CHICAGO -- Alexei Ramirez returned from the White Sox seven-game road trip Sunday night and sat in the driveway leading up to his house for close to 30 minutes. The White Sox shortstop had to be tired after playing in New York's sweltering weekend heat, but this particular pause had nothing to do with exhaustion. Ramirez was about to be reunited with his parents, Armando and Edith, who came from Cuba to Chicago while Ramirez was out of town, and he simply was trying to compose himself. "I was so nervous, and there were so many emotions running through me," Ramirez told MLB.com Wednesday, through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda. "It took me a while to calm myself until I saw them.
"When I saw them, there was just a lot of crying and a lot of hugging. It was a lot of love. It was great." Upon being asked how his parents made their way from Cuba, Ramirez chose not to go into specific details. "I'm excited to have them here," said Ramirez, whose parents will live in Chicago with his family during the season and then in Florida with them during the offseason. "I just thank God. It's a great dream to have come true." That dream moved to another level on Tuesday, when Ramirez's parents saw him play live for the first time with the White Sox. On Wednesday, Armando threw a ceremonial first pitch to his son before the start of the contest against the Rangers. Ramirez said that his parents already have taken to Chicago. After not seeing them since 2007, when he came to the United States to start his Major League career in the '08 season, Ramirez can't wait to make up for their lost time together starting with this special Independence Day. "You can't make back five years, not being there," Ramirez said. "But I treasure that every day from now on I'll be able to be with them." A group of eight veterans who had served overseas were recognized by the White Sox on the field before Wednesday's game in conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday. Each honored guest stood at a position prior to the first pitch, meeting that specific White Sox player and having him sign a baseball.