In uniform, A.J. Pierzynski ticketed
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It wouldn't be a good A.J. Pierzynski story if it wasn't embellished just a little bit.
As it turns out, the Arizona Department of Public Safety officer that gave the White Sox catcher a speeding ticket Wednesday afternoon wasn't a Cubs fan after all, as originally reported.
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Pierzynski was in his full White Sox uniform while driving west on Interstate 10, heading to the team's road game against the Cincinnati Reds. He said he only used the freeway for one exit, but it was long enough to get pulled over. He was written up for traveling 10 miles per hour over the 65 mph posted speed limit.
As word of the ticket initially spread, some members of the White Sox organization understood that the officer told Pierzynski that he was a Cubs fan. Pierzynski said that part was not true, but everything else about the story was spot on.
"I've never been pulled over in my uniform and given a ticket," Pierzynski said. "Full uni ... it was interesting. So I loved it when he said, 'Oh, you play for the White Sox?' I said, 'How did you guess? Figure it out?'"
It seems that was the critical moment when a chance of getting a warning turned into a ticket.
"He said, 'You know why I pulled you over?'" Pierzynski said. "'No, but I have a good idea, I guess. I was trying to get to the game so I won't be late. I play for the White Sox.' He said, 'Yeah, license and registration.' See you later.
"He never portrayed that I had any chance of getting out of it, so I didn't even try. I just knew I was in trouble. Oh, well, what can you do? I'll get to pay whatever the fine is, if I figure out how to do it because it's harder than reading 'War and Peace' to figure out how to pay a ticket."
Manager Ozzie Guillen sent out the first Twitter post about the ticket shortly after Pierzynski arrived for the game. Then his teammates started having fun with him.
"They said in the dugout that they'd take up a collection if they let the cop taze me," Pierzynski said.
So what was the worst part about the entire incident? The officer didn't return his proof of insurance card so now he will have to scramble to find a replacement and hope he doesn't get pulled over in the interim.
"He took it," Pierzynski said. "So if [you're] out there, I need my insurance card."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.