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Scott and awe: A surprise power source

Aye, Pods: Homer is sweet music

CHICAGO -- In the end, White Sox left fielder Scott Podsednik made believers of them all, walking off U.S. Cellular Field after Sunday's 7-6 victory against the Astros in Game 2 of the World Series with the last laugh and a Texas-sized triumph felt from the West part of his home state to the South Side of the Windy City.

The scrappy Texan hit a home run to right-center field off Houston closer Brad Lidge in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the White Sox to a win, a 2-0 series advantage, and himself into the history books.

"I don't think anybody in the ballpark was thinking about me hitting the ball out of the ballpark," Podsednik said. The count was 2-1, and "I was thinking that he was probably going to challenge me with a fastball. I didn't think that he was going to want to walk me. Luckily, I got into a hitter's count. I was looking fastball the entire at-bat and got one, 2-1."

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Podsednik's home run, his second of the postseason, was the 14th walk-off home run in World Series history and the first for a White Sox player. He did not hit a home run in 507 at-bats during the 2005 regular season.

Following the historic home run, it was hard to tell if the emotion coming from mob of White Sox players who met Podsednik at the plate was elation or surprise.

It was likely both.

"The best part of it is that before the game he told me he was going to hit a home run today and I laughed at him," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "He ended up doing it to win the game. I'm still in shock."

Shocked and awed. The series heads to Houston for three games starting Tuesday -- a city only a few hours from Podsednik's boyhood home near Waco in a small town named West. Podsednik, who lives in Dallas and calls himself "a little crazy," has made habit out of calling his home runs. He's just never made habit out of delivering on his words.

Until Sunday.

"Pods has called it about 100 times. You don't understand that," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko joked. "He calls a lot of his home runs all year and he comes up empty a lot of the time. ... It could not have happen to a greater guy. You look to see guys who were traded by other teams or sent off because they didn't like something about him. He plays with that chip on his shoulder. Great for him."


World Series Walk-Off Homers
Scott Podsednik's memorable home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 2 for the White Sox was the 14th game-ending World Series homer.
Year
Player
Team
Opp.
Gm.
Inn.
Score
1949
Tommy Henrich
Yankees
Dodgers
1
9
1-0
1954
Dusty Rhodes
Giants
Indians
1
10
5-2
1957
Eddie Mathews
Braves
Yankees
4
10
7-5
1960
Bill Mazeroski
Pirates
Yankees
7
9
10-9
1964
Mickey Mantle
Yankees
Cardinals
3
9
2-1
1975
Carlton Fisk
Red Sox
Reds
6
12
7-6
1988
Kirk Gibson
Dodgers
Athletics
1
9
5-4
1988
Mark McGwire
Athletics
Dodgers
3
9
2-1
1991
Kirby Puckett
Twins
Braves
6
11
4-3
1993
Joe Carter
Blue Jays
Phillies
6
9
8-6
1999
Chad Curtis
Yankees
Braves
3
10
6-5
2001
Derek Jeter
Yankees
D-Backs
4
10
4-3
2003
Alex Gonzalez
Marlins
Yankees
4
12
4-3
2005
Scott Podsednik
White Sox
Astros
2
9
7-6

Podsednik has come a long way. During the regular season, he hit .290 with 28 doubles, 59 stolen bases and 25 RBIs in 128 games in his first season with the White Sox. He was selected by the Texas Rangers in 1994, traded to the Marlins the next year and then reunited with the Rangers in 1997 as a Rule 5 draftee. Podsednik then spent three seasons in the Mariners organization from 2000 to 2002. After two seasons in Milwaukee, he was traded to the White Sox before the start of the season.

"Well, just coming over here and having the opportunity to play every day, I was excited about before this season started," Podsednik said. "Once we got into Spring Training we recognized we had a good group of guys, guys that got along and a good guy leading us. ... It's been an enjoyable ride from day one. To be in the position where we are is just incredible."

After the game, Podsednik admitted to being inspired by Konerko's grand slam in the seventh and wondered what it would be like to be the hero in a World Series game. The outfielder actually came close to ending the game in the top of the ninth, but his throw from left field on a hit by Jose Vizcaino did not arrive at home plate in time to put out Chris Burke and prevent the Astros from tying the game at 6.

Podsednik does not have to wonder anymore. He goes back to the Lone Star State two victories from a World Series championship.

"It's unbelievable," said Podsednik's father, Dwayne Podsednik, one of a few family members who traveled from Texas to Chicago. "Nobody would ever expect anything like that. I was just hoping for a base hit. He's not a home run hitter and they didn't bring him in there to do that."

Believe it.

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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