It has been 16 years since Paul Konerko took to the MLB stage. 16 years of ups and downs and wins and losses. Most of that time and all of the last 15 years have been spent with the Chicago White Sox.
Paulie sounds saddened and grateful at the same time, as MLB reporter @scottmerkin reports, Konerko said this at his last game against the Mariners:
“I can say this statement: I will be an ex-baseball player next month, it’s the truth. Since the All-Star break, it’s becoming more real. It’s there, you know. You can feel it coming. But like everything, I’m trying to spin it to where it’s not a bad thing.
It’s just part of the life cycle of the player. I’ve been lucky to play for a long time. I’m trying not to look at it as a sad occasion. I hope nobody else is. I’m graduating on to other things and there’s a time for this. Every player has to go through this stuff. I’m lucky because mine came a lot later than most. I feel lucky for that.”
The White Sox are dedicating the entire month of September to Paulie. He has been the face of the franchise for so long and so important to fans, players and coaches that it will probably be a very emotional time for many.
Possibly the coolest thing is the Sox are creating a Club Konerko where the Paul Konerko grand slam landed in the 2005 World Series. Paulie will continue to be a household name for Sox fans for years to come.
You can read the full Scott Merkin story here.