And on Sunday night, the White Sox moved one stop closer to franchise history by taking out the Angels in five games and claiming their first trip to the World Series since 1959. Aaron Rowand was squarely in the middle of this success, as usual.
Rowand scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of Game 5, coming home from second on Joe Crede's infield single. Rowand then drove in another one in the ninth inning. He also did plenty of postgame celebrating in the visitors' clubhouse and on the Angel Stadium field.
But Rowand still found time to talk with MLB.com, in the latest installment of his exclusive journal. The topic, of course, is going to the World Series.
Hands down, this is the greatest feeling of my professional baseball career. It feels so great that I can't even put it into words. To do it here, at a place where I grew up and was coming to games as a kid, it's just amazing.
But all the memories I have growing up here and watching the Angels play are out the window. Now my one main memory, that one shining moment for me, is clinching the American League championship in Angel Stadium.
From the get-go, we knew this team had a chance to be successful. The way we started in April was amazing. We knew we had the pitching, and maybe we didn't have the greatest offense. But we were good enough with our pitching staff, and our defense was outstanding all season long.
We knew we had the pieces, but it was just a question of putting it together. I think it's all about the guys, the way the guys get along. Deep down, we really pull for each other. There are no agendas on this team. It's about us winning and getting a win at the end of the day. Personal numbers go right out the door.
Coming into Anaheim, our first thought was winning the first game. And then it was get the second game and then the third game. It's one game at a time, and that's the way it always has been with this group.
I've answered questions all year about who is next and what team we've got ahead of us. But nobody cares. It's about us winning the game we are playing that night.
The next few days off are going to be good for some of us who have bumps and bruises. But you still go work out, hit, throw and stay sharp. We'll try to see some live pitching.
On that last at-bat [by Casey Kotchman], I remember thinking, "I can't believe it. We are going to the World Series." Monday, I'll be thinking the same thing.
This is an absolute dream come true. You spend your entire life watching this as a baseball fan and to be able to be a part of it, and be out there doing it, it's just amazing.
But I really believe my fondest moments are ahead of me in the World Series. I have a good feeling about this team, and I'm excited about the way that it's come down right now.
We've got a great chance. We have a great pitching staff and a great bunch of guys who are going to try to finish this job.
Aaron Rowand's postseason diary appears as told to Scott Merkin a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.