AFL Hall of Fame adds White Sox's Konerko
Chicago slugger to be honered at Salt River Fields on Saturday
PHOENIX -- Prolific Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko becomes the 27th member of the Arizona Fall League's Hall of Fame on Saturday during pre-game ceremonies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Konerko, 35, who played for the 1996 Sun Cities Solar Sox, is a five-time American League All-Star and the 2004 A.L. Comeback Player of the Year.
In 2011, the Scottsdale, Ariz. native, resident and Chaparral High School graduate reached the 30-home run, 100-RBI milestone for the fifth time, hitting .300 with 25 doubles, 31 home runs and 105 RBI in 149 games.
He has hit 30-plus home runs seven times, batted .300 or better four times, and recorded 100-plus RBI on six occasions.
He boasts 396 home runs and 1,261 RBI in 1,998 career games.
In 2011, his 31 home runs propelled him from 70th to 52nd on the Majors' all-time home run list, passing Hall of Famers Ralph Kiner (369), Carlton Fisk (376), Orlando Cepeda (379), Tony Perez (379), Jim Rice (382) and Johnny Bench (389).
In 2005, Konerko was named ALCS MVP and shortly thereafter became the first player in World Series history to hit a grand slam in the seventh inning or later that turned a deficit into a lead.
Konerko ranks second in White Sox history with 389 home runs, 757 extra-base hits and 1,232 RBI and third with 360 doubles. He also owns the club record with 12 seasons of 20 or more home runs and is tied with new White Sox manager Robin Ventura for most grand slams in club history (10). Konerko also has made 11 consecutive Opening Day starts at first base, another club record.
He and Frank Thomas are the only two players in White Sox history to hit 40 home runs in back-to-back seasons. Konerko accomplished the feat in 2004-05.
Konerko was named the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year in 1997.
Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame: The Arizona Fall League, founded in 1992, formed its Hall of Fame in 2001 to honor the top Major League players and managers who honed their skills in the AFL. The inductions of the Phillies' Ryan Howard and Konerko increase the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame to 28 members.
The selection committee, chaired by baseball ambassador Roland Hemond, the "Architect of the Arizona Fall League," bases its appointments upon individual achievement at the Major League level since participating in the Arizona Fall League.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.