Dunn elects to sport No. 32 on back of jersey

Dunn elects to sport No. 32 on back of jersey

CHICAGO -- There were no puffs of white smoke billowing from U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday to indicate the important decision made in relation to the team.

This piece of news also had nothing to do with general manager Ken Williams adding a veteran arm to a somewhat short-handed bullpen.

Yet the announcement of Adam Dunn picking jersey No. 32 still rates as big news among the South Siders' fan base. Those excited fans can wear their new Dunn jerseys to SoxFest 2011, from Jan. 21-23 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, where Dunn will be in attendance.

Dunn, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski, the triumvirate of major free-agent deals recently finalized by the White Sox, all were announced on Wednesday as SoxFest attendees. They join many other players scheduled to attend, including Gordon Beckham, Mark Buehrle, Ramon Castro, Edwin Jackson, Brent Lillibridge, Brent Morel, Juan Pierre, Alexei Ramirez, Chris Sale, Sergio Santos and Mark Teahen.

Manager Ozzie Guillen, hitting coach Greg Walker, first-base coach Harold Baines, third-base coach Jeff Cox and bullpen coach Juan Nieves also will be part of SoxFest, as will Williams and assistant general manager Rick Hahn. Roberto Hernandez, Jose Valentin, Ron Kittle, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso and Bill "Moose" Skowron fall on the list of former players set to take part.

The White Sox also announced that a limited number of "Big Hurt Experiences" are available for purchase to fans who book SoxFest hotel reservations at the Palmer House Hilton. The special experience is $275 per package and includes a private autograph session with Frank Thomas and special SoxFest MVP passes, among other unique perks.  Details on the Big Hurt Experience can be found on whitesox.com/SoxFest.

SoxFest runs from 4 to 9 p.m. CT on that opening Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

As for the new jersey number for Dunn, who agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal with the White Sox, he follows Brian Anderson (2007-09), Dustin Hermanson (2005-06), Kelly Dransfeldt (2004), Matt Ginter (2003) and Kip Wells (1999-2001) as the last five White Sox players to wear 32. Dunn previously wore No. 44, but that number is held by starting pitcher Jake Peavy.

Alex Fernandez (1990-96), Larry Doby (1959), Steve Stone (1973, 1977-78) and Steve Carlton (1986) stand among the more accomplished players in White Sox history to wear No. 32. Dunn hopes to top that list, starting with his 2011 production.

A limited number of Dunn No. 32 White Sox jerseys and T-shirts will go on sale starting Thursday, December 16, exclusively at the White Sox Team Store on the 100 level at U.S. Cellular Field. Fans wishing to purchase a Dunn jersey or other holiday gifts for White Sox fans should enter the ballpark at Gate 4, located near the corner of 35th and Shields.

White Sox Team Store hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. They also can be purchased at shop.mlb.com.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen and follow him on twitter at @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.