At Sunday night’s fundraiser for Florida Gulf Coast University’s athletics programs in Alico Arena, former Eagles ace Chris Sale tightly clutched the tiny left hand of longtime sweetheart and fiancee’ Brianne Aron.
Sale wore a simple sportscoat and khakis on his 6-foot-6, 170-pound frame. Instead of a tie, he sported a gold chain around his neck, the same one that dangled under his chin while racking up an 11-0 record with a 2.01 ERA and first-team All-America honors as an FGCU junior in his final collegiate season.
Major-league fame and money don’t seem to have changed the lethal lefty a bit. The 21-year-old Lakeland native who was taken by the White Sox with the 13th pick last June before going 2-1 as a Chicago reliever, rents a house in Bonita Springs, still spits out a Southern twang and tosses out “sirs and ma’ams” with regularity, just as parents Allen and Marla taught him. He still dotes on toddler son Rylan, and loves to hang with his old FGCU coaches and teammates.
Sale, who was on the cover of last week’s Baseball America, was the first of his draft class to be called up (Aug. 4) and, by all accounts, exceeded Chicago’s great expectations for him. In 21 appearances covering 23.1 innings, Sale had a 1.93 ERA, four saves and 32 strikeouts against just 10 walks.
The three-quarter release hurler upped his velocity from 98 to over 100 mph. That’s led to rave reviews from reporters and columnists for Chicago’s Tribune and Sun-Times as well as from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (who originally referred to Sale as “the skinny kid”), pitching coach Don Cooper and general manager Ken Williams. …
December 11, 2010
Chris Sale on his university days and his new career (video)
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