As the Super Bowl approaches, and football comes to an end, it means the official start of baseball for me. Less than 2 weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting, Spring Training is on its way. And I couldn’t be more excited. Though, this year, it’s a different kind of excitement.

He’s one of the first people I’d call or text when a trade went down. He’s one of the first people I’d call or text when something exciting happened during a Sox game. He’s the first person I would have called when the Sox signed Jose Abreu last year.

He’s the first person I would have seen when I walked into work the day after it was announced the Sox were reportedly interested in signing Tanaka. And he would have given me a fist bump and said “Tanaka”!!

He’s the first person I would have sent a picture to of my new Sox hat, especially considering I haven’t bought a new one in 4 years.

He’s the first person I would have asked to go to White Sox Opening Day with me in 2014. Because he asked me to go with him last year.

What was my first White Sox Opening Day game I attended in many, many years in 2013, turned out to be my friend Sam’s last game attended. Sam passed away in August.

Earlier that year, while my family and I were moving, I found an over-sized Chicago Bears Pez dispenser in my garage. I immediately thought of Sam. I brought it work the next day and gave it to him. Except,  he wouldn’t just take it. He offered a trade.

The next day, Sam brought in an authentic White Sox jersey and gave it to me as the “trade” for the Bears Pez dispenser. Obviously not a fair trade as the jersey was much more valuable, but Sam insisted I take it. So I did.

I plan on going to Opening Day in 2014 as well. I plan on wearing the Sox jersey Sam gave me. I’m not sure how I’ll feel that day. Happy because baseball is starting? Sure. But sad because I’ll remember where I was, and who I was with just a year earlier on that day.

As Super Bowl approaches, everyone keeps asking me if I bought my Super Bowl squares yet. And I tell them no. Because I always bought them from Sam. I miss ya buddy.

Posted from WordPress for Android Brian Madsen BMad