ATLANTA — Only four players who appeared in the 2005 World Series weren’t able to make this weekend’s reunion at U.S. Cellular Field because they’re still in the majors.
Mark Buehrle (Toronto), Neal Cotts (Milwaukee), Juan Uribe (Atlanta) and A.J. Pierzynski (Atlanta) are the only active players left from the 2005 White Sox, though Brandon McCarthy — who appeared in 12 games that year but none in the postseason — is currently on the disabled list with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Pierzynski currently hits in front of Uribe in the Braves’ regular lineup, and at 38 is enjoying a fairly typical season: His .283 batting average, .318 on-base percentage and .438 slugging (.756 OPS) are right in line with his career averages (.281/.318/.438).
While Pierzynski would’ve liked to be around to reunite with his 2005 teammates, he’s not disappointed by the extenuating circumstances keeping him out of Chicago.
“I hope they all have a great time,” Pierzynski said. “It’d be cool to be there but obviously I’m here and still like to play. But there’s always good memories any time you have a team like that and win a World Series the way we did. Those guys will always be special in your heart.
“… There’s a lot of really good memories. Both my kids were born when I was in Chicago. There’s just a lot of fond memories and happy times.”
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Pierzynski played eight years with the White Sox and resurrected his career on the South Side after his reputation was tarnished during his one year in San Francisco. He had a .912 OPS in the 2005 playoffs, hitting three home runs and scoring nine runs — though he’s most known for reaching first on a controversial dropped third strike call in Game 2 of the ALCS.
A decade later, Pierzynksi’s still going strong as a major leaguer. He’ll just have to settle to go to the 20-year reunion in 2025.
“We’ll see if they invite me,” Pierznyski smiled.