Aparicio to be honored

first_imgCHICAGO — Ozzie Guillen sounds almost as excited for Saturday’s pregame festivities as he does for the World Series. Luis Aparicio, the star shortstop of the White Sox’s last World Series team in 1959, will throw out the first pitch for Game 1 against the Houston Astros. Aparicio, like Guillen, hails from Venezuela. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Aparicio still leads Venezuelan players in games played (2,599), hits (2,677), runs scored (1,335) and stolen bases (506), and is tied with Omar Vizquel with nine Gold Gloves. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. Aparicio replaced another Venezuelan, Chico Carrasquel, as the White Sox’s everyday shortstop in 1956. Three years later, he was the leadoff hitter on the “Go-Go Sox” squad that went to the World Series. Aparicio had 56 of the team’s league-best 113 stolen bases that year, and combined with steady second baseman Nellie Fox for stellar up-the-middle defense. While Guillen and Aparicio will always be linked because they played the same position for the same team, they couldn’t be more different. Guillen has never met a conversation he didn’t like. Aparicio will never be described as outgoing. “Luis is not the type of person to say ‘Hi’ to everyone,” Guillen said. “To me it’s an honor just for Luis to say, ‘Yes,’ and come here and be with us.” So much so that Guillen might even get behind the plate when Aparicio throws out the first pitch. “Wow. Luis means a lot to this organization, a Hall of Famer and the best shortstop to ever play in Chicago,” said Guillen, who played shortstop for 13 years for the White Sox. “It’s going to be touching,” he added. “Back in our country, Luis is Luis and Ozzie is Ozzie. You see two different people. I know how the people in my country feel and how important this thing is for Venezuela.” center_img “I think I’ll be the first manager to catch a first pitch in the World Series,” Guillen said. – Roy Oswalt has already found the perfect place for his MVP trophy from the NL championship series. Wherever his father wants to put it. The right-hander was picked as the MVP after pitching the Houston Astros to their first World Series, and he immediately turned the trophy over to his father, Billy. Though Billy Oswalt got up at 5:30 a.m., he was always home in time to get his son to the ballpark. “To give it to him, that meant more to me than winning it. He didn’t want to take it, but that’s the way he is,” the younger Oswalt said. “It was more special for me to see his face once I gave it to him, and just the way he believed in me. “Growing up, people used to come by and ask why he spent (so) much time with me out in the yard throwing the ball. Hopefully those guys see that on TV today.” Oswalt didn’t leave the NLCS completely empty-handed, though. Astros owner Drayton McLane had promised to buy Oswalt a bulldozer if he won Game 6. Oswalt did, allowing one run in Game 6. Oswalt also gave up one run in Game 2 against St. Louis. – Mark Buehrle was torn about which NL team he wanted to face, and it had nothing to do with lineups. Buehrle was a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan growing up in St. Charles, Mo., where he still lives in the off-season. “To be able to play in Busch, go there for the last few games at Busch” would have been special, the Chicago White Sox left-hander said Thursday. “But family and tickets, just trying to deal with all of that stuff in your hometown, I think that would have been a burden.” As it is, Buehrle’s phone is already getting a workout. High school coaches, college coaches –anyone who’s got his number has called to congratulate him since the White Sox earned their first trip to the World Series in 46 years. Buehrle, who is 2-0 in the playoffs so far, will start Game 2 against the Houston Astros on Sunday in Chicago. But the callers better not hit him up for tickets. “I’ve got 10 tickets,” he said. “If anyone else wants some, come up here and good luck trying to find ’em.” – Paul Konerko’s wife gave birth to a boy, their first child, and the AL championship series MVP was on his way back to Chicago after missing the team’s workout for a second day Thursday. Konerko, who’d returned to Arizona for the birth this week, was slated to do some hitting in a batting cage. “It’s a boy? Good. We’ve had too many girls lately,” manager Ozzie Guillen said, listing Freddy Garcia, A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Crede and third base coach Joey Cora, all of whom had daughters born this season. “Too many girls. You know why?” Guillen said. “Because they can’t be in the clubhouse. The boys can.” – Liz Phair is making another trip to Guyville. The Winnetka native, whose debut album “Exile in Guyville” became an indie classic, will sing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch of Game 1 of the World Series. Josh Groban will sing the national anthem. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img