CHICAGO -- Sheryl Cohen Becker is a friend of mine.
We met on Oct. 17, 2005, an easy enough moment to remember since we were both on the flight from Anaheim to Chicago the day after the White Sox captured the American League pennant -- they had won four straight games with four complete games from their starting pitchers. But that random meeting on an airline we can't remember wasn't the one I talked to her about today.
This particular Monday, Oct. 26, at 11:01 p.m. CT to be exact, marks the 10th anniversary of the White Sox clinching victory in a four-game World Series sweep of the Astros. Sheryl, like many other ardent White Sox fans, was in Houston to watch the party begin.
"Other than childbirth and my wedding, it was the most surreal experience I ever had," she said of witnessing the World Series championship.
Many White Sox fans clearly circled Monday on their calendar. They also didn't forget the days leading up to the clinch featuring Paul Konerko's go-ahead grand slam and Scott Podsednik's walk-off homer in Game 2 and Geoff Blum's pinch-hit, 14th-inning blast and Mark Buehrle's unlikely save in Game 3.
On Monday, stories ran across Twitter and Facebook referencing where people were 10 years ago, with whom they celebrated, and even some talking about their first taste of champagne coming after the White Sox sweep, all memories from a pre-social media era. Ozzie Guillen, Jr. posted a picture on his Facebook wall of his dad and two brothers standing together at Minute Maid Park during the Game 4 postgame festivities.
One of the most lasting celebratory images after shortstop Juan Uribe threw to Konerko to complete the 1-0 victory featured then-manager Ozzie Guillen, Ozzie Jr., Oney and Ozney hugging in the dugout as the team piled upon each other on the field.
My friend Sheryl's father, Ray, instilled the fandom upon her and her two sisters, just as his dad did and his grandfather did. She hopes to do the same with her son and daughter, although allowing them to root for the Cubs with their grandmother, who is a lifelong Cubs fan.
Her father passed away more than two years ago. But she was grateful he got to see the White Sox World Series championship, even if they weren't together at the clinching moment, erasing his bad memories of the team's 1959 Fall Classic defeat.
"I think about him every time during the National Anthem. That was his favorite part of the game," said Sheryl of her father. "Every time I see anything World Series related, I think of him."
Nothing will be as special as the only Chicago baseball title won in nearly 100 years. But as a devout White Sox fan, Sheryl believes the team will win again and provide a chance to create new memories and celebrate new anniversaries with her family.