One of the most beloved people in the history of the Chicago White Sox is Paul Konerko. He was an electrifying hitter that played some outstanding first base. He is now in the middle of a long line of great White Sox first basemen that have played for this team.
There is an argument to be made that Konerko is the second-most important player to ever play for the Chicago White Sox. Frank Thomas is undoubtedly the first but there are a few in that argument for second and Konerko is right at the top.
Konerko was the best hitter (and was the captain) on the team that won the World Series in 2005. Those guys will forever be legends on the south side of Chicago and Konerko is the most famous. His brilliant performance in that season was special and nobody will ever forget the World Series grand slam.
It was so beloved that the seat where it landed is still blue while all the surrounding chairs are green. The pose of him raising his fist up while the ball was flying through the cold air is a statue at Guaranteed Rate Field as well. It was truly a special moment in team history.
Paul Konerko is one of the greatest players in Chicago White Sox history.
Konerko wasn’t just that one playoff season either. As mentioned before, he is one of the best players (regular season or playoffs) to ever put on a White Sox uniform. His career is something that is really fun to look back on.
There might be people in other markets besides Chicago that don’t know how good Konerko actually was. He was one of the best power hitters in Major League Baseball during his prime and not enough people knew it. The important thing, however, is that Chicago White Sox fans knew it.
Konerko had 439 career home runs with a slash line of .279/.354/.486 for an OPS of .841. He also recorded 1412 RBIs and 1162 runs scored. All of this (along with his defense and other skills) accumulated a career WAR of 28.1.
Those are all fantastic numbers. Konerko was a perennial All-Star and clutch in the playoffs. However, when you evaluate his career, it is hard to say anything other than “hall of very good” for him. It is an intriguing career to study and break down but his numbers fall just short of most Hall of Famers.
There should be some stock taken in the fact that Konerko was never involved in the steroid stuff. If he was, his numbers might look more “Hall of Fame’ like. Either way, there is no doubt that he is an all-time White Sox great and should be remembered as such.