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An Open Letter to Paul Konerko

by Mary Swistara


To: Paul Konerko
World Series Champion
Scottsdale, AZ 

From: MarySwiss
Diehard Sox Fan
Chandler, AZ 

November 13, 2005 

Dear Paulie, 

I just finished watching my tape of the Sox parade and rally. Again. I’ve seen it maybe five or six times, but every time I watch it, I get emotional. The emotions vary. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry. 

I smile as I realize once again that the team I worship has won the World Series. I smile when I think about how happy I am to see this day after a half-century of loyalty. And I cry when I think about how my parents and their parents would have loved to have seen this day. 

I smile when Hawk calls you up to the podium, and you talk about how tired you got of hearing that the Sox weren’t good enough, about umpires’ calls, and about domes. (Sox fans got pretty tired of that, too.) My smile gets even bigger when you conclude that the only way to validate the championship is to do it again next year. (No argument there!) And I cry when you give Jerry Reinsdorf the final-out ball. As Jerry himself did. And as I’m sure did many, many others. 

Now the rally has ended. I smile when I think about how I’ve cheered for you—my favorite player—down through the years. But when I even consider the possibility that someone who played a vital part in what was—to me and to Sox fans everywhere—one of the single most important events we’ve ever experienced might not be here to defend the title, the smile leaves my face. 

Paulie, you play in Chicago. You’ve been there for seven years. You know that Chicago fans, especially Sox fans, are no pushovers. We know baseball, and we appreciate talent, especially when combined with a strong work ethic and great attitude. It’s not easy to become a hero in this town. Among the select few that have: Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, Bobby Hull, Gayle Sayers, Mike Ditka, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, and okay, Ernie Banks. 

Right now, the White Sox are heroes in Chicago. You are the face of the team, which means you have the opportunity to become a permanent member of that elite group, a true Chicago hero. Please stay and help the Sox do it all over again next year—and for several years to come! 





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