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Original Issue

Mark Buehrle


On being the fastest-working starter in the major leagues

I don't know why I do it. I've never had anyone tell me that the quicker you work, the better off you'll be. My teammates like it because it keeps them on their toes. As soon as I'm handed the ball, they know it could be in play a second later.

On fan reaction to his quick games

You hear some of the drinkers get aggravated. Like, 'Hey, man, we only had two beers, and then the game was over.' Or you hear it from the beer vendors, 'Hey, we didn't get to make any money today because the game was so quick.' But I think most fans enjoy a quick game.

On patience off the field

I'm pretty patient since I'm big into hunting. Sometimes you don't see a deer for three or four hours while you're out there. You're just sitting in the woods. I have 1,200 acres in northeastern Missouri where I hunt.

On meeting fiancée Jamie Streck

I met her two years ago at the gym in my hometown, St. Charles, Missouri. We went to the same high school, but she was a senior when I was a freshman. And I was small back then, so I was stuffed into lockers, and she didn't know who I was.

On proposing last off-season

I did it in a tree stand when we were hunting. She was with me when I bought the ring, so she already knew it was coming. I still wanted to somewhat surprise her. She was in her camouflage. It was kind of a joke, but it was pretty perfect.

On getting cut his first two years in high school

I was so small, I wasn't even going to go back out for my junior year. But my mom and dad sat me down and said, 'We didn't raise a quitter--you're going back out.' I made it, and then everything happened from there. Now if the freshman and jayvee coaches want to cut someone, they have to go through the varsity coach. It's called the Buehrle Rule.

On being the White Sox' representative for the players' association

It's like being in class. You have to pay attention and take notes, and then you have to come back and tell everyone what the meeting was about, and I'm not good at that. I told them straight out that I would be the worst player rep that there ever was, but no one else wanted to do it.

On his home-state Cardinals

I still root for them. Last year I went to see them play in the first round of the playoffs and the World Series. I grew up watching them. If I sign a lifetime deal with the White Sox, I'll be happy. But if the White Sox ever decide that they don't want me, and the Cardinals do, I would love to go home and play for them.

--As told to Lisa Altobelli



Photograph by Anne Ryan