CHICAGO — The City of Broad Shoulders threw up its arms to celebrate the White Sox’s pennant victory Oct. 16. After winning the American League championship with their victory over the Los Angeles Angels, the local baseball heroes will play in the World Series for the first time in 46 years, thanks to their dominant starting pitchers: Cuban-born Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Venezuelan-born Freddy Garcia, and Jon Garland. Each pitcher demonstrated his outstanding talents in the course of throwing four complete games, sweeping the Angels in California.

Four consecutive complete-game victories in one postseason series has not occurred since the 1928 World Series.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen celebrated his team’s victory draped in the Venezuelan flag, with reporters asking if he had heard from President Hugo Chavez. Guillen is Venezuelan-born and before the series, Chavez had congratulated Guillen for the Sox division win.

Guillen, the consummate team player, told reporters before the victory game, “Baseball players don’t bring fans to the ballpark. A team brings fans to the ballpark.” Guillen’s presence, along with a number of other Latino ball players, has prompted the White Sox to reach out to the Latino and Spanish-speaking communities in Chicago and around the world. In a Spanish language-only international press conference Oct. 19, PWW/Mundo and other reporters asked Guillen questions about the upcoming games and his role as the first Latino manager to make the World Series.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Guillen said, “and I’m learning a lot.” Guillen said he has run into “difficulties” as manager, but takes a lot of inspiration from the fans and players. “The people of Chicago are proud of this team and we are really happy and proud to be a part of this organization.”

The Chicago White Sox are a red-hot ball club, winning 12 of their last 13 games, and people all over the city are rallying in support of their hometown heroes.

Amy Mogelberg, 31, is a police officer and longtime fan born and raised in Bridgeport, a South Side, working-class community — home to the White Sox ball park (and the PWW’s editorial office). “I’ve been going to Sox games since I was 4 years old. They are the underdog and encompass the neighborhood.” Mogelberg said she belongs to a Sox family and plans to watch the World Series with her 7-year-old daughter.

Walter Warren, 44, who works at McClellan Elementary just down the street from the ballpark, said, “Everybody at the job is excited.” When asked about what he thought about manager Guillen, he said, “Ozzie Guillen is the greatest! They should reopen his contract.”

Chicago sports history is generally recognized by its 1985 Bears and the Bulls-Jordan era, nonetheless the love of Chicago baseball is passionate and the Sox are prepared to “Win! Or die trying.”

Maria Nanos, a Cubs fan who lives on the North Side but works in Bridgeport, jumped the infamous Northside-Cubs/Southside-Sox divide. Sunning herself at the neighborhood hot dog stand, Nanos said, “All Cubs fans should endorse the Sox. It’s the World Series, in Chicago! We should unite for our team.”

In the same spirit Monica Rogers, a neighborhood postal worker, said, “We’re Chicago, not the North or South Side. When the White Sox win, we all win!”

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