By the numbers: Will Paul Konerko make it to the Hall of Fame?
May 12, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Paul Konerko (14) hits a sacrifice fly to score right fielder Dayan Viciedo (24, not pictured) against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
While many have speculated on this topic, I am going to take a look at some reasons why Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko should or should not make it to the Hall of Fame.
With this being Konerko’s final season in MLB, looking back at his career, there are many accomplishments.
There are many reasons why Konerko, the captain of the White Sox, should make the Hall of Fame, and here are six of those reasons:
1. He was the best position player on a World Championship Team. On the 2005 World Series championship team, Konerko batted .283 with 40 home runs and 100 RBIs.
2. Considering he was never considered a “great” defensive first baseman, he was still solid. Konerko’s fielding percentage for his career is .995 in a combined 18 MLB seasons. Konerko has also played 29 games at third base and 18 games in the outfield early in his career.
3. In 2004 and ’05, Konerko hit 40-plus home runs. In ’04, Konerko finished with 41 home runs and in ’05, he finished with 40.
4. Konerko has played on three postseason teams and was a key component to them.
5. “The Captain” was the ’05 ALCS MVP.
6. Konerko hit over .300 four times, including .313 in ’06, where he played in 152 games.
Jul 10, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Paul Konerko (14) reacts after striking out against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Here are six reasons why Konerko shouldn’t make the Hall of fame.
1. He never won a league MVP.
2. While he was very good for parts of his career, he did not dominate an era of baseball.
3. He had multiple years during his prime where he failed to drive in 100 runs.
4. Even though he was a solid defensive first baseman, he never won a Gold Glove.
5. He is a liability on the base paths.
6. He will not be a member of the 500 home run club. Currently, Konerko has 439 career home runs.
Even though Konerko is the second-greatest hitter in White Sox history, I think he will come up a touch short of making it to the Hall of Fame.
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Will he be on the ballot in a few years?
In order to make it to the Hall, a player has to be the very best at what he does for an extended period of time.
While Konerko was very good, he was never in the Frank Thomas class of hitters. Is he going to go down as a one of the better run producers of his era? Yes, but he doesn’t have the numbers that a first baseman needs in order to make it to Cooperstown.