Sox's Ramirez gets duplicate gold medal from 2004

In a surprise ceremony before batting practice Friday, the

White Sox

presented shortstop

Alexei Ramirez

a duplicate of his lost gold medal from the 2004 Olympics.

Another Cuban, former Sox

Jose Contreras

, presented Ramirez with the medal after the Sox worked nearly a year to have a duplicate, authorized by the IOC, made.


"I wasn’t expecting this,” Ramirez said. “It left me speechless.

“I felt I was in Athens getting that medal all over again. There are many athletes who win championships, but to win a gold medal in the Olympics is really rare. So it is special to me.”

His original medal was lost during transit as his wife traveled from the

Dominican Republic

to Chicago in 2007. Despite internet searches, the medal had never appeared.