Sox dedicate McDonald House play area

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale delivers a pitch to a child during the dedication of a rooftop garden and replica field at the new Ronald McDonald House in Chicago. "I've never wanted to give up a hit so badly," Sale said before underhanding the pitch. Doug Padilla, ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Hoping a small-scale version of their field on the South Side could brighten a child's day for even just a moment, the Chicago White Sox dedicated a rooftop play area and garden at the new downtown Ronald McDonald House.

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, along with players Chris Sale, Jesse Crain and Gavin Floyd took part in the dedication ceremony Tuesday.

Sale is just 24, but already knows the impact he has on young people as a major league pitcher.

"I always remember looking up to figures and people in sports," Sale said. "It's cool being that now. You don't even think about it. I just live my life like a normal person but you come here and see kids excited, it just takes them away from their reality. It's fun. It's nice for them but it's fun for us. I have a little boy who is 3 now and just being around kids and seeing them smile is what I get enjoyment out of."

The new Ronald McDonald House in Chicago is the world's largest and provides the comforts of home for families whose children are dealing with serious illness at nearby hospitals.

The White Sox made a $100,000 contribution to the facility. For Reinsdorf, it was yet another contribution to the community. He was recently awarded the MLB's Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, among many other honors for his community work.

In typical Reinsdorf fashion, he spread around the credit to the White Sox organization.

"I get these honors because I'm the front man, that's all," Reinsdorf said.

He credited Christine O'Reilly, the executive director of White Sox Charities, along with senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert and senior executive vice president Howard Pizer, for keeping the club active in the community.

"It's an organization thing," Reinsdorf said. "I always feel uncomfortable getting awards, first of all for doing the right thing, but also because I'm just the front guy. We have a great organization of people that do this. And our players, I don't know what players are like on other teams but we seem to always have guys that want to pitch in and it starts with (manager) Robin Ventura."