Chicago White Sox: Should Paul Konerko End Up in the Hall of Fame?

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IMay 20, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 23:  Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox is congtratulated by teammates after he hit a home run in the fourth inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum on April 23, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Paul Konerko has been one of the most popular and most productive members of the Chicago White Sox in recent history.

He has a World Series ring, five All-Star appearances and seven years as the White Sox captain under his belt.

He’s had a great career and still has a few more productive years left in his tank. That begs the question: Does Konerko belong in the Hall of Fame?

When you look at his numbers, it's obvious he’s had a very solid career. He’s hit more than 400 home runs, more than 1,250 RBI, more than 2,000 hits and a .285 career batting average.

Those are very, very good numbers, but they aren’t as eye-popping as some current Hall-of-Famers’ numbers.

But, considering that he has never been implicated in any steroids report and has never failed a drug test, he deserves a little bit more credit than some of his contemporaries.

He also compares pretty favorably to some current Hall-of-Famers, like Carlton Fisk, for example.

Fisk, the former Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox catcher, only hit .269 for his career and only had 376 home runs.

His career totals of 1,330 RBI and 2,356 hits will probably be matched and surpassed by Konerko in the next couple years.

Another player Konerko compares favorably to is former Milwaukee Brewer Robin Yount.

Yount had more hits (3,142) than Konerko will have when he’s done, but Konerko currently has the same career batting average (.285) as Yount and hits for more power.

Assuming Konerko is able to play for three or four more years, he’ll have a very similar career longevity when compared to Yount as well.

If Konerko can play four more years and average 20-plus homers per year and keep driving in runs at a high level, he’ll finish his career with 480-plus home runs and more than 1,500 RBI.

In 10 years, when (hopefully) I am a member of the Baseball Writers of America voting committee and Konerko has been retired for five years, I’ll definitely cast a vote for Konerko.

Then, I hope the other writers will do the same and Konerko will take his rightful place in Cooperstown.