HOUSTON -- Paul Konerko has been to Minute Maid Park since the White Sox finished off a World Series sweep of the Astros in 2005, taking part in exhibition games at the end of Spring Training in 2012.
But this particular visit from Friday through Monday marks the first regular-season matchup in Houston between the two teams since Konerko caught Juan Uribe's throw on Orlando Palmeiro's grounder to close out Game 4. Konerko stands as the last World Series holdover from either '05 roster.
The eight years of time certainly haven't lessened the memories in Konerko's mind.
"It all happened so fast. I don't remember too much about the games," said Konerko, who smiled and pointed to the spot in the visitors' clubhouse where former Journey lead singer Steve Perry stood in the postgame celebration. "You remember some of the bigger moments. [Geoff] Blum's home run in Game 3, the last out you remember, [Jermaine Dye's] hit in the last game.
"I just remember getting back to the hotel and they had a party going on. I remember most of the guys being so tired, just going to bed around 3 or 4 in the morning. It was nice to win, but it was also nice that the season was over. We had been grinding for a long time. It was a great feeling."
Along with being part of the first White Sox championship in 88 years, Konerko and his wife, Jennifer, had become parents for the first time about eight days before the clinching game. Konerko didn't know she was able to get to that final victory, though, until he saw Jennifer on the field during the championship festivities.
"Definitely a surreal thing," Konerko said. "You see celebrations and World Series things growing up. Then you are in the middle of one. You don't know what to make of it because you won the whole thing. It was definitely cool and it's still the highlight of my career."