Classy Cubs have parting gift for Konerko
As he dressed for his final game at Wrigley Field Tuesday afternoon – assuming the White Sox and Cubs don’t meet up in the World Series (wink, wink) – Paul Konerko joked about taking something from his tiny locker in the cramped visitor’s clubhouse as a keepsake.
Retiring at the end of the season after 17 years in the major leagues, 16 with the Sox, Konerko is going to be honored by the rival Cubs before tonight’s game and he’ll receive a proper parting gift.
“That’s the word on the street,” Konerko said.
It’s a classy move by the Cubs.
“They don’t have to do that, but a guy that’s played that long and you’re in the same town, Paul is well-respected and everybody gets it, especially if you’re in Chicago,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s not quite the fanfare of Jete (retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter) going around, but he’s earned that kind of stuff from certain places.”
Konerko has played 35 career games at Wrigley Field and he’s a .311 hitter with 7 home runs and 26 RBI.
He won’t miss the antiquated facilities, but he will miss the ballpark.
“It’s a real fun place to play on the field, it’s a great place to hit when it’s hot,” Konerko said. “You grew up watching places like this on TV, Fenway (Park), Yankee Stadium and all that, and after all these years it’s still kind of cool knowing that you were one of those guys that was out there playing.”