DETROIT -- Not long after Friday’s defeat that dealt a huge blow to the White Sox's playoff chances, the moment was put into perspective for manager Ozzie Guillen.
As he approached the family room, where relatives and friends wait for players and coaches, Guillen noticed his wife Ibis with tears in her eyes.
“I was worried that something happened at home,” Guillen said.
It turns out that Ibis Guillen was talking to the mother of new White Sox pitcher Shane Lindsay and she was moved by her story. Ozzie Guillen listened to it as well and it wiped away one of the toughest days of the season.
Upon hearing about her son’s promotion to the major leagues this week in a 4 a.m. phone call Australia time, Kerry Lindsay jumped out of bed, packed a bag and went straight to the airport where she purchased a round-trip ticket on the spot for the paltry sum of $4,000 (U.S.).
She was en route for nearly 24 hours, changed planes in Dallas and made it to Detroit with only a few hours to spare Friday night. She jumped into a rental car, navigated her way to Comerica Park and then couldn’t figure out where to go for her complimentary ticket behind home plate.
Undeterred, Kerry Lindsay purchased a standing-room-only ticket for the sold-out game and was on the outfield concourse above the White Sox’s bullpen when her son warmed up in the late innings.
Will Ohman said he teased his new teammate for not getting his mom a better ticket, so obviously Kerry Lindsay had managed to make her presence known.
One inning later, the moment that made her travel a half a world away in 24 hours happened. Shane Lindsay pitched a scoreless inning in his major-league debut.
“I think that’s one of the best things I hear in a long time,” Guillen said. “Fly all over to come see your kid get his dream come true. There is not a better feeling than that. When you are a parent, that’s why you raise your kids to make sure they get their goals. Believe me, I don’t get too sensitive about too much stuff, and that one made me forget how bad we played.”
Shane Lindsay joked that now he’s stuck with his mom for two weeks before she returns home. He was somewhere between proud and a little embarrassed to note that when his “mum” first laid eyes on her son after Friday’s game she sprinted toward him and put him in a bear hug.
It made the price tag worth it. When Shane Lindsay was with the Colorado Rockies organization, he had it in his contract that the team would pay for immediate family to fly to the United States to see his debut. He never made it to the major leagues with the Rockies and he didn’t have the same deal in his White Sox contract.
He wasn’t complaining, though.
“It was a great thing that happened to us, at least to me,” Guillen said. “I know a couple of players had a conversation with her. There is nothing better than when your kids have success. That’s one of the biggest thrills you can have as a parent.”