Mark Buehrle was honored once again on Tuesday night at the start of the Mark Buehrle Appreciation Series, during which the White Sox will be playing host to the Angels. Anyone who has interacted with Buehrle or covered the left-hander over the past decade or so understands that the laid-back and unaffected superstar would rather give up five runs in an inning than have this much public attention.
But with his wife, Jamie, son Braden and daughter Brooklyn at his side on Tuesday, not to mention his parents, Buehrle truly seemed to enjoy this classy ceremony to honor the 18th perfect game in Major League history and his new Major League record of 45 straight batters retired.
Dewayne Wise and Ramon Castro also were honored, with two simple words reading ‘The Catch’ now permanently posted on the outfield wall at U.S. Cellular Field above Billy Pierce’s likeness and his retired number. That spot, of course, was where Wise jumped on the dead run to take a home run away from Gabe Kapler to lead off the ninth and preserve the perfect game.
Castro was behind the plate for Buehrle’s perfecto, catching Buehrle for the first time ever. Each player unveiled a photo directly related to their part of the perfect game, with Buehrle’s framed shot being the most grandiose since he was the architect of this gem. But before that moment happened, a video montage showing all 27 outs was played on the Jumbotron.
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave a brief speech, eloquently praising Buehrle’s historic effort. And with Braden standing with him behind home plate, Buehrle also addressed the crowd and thanked his family and his teammates, among others. The pregame ceremony was capped off by Wise throwing out the first pitch to Buehrle, who usually is the man behind the plate for these first pitches when he’s not starting.
The crowd cheered loudly at every step, providing an especially boisterous reaction when the Wise catch was replayed a few times on the center field scoreboard. The crowd’s feelings for Buehrle were summed up rather nicely by one particular sign in the stands, reading, ‘I wanna be like Mike,’ with the Mike portion crossed off and Mark written in next to Mike.