NORTH SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s spring training in Arizona and Paul Konerko is back at a familiar spot — first base.
But instead of taking throws from Joe Crede and Juan Uribe, the White Sox legend is spending a Tuesday afternoon catching baseballs from a group of 11-year-old little leaguers, most of who have no idea that this 43-year-old dad is a six-time All-Star and World Series hero.
“Most of the guys who are actively playing in the big leagues might not know a guy who played five years ago, so, I’m going to guess these 11-year-olds might not know either,” Konerko said with a laugh.
After an 18-year career in Major League Baseball, Konerko has a new job: Little League coach.
Konerko and former White Sox reliever J.J. Putz both coach their sons’ team in T-Rex Baseball, a prominent 11U travel team in the Phoenix area.
“Yeah, we’ve fallen far,” Konerko said with his trademark sarcasm. “We both have kids. We’re teaching the kids how to play. We think.”
Konerko retired from baseball after the 2014 season, and the idea of him becoming a coach or manager seemed like a logical fit. Baseball is in his blood. He loves the game. He’s a…