A former groundskeeper of the Chicago White Sox was back on his old stomping grounds on March 16 as he returns to the old job he lost when he was wrongly imprisoned for 23 years.
The last time Nevest Coleman stepped on the stadium was in 1994 before his life was snatched from him. When he came back, he saw an old face, Roger Bossard, also called The Sodfather, the long-time groundskeeper for Chicago. His old friends and colleagues, Harry Smith and Jerry Powe, were also there to welcome him.
Bossard told him that he kept his spot all these years.
Coleman was convicted of rape and murder and spent more than two decades behind bars. However, new DNA evidence presented to the court in November of 2017 exonerated him. His certificate of innocence was issued by the Cook County court just his month.
While in prison, Coleman never got down on himself and often regale anybody who’d care to listen about his time as a worker of the Chicago White Sox.
“I’d wake up in the morning proud to go to work,” Coleman told reporters of his routine prior to being incarcerated. “A lot of times, you get people who get jobs, you go to work, you be like, ‘I don’t want to go.’ Here, I loved it.”
After his release, friends and family united to ask the White Sox to give him his job back. The front office decided to give him an interview and the rest is history.
“His first wish, before he wished for a hamburger, was to work for the White Sox,” Richard Coleman, Nevest’s cousin told ESPN. “That’s exactly what I told them.”
The White Sox, in a statement, said they are grateful that Nevest’s name was cleared. “It has been a long time, but we’re thrilled that we have the opportunity to welcome him back to the White Sox family.”