CHICAGO -- Hundreds of Chicago White Sox fans gathered
outside a South Side airport on a chilly afternoon Saturday to
catch a glimpse of players returning from their AL Division Series
sweep of the Boston Red Sox.
"This is a great surprise," general manager Kenny Williams
said. "I didn't expect this. I'm shocked."
The White Sox, scheduled to begin the AL Championship Series at
home Tuesday night against the winner of the Yankees-Angels series,
flew home aboard a charter.
As the plane made its descent, the control tower flashed a green
light to fans along a street bordering Midway Airport, signaling
that the team was about to land.
Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi was the first to emerge from the
hangar. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he rolled down his
window and waved to the crowd.
When fan favorite Paul Konerko tried to leave, however, crowds
circled the first baseman's car, making it impossible for him to
move. Police had to intervene so he could drive away.
Though police encouraged fans to go home after most players had
gone, most refused to leave until manager Ozzie Guillen appeared.
The crowd cheered when Guillen finally appeared in the back of a
limousine about an hour after the flight landed. Fans chanted his
name and unfurled White Sox flags.
Guillen rolled down a window and shook a few hands, but was
driven off at the police department's urging.