Paul Konerko: The Unsung Hero

On this Memorial Day — a day set aside to focus our attention and our appreciation for the service men and women who dutifully protect our nation — I would like to point out a similarly constant source of awesome who has quietly made being a south sider something to brag about.  His name is Paul Konerko.

“Paulie” (as he is affectionately called by White Sox fans) has done nothing in Chicago but hit 400 homeruns, drive in 1265 runs, hit .284 and carry an OPS of .865, all while flying way under the national radar of the worldwide leader in schlub and other poignant media corporations.  Oh you can bet opposing pitchers know who he is, but his public persona is a bit of a mystery.  He’s a quiet, reserved guy.  He’s not out gallivanting with actresses and pop stars.  He isn’t taking his shirt off and posing for GQ.  He doesn’t run his mouth to the press, or at umpires, or… at all.

He’s the lunch pail baseballer.  He shows up to work, works hard, then quietly goes about his business.  He’s the type of player you want your kid to idolize.  He’s the guy all the dads wanna hang out with, who all the ladies want to be close to.

He’s Paul Konerko — south side hero, midwest superstar.  The quiet, unsung hero.

I tip my cap.

And to all our nation’s heroes, we here at RSBS dutifully salute and thank you for your service.

Happy Memorial Day!

Jeff

4 Comments

Ahh… Paul Konerko. Dodgers should not have traded him and that was in the late 90’s. He could still be a Dodger. Oh well. I still like him.
Happy Memorial Day.
-Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

Perfect description. Thank you so much for writing this. When the White Sox got him in a three-way deal involving Seattle and Cincinnati, a local writer mocked him, noting that “the immortal Paul Konerko” was essentially traded for Ken Griffey Junior (I think the Sox sent Mike Cameron to the Mariners and got Paulie from Cincy). I was really ticked off because I could tell, twenty games into the 1999 season, that this guy was gonna be good. I didn’t think he’d be *that* good, though! He became a fan favorite instantly because of his work ethic, his ability to poke fun at himself (the man is the slower than Cecil Fielder), and his timely hitting. He’s the most beloved White Sox player I’ve ever seen–more so than the Big Hurt or Harold Baines or Billy Pierce–and he plays the game the right way. What’s more, Paulie has come through in the clutch so many times, especially in the playoffs and World Series, which I still can’t believe we won. We’re lucky he’s here. I’d do anything to sit down and talk with the guy for a few hours. I’m hoping my son grows up a little faster so he can appreciate # 14.

Hope you guys had a fun and safe holiday!!!!
–Mike

Glad we’re on the same side, Kilian! And yes, Mike, it was a good one. Hope yours was too!
–Jeff

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