CHICAGO -- Monday's visitation and Tuesday's funeral mass for Kevin Hickey allowed the White Sox to mourn the loss of their good friend and colleague. They also celebrated the incredible life of the team's pregame instructor since 2004, who passed away at the age of 56.
"Yeah, you know the personality of him and what he does, but everyone still misses him," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "That's just one of the things you don't really get over in your day-to-day stuff. You still play the game, but you're used to hearing and seeing certain things and it's just not there and I think that because of the way it happened, that makes it really hard. It was very unexpected and sad."
Hickey had remained unresponsive in the intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center after being moved to Chicago from Dallas in early April. Hickey initially was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas on April 5 after missing the team's morning workout prior to Opening Day.
"For us, it's been kind of surreal the last month because although we knew his condition and we knew that that might happen, until it actually goes down and you are at a funeral, it doesn't really make sense," White Sox captain Paul Konerko said. "It kind of still doesn't. But I know Kevin, he would, Hick would be saying go out there tonight and get after it, so that's what we are doing."
Hickey's tragic loss helps put things in perspective for the White Sox as individuals and as an organization.
"Everybody really appreciates things a little bit more, probably hug a few more people and tell them what they really think because you just never know," said Ventura. "It's sad how it happened and how quick it happened. It's tough. I don't know how you put it to the side, but everybody's been able to put it to the side while you play.
"It's just when you don't play, there's reminders all the time when we're walking through our clubhouse and doing things he would normally do or say that you think about him. Those are the toughest parts, when you're actually not playing the game."
There was a pregame moment of silence for Hickey on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field, followed by a slide show with pictures of his life.