Paul Konerko

14 facts about former White Sox slugger Paul Konerko on his birthday


14 facts about former White Sox slugger Paul Konerko on his birthday

Paul Konerko was one of those players who united a fan base. Maybe he won’t ever have a plaque in Cooperstown, but when you walk through the gates at Guaranteed Rate Field, you see the retired No. 14 and you see the statue. And you don’t get those things unless you were a big deal.

Most White Sox fans know that Konerko is second on the Sox career home run list with 432. And they also may know his seven postseason home runs (five of them for the World Series champs in 2005) is a franchise record. 

Well, here are 14 nuggets about Paulie you may NOT know…

155 players in MLB history have at least 2,300 career hits. Only one had fewer than 10 triples: Paul Konerko (eight). 

Next fewest is 12 by Frank Thomas, but that’s not to say Konerko didn’t have a flash of speed at least once in his career.

His first home run in the 2000 season was an inside-the-park “blast” at Tropicana Field. Speedsters Ozzie Guillen, Lance Johnson, Tim Raines, Ray Durham and Juan Pierre combined for 4,800 games in a Sox uniform. They never hit an inside-the-park homer.

Career with White Sox                          Games           SB             IPHR

Paul Konerko                                         2,268             9                1

Ozzie Guillen, Lance Johnson, Tim Raines, Ray Durham & Juan Pierre      

                                                              4,800             846             0

Konerko also had a knack for not getting caught stealing. In fact, from June 22, 1998 to September 2, 2007, he went 1,350 straight games without getting caught stealing. Granted, he only had five attempts, but the fact remains (hat tip to Ryan Spaeder for sharing this fact).

Konerko only had nine career stolen bases. Even Greg Maddux (11) had more career steals than Paulie.

Konerko was known best, however, for hitting the ball out of the park. Did you know Konerko’s first Major League home run (with the Dodgers) as well as his first home run in a White Sox uniform were both hit at the same ballpark? It was Seattle’s Kingdome of all places.

Konerko hit the same number of home runs (259) at Guaranteed Rate Field as Babe Ruth hit at Yankee Stadium.

Konerko was born in Providence, R.I. He has the most career home runs of anyone born in the smallest US state. His 237th career home run (passing Gabby Hartnett for the record) came off Mariano Rivera.

Konerko’s 81 home runs from 2004-2005 is a White Sox record over a two-season span.

Konerko (60) is one of three players in MLB history with 60+ career interleague home runs (Albert Pujols, 60, Jim Thome, 64). 20 of those home runs were against the Cubs.

Konerko was the first White Sox player to hit a home run at four different ballparks:

Turner Field, Coors Field, Citizens Bank Park and Nationals Park

Konerko is the only White Sox player to hit three home runs in a game at Guaranteed Rate Field (June 7, 2009). Five opposing players have done it.

Konerko’s long career had moments where he was at the right place at the right time…

Konerko was teammates with: Yolmer Sánchez (born June 29, 1992) and Eddie Murray (born Feb. 24, 1956)

Adrián Beltré’s first career MLB plate appearance was a double which drove home Paul Konerko (June 24, 1998).

Konerko is the only player to drive in both Frank Thomas and José Abreu in a White Sox uniform.

Here’s to a happy birthday to PK as his age reaches three times his uniform number. #SoxMath

Wake-up Call: Lester, Quintana form one-two punch; Soupy retires; Kopech receives advice from Al Leiter

Wake-up Call: Lester, Quintana form one-two punch; Soupy retires; Kopech receives advice from Al Leiter

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Monday: 

Jon Lester and Jose Quintana give Cubs a one-two punch for this pennant race and beyond

Al Leiter's advice to Michael Kopech could transform him from a thrower into a pitcher

Calling it a career: Brian Campbell retires, joins Blackhawks front office

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for the quarterbacks

Bulls Talk Podcast: Summer League and Mirotic's contract mistake

Kyle Hendricks perfect in rehab start

Paul Konerko is a big Tim Anderson fan

Heading to Triple-A Iowa, Dillon Maples could be X-factor for Cubs

Hockey in the blood: Hawks prospect Beau Starrett trying to live out dream

Style points: Two Chicago athletes crack most fashionable list

Paul Konerko is a big Tim Anderson fan

Paul Konerko is a big Tim Anderson fan

Consider Paul Konerko a fan of the White Sox rebuild. 

The South Side legend attended the team's charity golf outing on Monday and shared his excitement over the team's direction. But it's one player in particular who stands out to the former first baseman. 

"I'm a big Tim Anderson fan," Konerko said. "He's going to have a long career here."

That may come as a surprise to some Sox fans who have watched the 24-year-old shortstop spiral into somewhat of a sophomore slump. 

Anderson leads the MLB with 21 errors, already seven more than he had in 98 games last season. At the plate, he's producing a .241/.266/.368 slash line, down from .283/.306/.432 in his rookie campaign. 

Konerko, though, doesn't seem worried about his stats. Instead, he's been encouraged by Anderson's relaxed, mature approach to the game. 

"I just like the way he goes about his business," Konerko said. "I just think he's very calm, cool and kinda steady. I would like to see him be a guy that is here for a long time. I just like his get-up out there. I like the way he carries himself."

While Rick Hahn has flashed his unflinching approach to trades, Konerko thinks Anderson could be a mainstay with the club. 

"He has the feeling of a keeper that you kind of want to build a team around," Konerko said. 

That's a big vote of confidence for a young shortstop in his first season of a six-year deal.