Michael Clarke Duncan, the "Green Mile" actor who died at age 54 on Monday, achieved his fame and successes a little later in life. And like many average Joes who vault to stardom after years of holding regular jobs, Duncan used his newfound fame as a way to rub shoulders with the sports teams he had long supported in a more anonymous life.
"Mad Men's" Jon Hamm is perhaps the best current example of this phenomenon as he has become the celebrity fan for the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues and Missouri Tigers. But Duncan was right there with him, holding a pair of prized courtside seats for the Los Angeles Lakers and supporting his hometown Chicago White Sox in a variety of ways. The South Side native holds the distinction of being the only Chicagoan to ever narrate a World Series film for a Windy City champion after his baritone laid the soundtrack for the White Sox's 2005 highlight reel. He also served as the narrator for 2010's "The Club," MLB Network's forerunner to "The Franchise" series.
Duncan was also said to be one among the thousands that rushed Comiskey Park's field during Disco Demolition Night in 1979. He even told Chicago reporter Sarah Spain a few years back that he had made away with Bill Melton's bat during the commotion, though the slugger had been retired for two years at that point and hadn't played for the Sox since 1975.
Duncan's death rang so loud on the South Side that White Sox GM Kenny Williams released a statement about his close friend.
"Michael was a close friend. He was the nicest, kindest guy anyone could ever know. He was a great fan of the Chicago White Sox and often called me to offer advice. His friendship will be missed."
Here are a few more shots of Duncan participating in baseball-related activities over the years. May the big man rest in peace, preferably somewhere with a good view of the White Sox's push for the AL Central title this month.