Fans have waited 16 long years to watch Gio González throw a pitch for the White Sox, and the payoff was worth the wait.
González's big moment came after he replaced an injured Reynaldo Lopez with two outs in the first inning of Sunday's series finale against the Twins. He entered the game with a 3-2 count on Marwin Gonzalez and wasted no time, striking out Marwin on the very first pitch he threw.
It was a long road for Gio's first pitch as a White Sox, and he quipped earlier this season that he had a very simple goal for this year: to throw at least one pitch.
If it seems silly to set the bar so low, González had good reason to think he wouldn't get his chance, considering this is his third stint with the White Sox without ever taking the mound.
The White Sox drafted González in the first round of the 2004 draft, but traded him to the Phillies in 2005 as a part of the deal that brought Jim Thome to Chicago. But the White Sox still liked González and acquired him again in another trade with the Phillies, this time in the deal that sent Freddy Garcia to Philadelphia.
Fast forward to 2008, and González was on the move again. This time to Oakland in exchange for Nick Swisher. He finally made his big-league debut in 2008 with the A's and has enjoyed a successful 12-year career since.
That brings us back to Dec. 20, 2019, when the White Sox acquired González for the third time, signing him as a free agent. Everyone joked it wouldn't last long, leading to González's quip about his short-term goal.
So now with that mission accomplished, what's next for González? Ten innings pitched?
White Sox reliever Gio Gonzlez pitches for team after waiting 16 years originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago