Chicago White Sox legend Paul Konerko turns 40 years-old today, in honor of the Sox slugger let’s spend some of our Saturday morning looking at his greatest moments. Because let’s be honest, we all still miss seeing number 14 in the lineup every day.
World Series Grand Slam
The highlight moment outside of the final out of the Chicago White Sox World Series Championship run in the 2005 season was Paul Konerko raising his right hand high in the air as he rounded first base as he watched the ball sail into the U.S. Cellular field crowd.
The White Sox were trailing the Houston Astros 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, in game two of the 2005 World Series. Paul Konerko stepped into the box with the bases loaded, and then shook the U.S. Cellular field foundation when he took Astros pitcher Chad Qualls‘ first pitch over the left field fence, giving the White Sox a 6-4 lead.
We all know that the White Sox would eventually surrender that lead, and then the unlikely power source Scott Podsednik would walk-off with a solo home run to right field putting the White Sox up 2-0 as the series shifted to Houston, and would not come back.
Home Run number 400
On April 25, 2012 Paul Konerko became the 48th player in Major League Baseball History to reach the 400 home run mark to that point.
Konerko hit his 400th home run in the ninth inning in a game against the Oakland Athletics, off of reliever Grant Balfour.
After winning the World Series Championship in 2005, Paul Konerko received the ball on the final out of the game, he tucked it away in his pocket and celebrated the night away.
On October 28, 2015 at the victory parade, Konerko pulled that final out ball out of his pocket, and presented it to Chicago White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Reinsdorf called the moment, “The most emotional moment of my life”.
On October 14, 2005 Paul Konerko hit a three run-home run in the first inning of game three of the American League Championship Series. The series was tied at a game a piece, and shift to Anaheim for games three, four, and five.
Konerko set the tone early for the White Sox in game three, they would go on to win the game and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
The very next night in the first inning of game four, Konerko takes Angels starter Ervin Santana deep for another three run-home run, again setting the tone early for another White Sox victory in the American League Championship Series.
Konerko would be named the American League Championship Series MVP, and the White Sox would win the series in five games, and advance to the World Series.
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Three Home Run Game
On July 7, 2009 Konerko had his career best game, outside of the playoffs when he hit three home runs, and drove in seven runs in front of the U.S. Cellular Field crowd.
The White Sox would beat the Indians in the game 10-6, with Konerko driving seven of the White Sox 10 runs on the evening.
Ah, a sweet trip down memory lane with one of the best, and most beloved White Sox players; Paul Konerko. Happy Birthday Paulie!