There once was a baseball. This, however, was not just any old baseball. This baseball had participated on the biggest stage it could. It was hurled by a large man at 97 MPH. It did not make a lot of contact with the refined sticks of ash used by those who attempted to hit it. It never left the infield, until it vanished.
For 3 days it went missing. Many speculated on where it may have disappeared to. How could a ball that significant be unaccounted for? Surely it wasn’t left in a room 925 miles away, soaked by alcohol. Someone had it, for this baseball was too valuable for someone not to have.
Those who watched the baseball’s last known appearance knew in their hearts where the baseball was. Many of them focused on one man, the last known possessor of the ball, a player. And, after 3 days, he made sure the man who paid his wages had that baseball in his hands.
9 years later, that player decided his time to step out of the spotlight had come. He didn’t get, want, or need an elaborate farewell tour. But the man who paid his wages made sure that, when it was time for the player’s team to honor him, all the stops would be pulled out.
And that is how Paul Konerko got a statue in left field, his World Series grand slam baseball, and a retired number from Jerry Reinsdorf.