White Sox set for Tucson charity game
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The last-minute addition to the White Sox's Cactus League schedule will require over five hours of bus time round trip and will log 270 miles on the road.
Despite it all, nobody has registered a complaint.
The White Sox are set to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday at their former spring training home in Tucson in memory of 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.
The granddaughter of former Phillies manager Dallas Green was one of six people killed Jan. 8 when a gunman opened fire at a Tucson grocery store. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was among 14 injured in the attack.
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Proceeds from the game will benefit a fund established in Green's remembrance.
"They went through a tough ordeal this offseason in Tucson and it's always good to be able to give back to communities," White Sox pitcher Edwin Jackson said. "You have families who have lost loved ones, husbands lost wives, kids lost moms, parents. It was a tough day for them and they have to deal with it on a personal note.
"Just to be able to go and even have a little bit of relief for them by playing a game should be a good feeling. There is really no way you can correct what happened. But you can try to mend things a little bit."
Jackson is making the trip to Tucson for his start even though there is a split-squad game at the team's home park in Glendale against the Indians. Manager Ozzie Guillen, pitching coach Don Cooper, hitting coach Greg Walker and third-base coach Jeff Cox will also be on hand. Bench coach Joey Cora will stay back and manage the club's home game in Glendale.
Other White Sox regulars that will be making the trip are Brent Morel, Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Quentin and Adam Dunn. Relievers Sergio Santos and Chris Sale will also make the trip as will Lastings Milledge, Alejandro De Aza and Ramon Castro, among others.
"When Coop said I was going down there I had no problems with it just because of the significance of the game and what it stands for," Santos said. "I'm all for it."
It will be Santos' first game pitched since racing back to his Southern California home Saturday to watch his 6-year-old son play in his first Little League game. Santos, who also has a 3-year-old daughter, is prepared for an emotional day.
"Goodness, to me that would have to be the single worst thing in the world to lose your child or to bury your child," Santos said. "I think that is something that nobody should go through and I couldn't even imagine doing that. I'm sure emotions will be running high with prayers going out to the families."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.