BOSTON -- The third game of this four-game set at Fenway Park on Wednesday night marks the 2,000th game first baseman Paul Konerko has played as part of the White Sox. Konerko ranks third in franchise history behind Luke Appling (2,422) and Nellie Fox (2,115).
"You've been around a long time," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the meaning behind Konerko's 2,000th game, giving him 2,081 for his career. "There are a lot of guys who have played the game a long time but not necessarily with the same organization for that long.
"The longevity is not an easy thing in the game, especially with the same team. Those milestones, there's a lot of respect with that."
Konerko regularly downplays his White Sox historical significance, even though he joined Frank Thomas this season as the only players to hit at least 400 homers while playing for the team. He points to statistical achievements as things to be enjoyed after his career is complete.
Ventura believes those numbers, coupled with Konerko's leadership and him being an integral part in the team's 2005 World Series championship, make him one of the all-time faces of the franchise.
"He'll get his number retired soon," said Ventura. "There's just no way around it. You look at the numbers he's put up and the years he's been here. They won with him."
"In today's game, you don't see too many guys get to that mark with a team or even a 1,000 games because of the way guys move around with trades and free agency," said Konerko, after driving in the White Sox lone run during Wednesday's 10-1 loss. "So I'm definitely proud of that. It takes me wanting to be here and the team wanting me to be here, too."