White Sox honor Hickey's life, contributions

White Sox honor Hickey's life, contributions

CHICAGO -- The White Sox honored Kevin Hickey during a pregame on-field ceremony Monday, paying tribute to the former pregame instructor, one-time player and friend to everyone on this team.

A 16-inch softball exhibition preceded the Hickey ceremony, recognizing the man who led his 16-inch team to a 1976 world championship. Hickey passed away on May 16 after being found unresponsive in his Texas hotel room before the 2012 regular season started against the Rangers.

Hickey's No. 99 jersey hangs in the White Sox dugout, both at home and on the road. A plaque officially commemorating the Kevin Hickey batting cages was presented to his family by the entire White Sox team, following a video tribute, keeping Hickey forever a part of the White Sox organization with the plaque placed outside the newly named cages.

This year's team has handled Hickey's loss, along with the recent medical problems of assistant hitting coach Mike Gellinger, who blacked out in his hotel room in Baltimore on Wednesday and is dealing with a problem associated with his neck, according to manager Robin Ventura. These life issues keep baseball in perspective for the White Sox.

"Well, you know, this is our job and this is what we do and it's important. Everyone realizes that. We get paid a lot of money to do this," Ventura said. "It's important for a lot of reasons. But by no means is it the end of the world.

"So, the stuff that's happened with Kevin Hickey at the beginning of the year, it really levels that out for people to realize the importance of life and being happy and all those things. You know, baseball needs its own compartment in being able to control.

"Even the stuff with Gelly that happened in Baltimore, you just never know," Ventura said. "So, you know it's important and do the best and you care about it. But in the real scheme of things, it's down the list a little bit."

A number of White Sox players such as Jordan Danks, John Danks, Chris Sale, Kevin Youkilis, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Brett Myers, to name a few, sported mustaches on Monday. It was Youkilis' idea for Monday's series opener and parlayed into a tribute to the late Hickey, who sported a mustache of his own.

"This being Kevin Hickey Night, it actually worked out pretty well," White Sox captain Paul Konerko said. "With the win, I have a feeling they're going to be around for a while. It was a nice thing for Hick tonight. Maybe there's some wins in it. Maybe he's looking down, looking out for us."