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