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Paul Konerko Briefly A Cincinnati Red

September 25, 2014
1999 Topps Chrome Refractor #24 - Paul Konerko - Courtesy of COMC.com

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor #24 – Paul Konerko – Courtesy of COMC.com

Paul Konerko wraps up a splendid career this weekend with the Chicago White Sox. However its hard not to image what would have happened if Konerko’s brief stint with the Cincinnati Reds would have lasted much longer.

Konerko came and left Cincinnati in 1998 as a part of then-general manager Jim Bowden’s more infamous trades. The Reds acquired the infielder along with relief pitcher Denny Reyes from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for relief pitcher Jeff Shaw.

That trade ruffled many feathers in the Queen City because Shaw, who was the Reds’ only all-star was traded just days before the mid-summer classic. Shaw actually made his Dodger debut in the all star game. Second baseman Bret Boone was a late addition to the roster to give Cincinnati a representative in the game.

Following the trade, Konerko was sent to the Reds’ AAA affiliate Indianapolis Indians where he appeared in 39 games before being called up in September. Once with the Reds’ he appeared in 26 games and hit .219 with 3 homers in 81 at-bats.

However at the time, the Reds had a crowded infield with Sean Casey at first and Willie Green, Pokey Reese and a young Aaron Boone at third.

Just a little more than four months after the trade, Konerko was on the move again. This time, he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfielder Mike Cameron.

The trade gave the White Sox a pillar of their franchise for the next 16 seasons and helped propel them to the 2005 World Series championship. While playing with the South Siders, he appeared in more than 2,200 games, hit .281 and more than 432 home runs.

Cameron also had a brief stint in Cincinnati. During the 1999 season, Cameron hit .256 with 21 homers and 66 RBIs in his season with the Reds before he was dealt to Seattle along with Jake Meyer, Antonio Perez and Brett Tomko in exchange for Ken Griffey Jr.

Swapping Griffey for Cameron helps make the Konerko not a total bust for the Reds. However it is still tough to shallow. 

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