Paul Konerko is retiring, by the way. The 38-year-old made a sweet video thanking White Sox fans for their love over his 16 seasons in Chicago.
Konerko won't get any Gatorade commercials, but he was a perfectly fine first baseman. He hit 432 homers for the franchise, second-most behind Frank Thomas, as well as 2,292 total hits, third-most in White Sox history. In his mid-30s, he was still getting into All-Star Games, putting up OBPs of .393, .388, and .371 from 2010-12. The power slipped, but the hitting was still remarkable for his age.
If you have a Konerko memory, it's probably that seventh-inning grand slam in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series, but one moment I really enjoyed—and this was in the montage—was his part in Mark Buehrle's through-the-legs play to first in 2010 on Opening Day. The pitcher was the highlight, but Konerko barehanded that ball, which was pretty great and a pretty neat summation of his career—he tended to be the second guy you noticed.
As you might expect, Konerko wants to spend more time with his family. He spoke with SI's Howard Megdal a few days ago:
"Here, I'll show you," Konerko said, taking his iPhone out of his pocket and playing a video for me of his younger son at the plate. "It'll be not having to get a video of what happened this morning. Instead of being gone, you'll actually be there. Standing there.
"I've played long enough and done well enough to where I missed so much of that. There's no reason why I have to miss any of my kids' events at school anymore. That stuff, I've been missing for a long time. That's what's important. You have to make a living, but it all comes back to raising them the best you can, being there for that."