FORT MYERS — The growing legend of Chris Sale keeps getting larger, but he’ll never be too big for the school that really helped him start it all.
As he has since its inception in 2010, the Chicago White Sox starter, four-time American League All-Star and 2010 Collegiate Player of the Year was back at Florida Gulf Coast University on Friday for the annual Night at the Nest, the athletics fundraiser for the Eagles.
“This is where I really grew up,” Sale said. “I feel at home here as much as anywhere else. I always like to come here pretty soon after I get home to catch up. Spill my guts; they spill their guts. We exchange stories and just kind of catch up. It’s fun. You can’t not like coming here.”
Dressed in the usual untucked plaid shirt above jeans and sporting the same close-cropped hairstyle from his college days, the first-ever Eagle to have his jersey (No. 41) retired was again at the sold-out fundraiser with his college sweetheart and wife of three years, Brianna. Five-year-old son Rylan sat this one out, but Sale was quick to pull out slow-motion video of him driving, quite impressively, plastic golf balls from his backyard. The Sales have a home not far from campus, and Sale often works out at FGCU in the offseason.
In fact, he’s already been there quite a bit. He’s also been working out yet again with Rick Lademann of Beyond Motion in Naples. On Wednesdays he does Pilates with Lademann’s wife, Amy, as he did a few years ago.
“They’ve always been great to me over there,” Sale said. “This is my fourth year now, so more of the same.”
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