- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is feeling much better one day after a fainting episode that required an overnight stay in the hospital.
A White Sox official said Saturday that the lightheaded spell was brought on by a combination of exhaustion and dehydration.
Reinsdorf was attending a White Sox dinner Friday night that included new Hall of Fame inductee Frank Thomas when he slumped down into a chair. An onlooker described the scene, saying the 78-year-old owner's eyes rolled back into his head.
Thomas, who was nearby when the incident took place, initially worried it might be a life-threatening situation.
"After seeing Jerry go down last night, I'll be honest, it scared the s--- out of me," Thomas said. "He was down for a long time and it didn't look good. He was white as a ghost on the floor. The first thing you're thinking is 'Oh, my God, he's gone.' "
Thomas said paramedics were pumping Reinsdorf's chest as they took him away in an ambulance, but a White Sox official disputed that account.
The White Sox say that Reinsdorf was alert the entire time and was immediately tended to by a paramedic that was in attendance at the team function. The issue was said to not be heart-related.
Reinsdorf stayed at a local hospital for observation and had what was described as a restless night. He was released from the hospital in the morning and spent Saturday at his hotel.
A clear sign that Reinsdorf was feeling much better was his request to doctors to continue enjoying cigars the remainder of the weekend. The request was granted.