Paul Konerko has been on fire the last few weeks, having one of the best stretches of his entire career. He’s made himself a viable American League MVP candidate. Sunday afternoon, Konerko connected on the 407th home run of his career, tying him with Duke Snider for 47th on the all-time list. More notably, the home run was also the 400th of Konerko’s career as a member of the White Sox (it is often forgotten that Konerko actually played briefly for both the Dodgers and Reds before joining the White Sox). Hitting 400 home runs with one franchise is a rare feat; Konerko became just the 24 player in history to accomplish it. Here is a complete list of the players in this select group:
– Of the 24 players who’ve hit 400+ HR with a single franchise, 14 of them did it in the National League, just 10 have accomplished it in the American League.
– The Giants have had 4 players hit 400+ HR for them, the Braves and Yankees have each had 3.
– Among the 16 franchises who’ve been in existence since at least the beginning of the modern era (1901), the A’s, Dodgers, Indians, and Reds have never had a player hit 400+ HR for them.
– Along with Konerko, only Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa have hit 400+ HR for a team other than the one they began their MLB career with. Konerko becomes the only player in history to do it with his 3rd team.
– Ruth, Gehrig, Ott, Williams, and Musial are the only players who began their career before World War II who went on to hit 400+ HR with a single team.
– Aaron, Mays, Killebrew, Mantle, Banks, Mathews, and McCovey all accomplish the feat after beginning the career in the 1950s, which were something of a golden era for this exclusive club. Notably, four of these seven player are African-American, and would not have been able to play in MLB only a few years earlier.
– Stargell, Yastrzemski, and Schmidt were the only players to begin their career in the 1960s or 1970s to hit 400+ with one team, which may not be such a surprise, given that pitching dominated much of the time they were playing.
– Ripken and Griffey both began in the 1980s, as did Bonds and Sosa, though neither of them began playing with their 400+ HR franchise until the 1990s. Jones, Bagwell, Thomas, and Konerko also started in the 1990s, while Albert Pujols became the first player to start their career in the 2000s and join this group.
– As well as Konerko is playing, it’s not easy to predict how a player his age will play going forward. It’s certainly possible he’ll hit another 100 HR with the White Sox, which would make him only the 12 player in history with 500+ HR with one team. In any event, it is quite an accomplishment, one Konerko and his many fans should all be proud of.