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Ex-USC player remembers his Series

The World Series can be a career achievement for any major league player.

A Hall of Famer like Ernie Banks never played in one, while a journeyman like Lonnie Smith played on four different teams that reached a World Series.

Unless a player is fortunate enough to be part of a dynastic franchise like the New York Yankees, as Sumter's Bobby Richardson was, there are no guarantees.

Adam Everett knows how lucky he is. The former All-American USC shortstop made it to the 2005 World Series as a member of the Houston Astros.

"It was a dream come true," Everett said. "Any time you experience that, it makes you feel better for years to come."

Although his experience did not work out like he had hoped - the Chicago White Sox swept the Astros in four games as Everett went 1-for-15 - he would not trade the moment for anything.

"At first I looked at it as a disappointment and a failure. But looking back now, it was a tremendous accomplishment to get there," he said.

Everett, who played at USC in 1997 and 1998 before being chosen in the first round of the '98 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox, had his finest season in 2005, when he hit 11 homers with 54 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.

The Astros defeated the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. That put them in Chicago for Game 1 of the World Series, a defining time for Everett. He most remembers lining up on the field for pre-game introductions and running out onto the field for the first time to take his position.

"You're thinking, 'We're the last two teams standing. Everybody else is watching us,'" he said. "It was amazing. You can't put into words how awesome it was."

Everett, who played in USC coach Ray Tanner's first two seasons after coming with him from N.C. State, left the Astros after the 2007 season to play for the Minnesota Twins. He played this past season with the Detroit Tigers, who lost a tie-breaking regular-season game to the Twins for the AL Central title.

Everett is not sure where he will be play next season because he's a free agent, but he would like to find a club that offers an opportunity to win.

After the grind of a 162-game season, the chance of three rounds of playoffs is worth it.

"That's what it's all about," he said. "It's what makes the game so much fun."