Meet the Players: Leonard Gore

Pretty much a spitting image: Power 60 Bat Tool 20. (Leonard Gore)

Leonard Gore, aka Lenny G, is a mild-mannered state gubmint worker by trade, proud father/husband, and occasionally insane White Sox enthusiast making his debut on our pages today, on the same day South Side Hit Pen itself makes its debut. It’s like he’s Baby New Year and Sexy Santa all wrapped up in one!

True confession: I’ve been having fun interacting with Leonard on Twitter (Leonard42) for quite awhile now, and thought I’d invited him onto the team some time earlier. In fact, I asked another guy named Leonard, who never responded. You’d think there might only be one ace writer named Leonard out there ripe for contributing to South Side Hit Pen, no? Maybe, maybe not. LG, you got a name doppelganger out there somewhere, my friend.

At any rate, Leonard has already made debuts both at South Side Sox and now South Side Hit Pen. In just under the wire. Give his Angels series preview a read today and you’ll agree, he’s bringing some bite and fun to the crew.

Please, South Side Hit Pen people, give a hearty welcome to the newest member of the lineup, Leonard Gore!


Hometown Chicago’s South Side (the best of all sides IMHO)

White Sox fan since Christmas Eve 1983 (aka Day 1 on Planet Earth)

First White Sox memory Glumly watching Paul Molitor and the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays celebrate at Comiskey on CBS.

Although my parents tell me this story of taking me to a game at Old Comiskey (#RIP) sometime in 1984, people down the row wanted to see the cute lil baby boy so my father (the dumb Cubs fan that he is) passes me down to be oohed and ahhed over. I’m passed down like a jumbo hot dog by a vendor too lazy to come around to the other side of the section, and I make it about two sections over before my dad finally realizes I’m gone! 

I like to tell that story because although I wasn’t actually abducted or confined to a life as a Baby Peanut Vendor, the Sox abducted my heart that night and I’ve been a devoted cultist ever since.

Favorite White Sox memory “URIBE! THROWS! OUT! AND THE WHITE SOX HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES!”  Non-2005 Memory: Sox erase 8-0 deficit against the Cubs, Paul Konerko hits two Homers and gets beaned in the head, the thrill of watching my Cubs fan father wallow in sadness.

Favorite White Sox player Big Hurt

Next White Sox statue Hawk Harrelson (Joe West and Mark Wegner invited to unveiling, Wegner declines and a furious Hawkeroo calls him screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WEGNER?! … Oh?  Oh my god, is that what I’ve sounded like all these years? I’m so sorry, everyone.” Hawk leaves the ceremony, ashamed. Joe West laughs, belches, then thunderously bellows out “HE GONE!” 

Next White Sox retired number The Cold War will have truly come to an end when Kenny Williams announces Ozzie Guillen’s No. 13 will be retired at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the 2005 championship team!

Go-to concession food at Sox Park I’m a simple man, I only require a bratwurst slathered in mustard and extra sauerkraut.

Favorite Baseball Movie This is so hard … [insert Michael Scott gif here] … but I will bite the bullet and go with The Naked Gun. What’s that, you say?  Not a baseball movie? I’m sorry, but if your film climaxes at Dodger Stadium, your lead character impersonates Enrico Pallazzo and a MLB umpire, a blooper reel including players being hit by cars and mauled by tigers, Reggie Jackson attempts to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, calls made by umpires that even Angel Hernandez would have a hard time believing are right, that film SIR/MADAM is a baseball movie!

Oh, OK, fine. It’s Major League 2 (don’t @ me) Reasons: Parkman’s shimmy and the White Sox portion of his career except that last bit; the fact that the White Sox were a successful enough franchise to have made the World Series the year before and actually be villains to be conquered (sigh, if only … ); Cerrano Dorn taking that HBP; all of Bob Uecker’s lines; Mahbles; learning not to get too high on your own supply and just be yourself.

Hall of Fame speed round

Mark Buehrle Yes (Vets vote him in)
Joe Jackson Yes (because Barry Bonds and the other steroid guys will get in, and there will be no reason to keep Joe out)
Paul Konerko No
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel Yes
Chris Sale Ugggghh … Yes (but he lives for petty, so he wears a Red Sox hat on his bust)

South Side Hit Pen on the field I’m the beefy, seemingly too-big third baseman. Can be moved over to first in late innings to cover pinch runner substitutions, great picker of balls (er … wait)

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Truth hurts, donut?

Author profile

Actor (final credit: murdered by Albert Einstein in "Carnage Hall"), musician (Ethnocentric Republicans), and Nerf hoops champion, Wiffleball aficionado and onetime bilingual kindergarten teacher, Brett Ballantini also writes about baseball, basketball and sometimes hockey, publishing at the NBA, MLB, NHL, and for Slam, Hoop, Sporting News, the Athletic, and others. He was CSN Chicago’s Blackhawks beat writer for their first Stanley Cup season of 2009-10, and took over the White Sox beat after that. He currently is the editor-in-chief of South Side Hit Pen and managing editor of SB Nation's South Side Sox. He also wrote a book about Ozzie Guillén but is running out of space, so follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and he'll probably tell you even more about himself than you ever wanted to know.

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katiesphil
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katiesphil
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Welcome aboard, Leonard. It’s going to be a good time had by all.

lwilz17
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lwilz17
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Maybe they can make the Hawk statue unveiling coincide with a wrestling event in Chicago so Hawk and Joe West can duke it out!

Lenny G
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Lenny G
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And then a Rocky 4 Old Bro-Hug and both men finally keel over simultaneously.