Farrell: ‘Like The VIP Room Of A Vegas Night Club’
Brian Farrell is the winner of 670 The Score’s White Sox Fantasy Camp contest. He’ll take place in a week long White Sox Fantasy Camp and will blog about it every step of the way. Here’s his blog from day one of the camp.
By Brian Farrell–
First of all, I cannot thank 670 The Score and the Chicago White Sox enough for this opportunity. This is I dream come true. I feel like Archie Graham walking onto that baseball field in the middle of the farmland for the first time.
I got to the airport hoping that the plane wasn’t going to be delayed. As I approached the terminal, right away I see that Ron Kittle is also flying on the same plane as me. I was a bit hesitant to approach him at first, since this was an A.L Rookie of the Year, but I figured I’ll be joining him anyways for the next 6 days so I’ll go and introduce myself as Rookie Brian Farrell…he could not have been nicer. ‘How’s it going? Where are you from?’ We talked for a half an hour as we waited for the plane to arrive. He was nice enough to sign some autographs for some of the employees working for the airliner as we waited too.
The closer our plane was scheduled to arrive I noticed this is an unofficial White Sox plane. Other campers start to show up with smiles on their faces decked in Sox gear from head to toe. This is truly going to be Disney World for a White Sox fan. I board the plane, find a seat and we take off with no delay. Half way through the flight other campers start to talk amongst themselves about the upcoming week, because a four hour flight is too long to hold in all that excitement. A stewardess comes up to me and asks, ‘You’re the contest winner right?’ I nod and say yes. ‘Well these guys want you in the back of the plane to greet you and say hello. Apparently word got out that I was the lucky winner so I go back and its Kevin Hickey and Carlos May, holding down the back of the plane with other campers like it’s the VIP room of a Vegas night club. This is awesome. They greet me along with the other campers and have me read my letter. Everyone gets a good chuckle. Carlos May gets almost mad at me for drinking a Diet Coke, and buys me a drink. I’m laughing it up on the back of the plane at 10:00 AM drinking a beer with former White Sox players…is this really happening?
We land, where it is 60 degrees at noon, and get checked into the Wigwam Resort and Spa, which is a gorgeous hotel. All the rooms are broken down into smaller villa towns throughout the property with great hospitality, and impeccable landscaping. I almost forgot what green grass looked like. I get situated in my room, and head to the restaurant for a bite to eat before our opening ceremonies. Other former players start to gather, along with past years campers, and it’s like a reunion amongst old college friends. I’m amazed at the friendships that develop with the campers of past years and the former Sox players. Then walks in the ‘Godfather’ of the Fantasy Camp…Moose Skowron. For just turning 80 he’s as sharp as anyone I know, quick witted with a joke, and tells stories like you couldn’t believe were true. He mentions one particular story I remember, when he was rooming with Joe DiMaggio, but Joe didn’t know at the time Moose was rooming with him. He walks in the room and hears Joe screaming on the phone to someone on the other line, ‘Joe calm down, she’s a nice girl, take it easy’. Of course he’s referring to Marilyn Monroe. Hearing stories from a man who actually knew and hung out with some of these American Icons is unreal.
We take a shuttle over to Camelback Ranch where we are lead to the official White Sox clubhouse. Inside is wall to wall with campers’ personal nameplates on lockers, and inside is an official 1959 jersey with the number of you choosing, socks, White Sox warm up jackets, belt…the works…all for which you are able to keep at the end. Not to mention after every day, they dry clean your uniform, pressed, and ready to go for the next day’s games.
We eat dinner, which is catered with the food choices of your liking. Then Bill Melton formally introduces all the campers and tells them what to expect for the week. Tom Paciorek introduces the coaches, with some priceless jokes mixed in between.
After one day I already have a handful of stories to take home with me, and we’re just getting started. It’s shaping up to be a weekend I will not forget.