Friday, July 24, 2009

The Story That Describes All You Need to Know About Mark Buehrle

This story was written in 2007 following Buehrle's no hitter. It written by Gordon Wittmyer of the Chicago Sun Times, and I think it is the perfect image of who Mark Buehrle really is. The link of the Sun Times site doesn't have the whole thing so here is the entire story.

Watching the highlights and talking about White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle's no-hitter brought back Neal Cotts' favorite story about his old friend and teammate.

The Cubs reliever was in his rookie year with the Sox in 2004, heading home to southern Illinois for the All-Star break, and Buehrle, who lives near St. Louis, rode most of the way with him.

Buehrle's fiancee was supposed to meet them where the highways diverged in the directions of their homes, but she wasn't there when they got to the meeting point.

''I'm like, 'Dude, we're in the middle of nowhere.' There's nothing. A gas station and nothing around it. Nothing else -- no city, nothing.''

But Buehrle, already a former All-Star who would win 16 games that year, insisted. He handed Cotts a couple of beers off his freshly purchased six-pack and said, ''Go.''

''So I'm pulling out of there,'' Cotts said, ''and there he goes with his White Sox gear and everything that he had from the ballpark. And he's sitting there on the corner, just sitting on the curb, right in the middle of nowhere, with a beer.''

That might make Buehrle the most regular-guy All-Star ever to pitch a no-hitter.

''I got home and told my buddies, 'I just left a guy that's worth millions and millions of dollars, an ace on a major-league baseball staff, sitting on a curb waiting for his fiancee,''' Cotts said. ''And he made me leave. He wouldn't let me stay. It just kind of describes him.''

Gordon Wittenmyer

That story symbolizes everything Mark Buehrle is to me. This is what I think of when I try to describe to people how cool of a guy Marcus is. Every time I read this or I tell it to people I get the image of Mark sitting there, on the curb, outside a gas station, in the middle of southern Illinois, by himself, holding a six pack of beer, waiting.

When I watch Buehrle pitch, I still have that image in my head. So yesterday during the perfect game I started thinking about this story again. I even told two or three people who probably couldn't give damn at work the story because I just can't get enough of it. And what I can't get over is that now that guy, is now the best pitcher in White Sox history. That guy is one of 6 people in baseball history to throw a no hitter and a perfect game on separate occasions. And that guy has a fighting chance at being a Hall of Famer. And more importantly, that guy is ours.

It is so neat to see athletes that are as down to earth as Mark is. In a world where there are A-Rods, T.O.'s, and Ron Artests who give great athletes bad images because of some fatal personality flaws, or Mike Vicks, PacMan Joneses, and Donte Stallworths who commit crimes and seem to get off easy because they are athletes, there's a shining light at the end of that tunnel. And that light's Mark Buehrle. The normal, average, down-to-earth guy, who come yesterday, turned into a legend.

But one thing I do know is that thing won't change Buehrle at all, he's always going to stay the same guy no matter what happens. He'll still show up to the games wearing cargo shorts and a BassPro T-Shirt, he'll still catch the ceremonial first pitch's even when someone no one has ever heard of throws them out, and he'll still throw 88 MPH cutters that occaionally get smacked for 450 foot HR's. He'll still be the same Mark Buehrle that we all knew and loved before the no hitter, before the perfect game, before ESPN realized who he was.

And that's why I love him.


  1. Hell ya, he's a total regular guy. He goes swimming at orland pool with his much more downn earth could you get?

  2. You gotta love him. I would love to be able to sit down and have dinner with that guy.

  3. A pitcher who talks, laughs and jokes around during the middle and late innings of a perfect game exudes not only his own self confidence but, his own realization and belief that whatever is meant to be...will be.
    More importantly are the the other 24 guys who share that dugout. Because of Buehrle's 'ordinary guy' image, they were confident and comfortable enough to be able to talk, laugh and joke with him. Those are the "invisable" or transparent depths of commadradrie that GM's can't just happens. Something clicks... and the men in the dugout feel it. Thats the "Nucleus" of what makes ordinary teams play Extraordinarly well. That is the invisable 26th man on the roster that makes the difference between mediocrity and the World Series. It happens every year. The team that feels that "click" can never really describe it.
    Buehrle is the 'ordinary guy' who makes others better...that's the GIFT he was given. Some men never utilize the gifts they were given to their fullest extent. Mark Buehrle made the other 24 men on the Chicago White Sox all PERFECT for at least that one day. Now the question is, will those other 24 guys step up to the plate and utilize the gifts they were given...remember, they have now witnessed what an 'ordinary guy' can do if he believes in himself. YES, The entire Chicago White Sox team was least for that one day thanks to Mark Buehrle. NEXT?

  4. As much as I think GM's are unable to buy that "click" like you are talking about, I think we have a GM that does everything in his power to make sure he gets the guys that can click and gets rid of the guys that don't.

    Pierzynski is a great example. This is a guy that is hated by most players, fans, and people in general. Didn't seem like the best move for the Sox to get him, and keep him. But now when you look at what he brings to this team and how much the guys on this team "click" with him, he becomes an imperative part of the organization.

    Then there is a flip side. Orlando Cabrera, Javy Vazquez, and even Nick Swisher. Cabrera doesn't need explanation, that guy is a dick, good player, but needed to go. Vazquez was not trusted by his teammates when it came to big games, because he didn't trust himself. Therefore Kenny shipped him out. And then there's Swish. Seemed like a very well liked guy, but after he left it was made well known that many of the veterans on the team were not fond of his shenanigans. Dye for one grew to really dislike his actions. Kenny felt that Dye, Konerko, and many other veterans were more important to the camaraderie of the team, so out with Nick.

    I know it's something that just needs to happen. But Kenny Williams has to be given a ton of credit for not only going out and getting guys that will fit, but when he gets the Buehrles, Konerkos, and Dyes, he does all he can to keep them.