GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 25: Michael Kopech #34 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds during the MLB spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 25, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
When the left field gate swung open in the fifth inning of Sunday’s afternoons Chicago White Sox game against the Kansas City Royals, the crowd surrounding the bullpen began to rise to their feet. Michael Kopech emerged and began his long trot to the Guaranteed Rate Field mound. The seven thousand fans scattered across the stadium gave a standing ovation in appreciation of the moment.