Is Paul Konerko a HOFer?

How good is Paul Konerko?  That is a question that not a lot of baseball fans would get right.  Paul Konerko is saddled with being on a team that routinely plays its games in front of less than 20,000 fans.  The 2012 Chicago White Sox are averaging a paid attendance of 20,662 per home game.  Not everyone shows up to the game that bought a ticket so the stadium is routinely half empty or greater.  The White Sox do not get much national attention from the media and baseball fans alike since they don’t even get the attention of their home market.  This means that a lot of people are missing out on such a great player that just keeps getting better with age.

As of this writing, Paul Konerko is batting .395 with an on base percentage of .471 and an OPS+ of 205…leading the league in those 3 categories.  His OPS is 1.142 second to Josh Hamilton.  He has 11 home runs, 33 RBI and 13 doubles and he already has a WAR of 2.3 for the season.  While it will be highly unlikely for him to keep the first three stats that high, he is still on pace for the best year of his career and he’s 36 years old.

I can hear the critics now saying that 1 super year does not equal being a Hall of Famer.  Roger Maris is not in the Hall of the Fame and he broke Babe Ruth’s single season home run record with 61 before the steroid era gave us McGwire, Sosa and Bonds topping that mark.  However, this isn’t the first and probably will not be the last super season for Paul Konerko.

In 2010, he batted .312 with 39 home runs 111 RBI 30 doubles an OBP of .393 and an OPS of .977.

In 2005, he batted .283 with 40 home runs 100 RBI 24 doubles an OBP of .375 and an OPS of .909.

He’s had 4 seasons with an OPS over .900.

He’s had 6 seasons with over 100 RBI (a skewed stat since it requires teammates to be on base but shows that you can perform in clutch and get them in when they are on base)

He’s had 7 seasons with over 30 home runs while his name has never been linked to steroids.  He’s on pace to easily have more than 30 this season and probably has at least 2 more 30+ seasons as long as he stays healthy which would give him at least 10.

He’s had 4 seasons that he has batted .300 or better and is on pace to do easily do it again this season.  That would make 3 years in a row and a sign that he is getting better with age.

His career fielding percentage is .995 which means that he isn’t a liability to his team when he is in the field.

He is currently sitting at 407 home runs in his career.  If he remains healthy, he can finish with over 500.

He is currently sitting at 1294 RBI.  He will probably end up with at least 1650 RBI.

He can also easily finish with over 2500 hits if he reaches 500 home runs.

He should also finish with at least 450 doubles in his career.


If you still don’t think that 450 doubles, 500 home runs,  1650 RBI and 2500 hits sounds Hall of Fame worthy, lets compare it to what some other first basemen in the HOF have.

Willie McCovey’s career numbers: 521 home runs, 353 doubles, 1555 RBI, .270 average, .374 OBP, .889 OPS and 2211 hits – So McCovey might have better OBP and OPS but Konerko will probably top him in the other categories when done.

Tony Perez’s career numbers: 379 home runs, 505 doubles, 1652 RBI, .279 average, .341 OBP, .804 OPS and 2732 hits – So in this scenario, Perez would have more hits and doubles while Konerko wins everything else

Harmon Killebrew’s career numbers: 573 home runs, 290 doubles, 1584 RBI, .256 average, .376 OBP, .884 OPS and 2086 hits – HK would have more HRs and be more versatile in field playing so many games at 3B and OF as well as 1B and the OBP and OPS would be neck and neck.  Konerko would DOMINATE in average, doubles and hits though.

Orlando Cepeda’s career numbers: 379 home runs, 417 doubles, 1365 RBI, .297 average, .350 OBP, .849 OPS and 2351 hits – Cepeda would have a higher average but get CRUSHED in home runs and RBI and also would lose out in hits, OBP, OPS and doubles

I think the numbers speak for themselves.  Not only is Paul Konerko underrated and underappreciated…he’s also deserving of Hall of Fame consideration especially compared to the other first basemen in the HOF that played after World War II.






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