My thoughts on Paul Konerko
Aug 1, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Paul Konerko (14) is struck out lookingin the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
As you all know, this weekend will be the final time Paul Konerko will play at US Cellular Field and for the Chicago White Sox.
He has had many moments in a White Sox uniform that will be remembered forever, such as the grand slam in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series, not to mention the time he homered off of Carl Pavano after being hit in the face earlier in the game.
Personally, when I think of Konerko, I don’t think of Game 2. Or even the time that he homered after being hit in the face.
Since 2006, I have spent every weekend with the Sox at US Cellular Field. There have been so many moments involving Konerko that it is hard to come up with one. However, the one that is crossing my mind right now is just watching him step up to the batter’s box, and knowing that next year, for the first time in over 15 years, that won’t be happening.
One of Konerko’s greatest attributes over the last decade or so has been his leadership.
Who takes over that role on a young team is unknown … however, that will be missed just as much as his bat when he was in his prime.
When he was younger, it seemed as though he would never have the career he had. After 2003, many fans wanted to run him out of town, but I am sure they are happy the White Sox didn’t take their advice on that one.
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Due to his struggles early in his career, he was able to lead players that were younger and having troubles getting acclimated to the MLB level.
While it is obvious who will take over at first base (Jose Abreu), it isn’t quite as obvious who will take over as fan favorite.
Abreu may be the next superstar in the game, and Chris Sale could win a Cy Young in the next few years, so they are the top two candidates.
While I think the Sox will continue to get better, it may be a long time before they have a player that is beloved by the fans like Konerko.