White Sox

White Sox: Matt Albers' moment immortalized on baseball card

White Sox: Matt Albers' moment immortalized on baseball card

Matt Albers' game-winning trek around the bases has been immortalized on a baseball card — at least temporarily.

Topps Baseball is selling a card online through Friday of Albers' moment, one that rallied the White Sox to a 2-1 victory in 13 innings over the New York Mets and had them fired up afterward. 

Albers' first hit since 2007 in his first plate appearance since 2009 was no cheapie, either. On the sixth pitch against Logan Verrett, Albers ripped a fastball that two-hopped to the wall in left-center field. With no slide, Albers barely beat the strong throw of Mets center fielder Juan Lagares to second. He also somehow managed to defy physics and keep his foot glued to the bag when second baseman Neil Walker applied the tag. 

"He almost joined the cadaver club on the ankle," manager Robin Ventura said. "It wasn’t very good getting into second, but it was good enough. Just the contact is amazing. He hit it hard. You never know with pitchers."

The fact that it was a pitcher who provided the magic in a 1-all contest in the 13th inning had Albers' teammates going mad in the dugout. From selecting a bat that worked to the moment his teammates learned he hits on the opposite side from which he throws — "allegedly, I'm left handed," he told Dioner Navarro — to Albers' trip around the bases, the White Sox dugout was in hysterics.

"They were laughing," Albers said. "They didn’t think I could do that. It was pretty funny. But I did that, wild pitch and scored on a sac fly. Luckily, I was a starter for a while. It’s been a while since I started. I kind of had done that before, didn’t feel too uncomfortable at the plate or on the bases. I’m not very good, but didn’t feel too uncomfortable."

Ventura, who cameras caught smiling when Albers skidded into second, described the atmosphere in his dugout as straight out of Little League. Navarro yelled from the top step when Albers reached second and then apologized to Walker for not sliding. And Mat Latos, who originally gave Albers his heavier bat only to have it rejected, pounded on the railing as Albers scored on a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly while teammates hooted and hollered in the background.

"Any time you’re in extra innings, it gets a little weird," Ventura said. "But when a pitcher gets a hit and gets on base, it gets fun. That’s part of the game that I think guys enjoy. They’re like kids. It can be like Little League, guys jumping around. When he got to third it was even more so, and then the fact he can score. It’s like Little League. It really is. I think they enjoy it just as much. People don’t see that part of it. They’re professional and everything, but they were like kids."

Albers has proven to be one of the team's most youthful players all season. His celebrations got more snd more spirited with each instance when he extended his franchise-record scoreless games streak early in the season. Later on, Albers' celebration in the dugout in Toronto after making a spectacular play on a bunt, one in which he mentioned his cat-like skills, was captured on camera for all to see. 

While he temporarily shelved any emotions Wednesday in order to record the final three outs of the game — "he composed himself," Ventura said. "He didn't get all crazy" — Albers let loose afterward in the handshake line. 

It was a moment Albers hadn't experienced much in May. During their 4-15 stretch, Albers went 0-4 with a 11.57 ERA in 10 games. But during a 23-10 run to open the season, Albers was 1-0 with a 0.57 ERA and seven holds in 15 games. 

He has been one of many catalysts for the team's success this season. Navarro said Wednesday's experience was significant for everyone given all that Albers and his teammates have gone through the past three weeks.

"Really super happy for Albers," Navarro said. "Sometimes stuff like that has to happen to bring the team even closer. We’re really happy."

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

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'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list