White Sox Give Job Back to Man Wrongly Behind Bars for 23 Years

Nevest Coleman is proud to be back as a groundskeeper at Guaranteed Rate Field
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2018 11:46 AM CDT
Nevest Coleman, left, smiles as a fellow colleague shows off some of the newer features of Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Monday.   (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP)
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(Newser) – It's been nearly a quarter-century since Nevest Coleman helped powerwash and pull back the tarp at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox stadium now known as Guaranteed Rate Field. But the 49-year-old is back on the job, after 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. The Chicago Tribune reports Coleman, whose conviction for a 1994 rape and murder was overturned in November after DNA evidence cleared him, would often watch his former groundskeeping colleagues taking care of the rain-delay tarp on TV in prison, and once released, he talked fondly about his old role at the stadium. "I'd wake up in the morning proud to go to work," he tells the Tribune. "I loved it." When the White Sox got wind of his desire to return, they called him in for an interview, and to Coleman's delight he got the gig, which started Monday, per CBS News.

The head groundskeeper greeted him with: "I saved your spot for you. I knew you'd be back," per the Tribune. As for the White Sox, they said in a statement, "We're grateful that after more than two decades, justice has been carried out for Nevest. It has been a long time, but we're thrilled that we have the opportunity to welcome him back to the White Sox family." Coleman, who kept his mind occupied in prison by reading the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter books, among others, is now looking forward to spending time with his kids (whom he left on the outside when they were babies) and grandkids and getting used to all the changes at the park. And he's done looking back at the past, per CBS Chicago. "If I'm happy, everybody else will be happy," he says. "I don't have time to be miserable, you know?" (Read more wrongful conviction stories.)

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