of me, behind me.

It kept flipping. I'd talk to one guy who said the Phillies wanted Madrigal. I'd talk to another who said they wanted Bohm. It got to a point where I had a pit in my stomach.

We weren't really positive Nick would get to us until Philly made their pick with Bohm. The feeling that you have, I liken it to winning a game. Finally that last out is made. This is exactly what we wanted. There's that excitement, that joy of this work. All of the nights on the road, the airplane flights, the bad food we eat, the constant cell phone conversations, the stressing over weather and schedules. Getting a player like Nick made it all worth it.

It was one of those deals where I didn't know how I would react if Nick got to us. Would there be a fist-pump? A dance, a yell? I put my hands on my knees and kind of bent over and took a big deep breath. There was a sense of relief.

Video: Draft 2018: Madrigal on being 4th overall pick

Over the course of Nick's college career, I probably saw him play 20-25 times. Each time, he answered another question. He did something you wanted to see. He truly is a pleasure to watch play.

We talked Nick at Oregon State on May 9. I went with Mike Shirley, our national supervisor, and Garrett Guest, our Midwest supervisor, After that meeting, we were driving to the Portland airport. We all looked at each other and went, "Wow. That is an impressive young man." He has an unbelievable knowledge of the game and is a 100 percent team-first guy. It was a fun conversation. The three of us left there kind of in amazement over how special this guy really was.

Of course, the Draft is about more than one player. The third day, when we draft from the 11th to 40th rounds, is truly about the area scouts. That's their time to shine. I would be remiss to not mention the job the area scouts and cross-checkers do. I truly believe I have the best staff in baseball. They make my job so much easier. They know every piece of information about the player possible. They tell me at that point who it is they want us to draft.

We were in the 37th round, and I was listening to a debate between our area scouts about guys they wanted to sign after the Draft for $1,000. These guys still kept getting after it. History tells us you can get some great players in the later rounds. Last year, we took Laz Rivera, a shortstop, in the 28th round. He's tearing it up at Class A Kannapolis. Ian Hamilton, a pitcher, was an 11th-round pick, and he's having success at Double-A Birmingham. That's a testament to what our scouts do.

Video: Draft 2018: Nick Hostetler on Day 3 Draft picks

This year, we added some high-ceiling high school kids. We're really excited about it. Selecting high school players is not something we've done of late. We're going to sign four of them. They are high-risk, high-ceiling guys. You want to balance it out. The last thing you want to do is walk out of the Draft and say, "I didn't take any chances." We want to go for the gusto with some of these guys.

Now the 2018 Draft is in the books. I'm leaving Tuesday to go to Cape Cod to start our 2019 Draft coverage. I actually made my flight reservations while in the Draft room. I'd love to sit here and tell you I can turn my mind off for a day and really enjoy it, but that's not the way it works. As a scout, you've got to move forward. You've got to make sure you're prepared.

We're back at it. We're ready to hit the road.

As told to Ed Sherman

Nick Hostetler is director of amateur scouting for the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox

In My Words: Jose Contreras

Special to MLB.com

Every time I have the opportunity to see all the Cuban players for the White Sox, it is a proud feeling for me. I know they are my countrymen. They are the new wave of Cuban superstars in the United States.

Last December, I joined the White Sox as a club ambassador and to assist in working with the Cuban players on the team. During Spring Training, I got to spend time with Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert.

Every time I have the opportunity to see all the Cuban players for the White Sox, it is a proud feeling for me. I know they are my countrymen. They are the new wave of Cuban superstars in the United States.

Last December, I joined the White Sox as a club ambassador and to assist in working with the Cuban players on the team. During Spring Training, I got to spend time with Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert.

When I was introduced to Robert and he stood up, I said, "Wow, that's a big human being." I asked him, "Did you eat all the food in Cuba?"

Moncada is another big, strong human being. Both of them have all the talent in the world to be superstars.

The White Sox have a terrific history with Cuban players, dating back to Minnie Minoso. Minnie was a great example for us. He always was a man with a purpose, on and off the field. He treated everyone the same way -- with respect. That's something I am trying to tell the kids here. Just be the best you can be every day. Follow the lead set by Minnie.

Video: White Sox Cuban heritage

I was fortunate to have Orlando Hernandez when I first came to the United States. "El Duque" was like a god in Cuba. When I signed with the Yankees in 2003, he was with the Expos. But he would call me, and try to take care of me. He always was giving me advice, and not just about baseball.

Two years later, we were together with the White Sox. I remember the first day of Spring Training. He was doing an interview and he said the White Sox were going to win the World Series. I was listening and said to him, "Are you crazy?"

"Don't you want to be a world champion?" he said.

"Yes," I said, "But this is Day 1 of Spring Training."

He said, "It doesn't matter. We have the talent here to become a world-champion team."

Video: WS2005 Gm3: El Duque strikes out Ensberg to end 9th

When we were celebrating after we won Game 4 [of the 2005 World Series] in Houston, he hugged me.

"I told you we were going to do this," he said. It was a special moment.

Orlando was big in helping me make the adjustment. That's why it is very important for Moncada and Robert to have fellow countrymen like Abreu with the Sox. It is important to have someone from your culture to guide you in your first days in the United States.

One of the things I always tell them is don't make the same mistakes I did when I first came here. I wasn't engaged with the language. I say, "Try to learn the language. Try to interact with American players."

At this moment, they are doing great in that regard. They are open to interacting with American players; they are open to learn about this society and culture. When they can handle that, the rest will be easier for them.

I can't play right now, but seeing them play, it feels like I also am playing. It's like a continuation of my career. That's how people in Cuba feel about us here. People in Cuba always ask me about the Cuban players playing here, and I tell them. They also feel like they are living those experiences through these guys.

I know baseball is a business here, but for us in Cuba, it is life. It's passion. It's all the things you can imagine. If you take away baseball, there would be a problem.

That's one of the reasons I'm always telling these young players to be aware of the risks that are around this sport. They have to behave all the time. We as Cubans, we feel everything they do, on and off field. If you get in trouble, maybe get a DUI, we feel that as a Cuban. We feel that pain, that frustration. We don't want that to happen.

That's why I tell them to take care of themselves, do good things, don't cause problems. You're representing our people. You're representing our country.

As told to Ed Sherman

Jose Contreras is a club ambassador for the Chicago White Sox. He spent six of his 11 big league seasons as a pitcher with the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox

In My Words: Frazier on Opening Day

Special to MLB.com

I always say, once you experience your first Opening Day, you will want to have 100 of them. There's nothing like Opening Day. It is unlike any game we play the rest of the season.

There's a chill in the air, and everyone is pumped up. I remember in Cincinnati, Opening Day was unbelievable. It was like a holiday with a parade. I lived right next to the ballpark, and it was crazy to see people out there so early before the game. That's Opening Day.

I always say, once you experience your first Opening Day, you will want to have 100 of them. There's nothing like Opening Day. It is unlike any game we play the rest of the season.

There's a chill in the air, and everyone is pumped up. I remember in Cincinnati, Opening Day was unbelievable. It was like a holiday with a parade. I lived right next to the ballpark, and it was crazy to see people out there so early before the game. That's Opening Day.

:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::

Last year's home opener in Chicago might have been the coldest I've ever been for a game. So what? I hit a homer, and the fans were so excited for the new season. 

Growing up, I was a Red Sox fan. But it doesn't matter if you're a fan of the worst team in baseball. Everyone feels you've got a chance to win it when the season starts. There's a lot of optimism. You can talk all the smack you want with your friends, but on Opening Day, everyone is 0-0.

Spring Training is long, and the players are ready to play some real games. The stats all count now. It's a feeling of owning the day and understanding I'm here for a reason.

Video: Frazier anticipates Opening Day excitement

If you're not nervous on Opening Day, then you don't care, to be honest with you. When you pick up the bat and go to the on-deck circle for the first time, the butterflies are flying. That means you care about the game. You care about the fans. You care about the city. It's pretty surreal.

If guys tell you they're not thinking about getting that first hit, they'd be lying. You want to put numbers up there right away. It doesn't matter what kind of hit you get. It could be a blooper, or a broken-bat single over the first baseman's head. You just want to get some numbers up there so you can breathe again.

I'll never forget Opening Day with the Reds in 2015. It was tied 2-2 against the Pirates in the bottom of the eighth inning. I was 0-for-3, and I came up with runners on first and third and one out. I'm just trying to get the run in from third. I'd take a fielder's choice. I got a good pitch and hit a three-run homer. I flipped the bat. I felt like I was walking on air. I got my first hit, first homer and first RBI all at the same time. We wound up winning 5-2, and it's one of the best memories of my career.

That's what is so great about baseball. It is a failing sport. You fail more than you succeed. You might be 0-for-3 on the day, but there's always an opportunity to be a hero.

On Opening Day, everyone says it's only the first game; it's still early. But you can't take anything for granted. You never know. If you lose games early you should have won, and then you finish a game or two out of the playoffs, you're in trouble. Those games were a big deal.

We'll be ready to put our best foot forward against Detroit on Opening Day. There's nothing like hearing your name introduced for the first time, and the crowd roars.

It's the start of a new season. It's go time. Let's play ball.

As told to Ed Sherman.

Chicago White Sox, Todd Frazier

In My Words: Father's Day special to Jones

Special to MLB.com

Father's Day is Sunday, and it always gives me a chance to reflect on all my father did in helping me reach the big leagues.

My dad, Bill Jones, was a construction laborer for 32 years. Even though we lived in Kentucky, he worked in Ohio, meaning he had to drive more than an hour to work. It made for a long, hard day.

Father's Day is Sunday, and it always gives me a chance to reflect on all my father did in helping me reach the big leagues.

My dad, Bill Jones, was a construction laborer for 32 years. Even though we lived in Kentucky, he worked in Ohio, meaning he had to drive more than an hour to work. It made for a long, hard day.

:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::

When we came home, my two brothers, my sister and I always were going, "Hey Dad, let's go out and play." I know there must have been days when he was dead tired, but he would be out there for us, hitting grounders and fly balls, throwing us pitches. Looking back now, you realize all he and my mother did, and sacrificed for us, to have a better life.

My father was a pretty well-known local softball player, but he and my mother never pushed us in regards to sports. They never said, "Hey, you've got to go out there and practice." I'm grateful for that. That enabled me to develop my own relationship with baseball, develop that love of the game.

When I made the White Sox in 2012, the first person I called was my father. He was beyond excited. You never really know if the goal of reaching the big leagues is attainable. When I did, you realize all those days of him playing catch with me, spending the time with me, paid off. Even if I hadn't made the big leagues, the memories of those days still would have been just as special.

Father's Day now has another meaning ever since the birth of our children; Lilly is 4 and Archer is 2. Baseball is a big part of our lives, and we want them to be a part of it. My wife, Lacy, and I take them on two or three road trips a year. But we don't call them road trips. We say, "Hey, let's see what we can explore today." I remember taking them to the zoo in Detroit. It was neat to see their eyes when they were looking at the animals.

Video: My Own Words: Jones talks about fatherhood

Archer got a glove for his birthday. He loves it so much he won't play catch unless you're wearing a glove, too. It's cool to see something you love, playing baseball, get transferred to your children.

The kids, though, aren't old enough to understand if I have a good night or a bad night. My oldest will say, "Hey Dad, I saw you on TV." She doesn't know the results.

It's a good reality check. My boy doesn't sit still to watch cartoons, but he'll watch me pitch on TV. My wife has taken video of him watching. That's pretty awesome.

Once we leave the stadium, we're not baseball players anymore. We're just regular people who want to go home and spend time with the family. The toughest thing is the road trips. To be gone for 10 days isn't easy. You do Facetime and stuff like that, but it's not the same. When you come home, they come running at you, arms wide open, and give you a big hug. For a dad, it doesn't get better than that.

Nate Jones is a relief pitcher for the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox, Nate Jones

In My Words: Kahnle confident in consistency

Special to MLB.com

If you talk to a lot of players, they'll say sometimes it only takes one thing to get you going in this game. You make the adjustment and then, boom, there it is. That happened to me this year.

Everyone always has told me I have a lot of stuff. I had the velo, but I just didn't have the consistency. This past year, I worked on my leg kick and timing to get the ball down, and I had some good results. But I didn't have it this spring. My command was spotty from outing to outing.

If you talk to a lot of players, they'll say sometimes it only takes one thing to get you going in this game. You make the adjustment and then, boom, there it is. That happened to me this year.

Everyone always has told me I have a lot of stuff. I had the velo, but I just didn't have the consistency. This past year, I worked on my leg kick and timing to get the ball down, and I had some good results. But I didn't have it this spring. My command was spotty from outing to outing.

:: Chicago White Sox: In My Words ::

I kind of readjusted toward the end of camp, but it still wasn't fully there. Then we had a simulated game in Charlotte, N.C., right before we came to Chicago to start the season. For some reason, I decided to keep my head more in line during my delivery. I also focused more on the catcher's glove than the catcher himself.

Normally, I would try to feel where to throw the ball, and my head would start tilting. Coaches said it was one of the reasons why my fastball was so inconsistent. To be honest, I really didn't understand what that all meant.

That day in Charlotte, it really clicked. When I started to hit my spots, I thought, "Where did that come from? Now, I understand what they were saying."

Now if I fall off a little bit, I know that it doesn't feel right. I've been able to adjust a lot more quickly. It feels good to be able to consistently throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters. This game, though, is not easy. I don't want to get too overconfident, but I hope it keeps going this way.

I grew up near Albany, N.Y. After my junior year, my Dad and I went to Florida to attend some summer showcase camps for college coaches. I was starting to throw harder, and I was getting some looks from colleges. Back then, the long-term goal was to get drafted, but I was realistic -- I just wanted to play somewhere.

Video: KC@CWS: Kahnle strikes out Perez to avoid trouble

Florida Atlantic was interested, but there was a miscommunication with one of the deadlines, and I wasn't able to enroll. Eventually, I didn't have many options. I remembered Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., liked me and sent an email. One of the coaches got back to me within an hour and said, "Yeah, we'd love to have you." It worked out well, as the Yankees drafted me in the fifth round in 2010.

How many players from Lynn have made it to the big leagues? You're looking at him.

Away from baseball, I'm a huge Philadelphia Eagles and Notre Dame fan. When I was a kid, I liked the Eagles' color green and the bird logo on the helmet. Sometimes, that's all it takes. I'm looking forward to having former Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery on the team this year. I'll have his jersey soon.

It's been fun being in Chicago, because Notre Dame and the Big Ten are so big here. Derek Holland and Zach Putnam are Michigan guys. I'm sure there will be some trash talk between us when the football season starts.

I'm also into pro wrestling. I went to a lot of shows when I was a kid--and comic books. When people ask what character I would be if I was in a comic book, I say Captain America. I like what he represents.

But in real life, I would settle for being a successful Major League pitcher. I know I still have a lot of work to do.

As told to Ed Sherman.

Tommy Kahnle is a relief pitcher for the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox, Tommy Kahnle