Showing posts with label Luis Aparicio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luis Aparicio. Show all posts

Thursday, January 15, 2015

White Sox will retire Paul Konerko's No. 14 on May 23

There's a conspicuously empty space on the facade where the retired numbers hang at U.S. Cellular Field, a gap between the No. 11 once worn by Luis Aparicio and the No. 16 once worn by Ted Lyons.

You knew the space was left their intentionally, because one day No. 14 would be honored in that spot.

The White Sox will make that official May 23 when they retire the No. 14 jersey of former first baseman Paul Konerko. It's a 3:10 game on a Saturday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. The first 20,000 fans through the gate will receive a Konerko statue replica.

Fortunately for me, this game is part of my 27-game season-ticket plan. I'll be there early to see Konerko become the 10th former White Sox player to have his number retired.

Konerko, a six-time All-Star, is the franchise leader in total bases (4,010) and ranks second in White Sox history in home runs (432), 16 behind Hall-of-Famer Frank Thomas (448). Konerko also ranks third in franchise history in hits (2,292) and doubles (406). He is best remembered for his grand slam in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series

I've said before Konerko isn't quite good enough to make baseball's Hall of Fame, but he is clearly among the best players in White Sox history. It's fitting and proper that he's being shown this kind of respect by the White Sox organization.

Consider May 23 circled on my calendar.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jose Abreu wins AL Rookie of the Year; Jacob deGrom wins NL honor

The American League Rookie of the Year voting, as expected, offered little in the way of drama.

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu became the ninth unanimous winner in the history of the award, earning the first-place vote on all 30 balllots (150 points). Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker (40 points) finished a distant second, while New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances (27 points) placed third.

Abreu had one of the best offensive seasons ever for a rookie. He hit .317/.383/.581 with 36 homers and 107 RBIs. That's good enough to win the award just about every year, and let's face it, the competition for this honor was not particularly stong this season. It was Abreu and everybody else among AL rookies, especially after Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka went down with an injured elbow midseason.

In fact, if you look at the first-half numbers, you'd have to say Abreu and Tanaka were at one point in a tight race for Rookie of the Year:
  • Abreu: .292/.342/.630, 29 HR, 73 RBI
  • Tanaka: 12-4, 2.51 ERA, 129.1 IP, 19 BB, 135 K
But, the injury limited Tanaka to just two starts the second half of the season. While Abreu managed just seven home runs the second half, he hit .350 and raised his overall batting average by 25 points. That made Monday's announcement a foregone conclusion.

Abreu becomes the sixth White Sox player to win Rookie of the Year. The others are Luis Aparicio (1956), Gary Peters (1963), Tommie Agee (1966), Ron Kittle (1983) and Ozzie Guillen (1985).

In the National League, New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom won Rookie of the Year. He picked up 26 first-place votes (142 points) and finished comfortably ahead of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton (92 points). St. Louis Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong (14 points) was third.

The 26-year-old deGrom had a monstrous second half, compiling a 1.99 ERA in his final 15 starts. For the season, he finished 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA. He recorded 144 strikeouts in 140 innings.