The little Chase Boykin, a fan of the White Sox 10-year-old from the South Side of Chicago, had a plan in mind when he stood in the hallway and perfectly imitated the reliever Craig Kimbrel during the eighth inning of Friday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Veteran right-hander Kimbrel walked Xander Bogaerts in that eighth, but struck out Hunter Renfroe and Bobby Dalbec during their only scoreless inning of the series. Thus, Boykin’s plan clearly paid dividends:
Boykin smiled when one of the fans sitting near his family showed that the knockoff made it to the White Sox broadcast. And on Wednesday, Boykin had the opportunity to meet Kimbrel in person.
Together with his mother, father and grandmother, the fifth grader spoke with Kimbrel for about five minutes before batting practice. Kimbrel signed a baseball for Boykin, took pictures, and went to the clubhouse to retrieve a pair of spikes to give him. Kimbrel said it was a pleasure meeting Boykin.
While Kimbrel is Boykin’s favorite White Sox pitcher, shortstop Tim Anderson is his favorite White Sox player. He also spoke with Anderson on Wednesday, along with pitching coach Ethan Katz and executive vice president Ken Williams, while collecting numerous autographs.
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As a player for the West Englewood Tigers, Boykin rotates between second baseman, shortstop and pitcher. He has never used Kimbrel’s unique pitching style.