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Freed from prison, Nevest Coleman ready to get back in the game with White Sox

Nevest Coleman spent 23 years in prison for a crime he was coerced into confessing to by Chicago Police officers. On Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, Coleman and his attorneys Russell Ainsworth (right) and Jon Loevy (left), held a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago, several officers, and Cook County State's Attorney officials for his wrongful imprisonment. | Erin Brown/Sun-Times

Nevest Coleman has a 23-year gap in his resume, but that didn’t stop him from getting a job.

Coleman, on Tuesday, got a call from the Chicago White Sox, informing him that he could get his old job as a seasonal member of the Guaranteed Rate Field grounds crew — allowing the 48-year-old to restart a career that was interrupted by his 1994 arrest and incarceration for a rape and murder he did not commit.

Coleman, in November, was released from prison, after recently analyzed DNA evidence cleared him and a co-defendant of the fatal attack against Antwinica Bridgeman.

He interviewed with the Sox last week.

Coleman had worked a variety of jobs, often more than one at a time, when he caught on with the Sox before the 1992 season.

“I wanted to work my way up, and stick with it,” Coleman said Tuesday, not long after getting a call from White Sox Human Resources. “That’s the kind of job I felt comfortable working. When everyone was there, it was just like a family.”

Coleman was touched to see during his interview last week that Jerry Powe, a former co-worker, was still working for the Sox, and that Powe and others with the club had followed the progress of his case.

“He was like ‘Man, we missed you,'” Coleman said, noting that while he had a strong impression he was going to get his old job back, the interview was tough.

“He laid down the rules. There wasn’t no favoritism because he knew me,” Coleman said.

Coleman said he was told to report for his first day of work on March 22, and he has already marked the first home game – April 5 – on his calendar.

Coleman’s old duties involved cleaning up at the park before games, and he was usually only allowed to linger when they needed extra workers to prep the field during rain delays.

Opening day at Guaranteed Rate was rained out last season.

“If it rains on April 5th, maybe you’ll see me out there rolling that tarp,” Coleman said.