White Sox Wednesday: Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko was the 13th overall pick in the 1994 Amateur Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers while he was still in high school. After making his major league debut in 1997 with the Dodgers and a brief stint with them and an even briefer one with the Cincinnati Reds, Konerko joined the Chicago White Sox in 1999.

In Chicago, he spent his next 16 seasons as a major leaguer on the Southside of Chicago as their first baseman. 

Konerko was a five-time American League All-Star. He hit 432 career home runs. posted a .279 career batting average and had over 2,300 hits. 

The man affectionately known by Pale Hose fans as simply Paulie was a vital part of the White Sox’s 2005 “Don’t Stop Believing” playoff run and World Series Cinderella win behind dominant pitching and second-year manager and former White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen

He earned American League Championship Series MVP.

Konerko was a unanimous fan favorite, but at the same time, he was loved by not only his teammates but throughout Major League Baseball. After Konerko announced before the 2014 season that it would be his last, he was honored by opposing teams on his farewell tour. That honor itself speaks to the respect for the man and player, as only a select few get that recognition by opposing teams.

After Konerko retired in 2014, the team retired his No. 14 jersey in early 2015.

Konerko and his career stats may fall just below the imaginary mark garnered by the Hall of Fame and its voters to deem him worthy of joining baseball’s immortals in Cooperstown. If his career took place just a decade earlier, he would without a doubt be selected.

But no matter what, he will be rewarded with love and adoration from the White Sox faithful.

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