To Chicago White Sox fans, the name Mark Buehrle registers countless memories. Spending 12 years in Chicago, Buehrle won 161 games for the White Sox. The left-hander also recorded a handful of accolades with the Sox including a World Series championship, a perfect game, a no-hitter, three Gold Glove Awards and four All-Star Game appearances.
Although these achievements will certainly make Buehrle a fan favorite on Chicago’s south side far after his playing days are over, who the lefty is as a person is why he’ll always be beloved by the White Sox organization and fans.
Now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Buehrle is set to face his former team for the first time tonight. There is no doubt it will be a very special start for the 34-year-old hurler. Drafted by the Sox back in 1998, Buehrle has always been a very productive MLB pitcher. Although he has been roughed up in his first two outings with the Jays (10.24 ERA, 9.2 IP), I’d be very surprised if Buehrle didn’t have some of his best stuff tonight in Toronto.
For many of the current Sox players, Buehrle was a teammate for only a year or two. For Paul Konerko, however, Buehrle isn’t just a former teammate of 12 years — he’s a long time friend. Both Konerko and Buehrle have already said there will most likely be a few smiles and laughs when they square of against one other tonight, but expect the competitiveness of each player to come out as soon as Buehrle takes the sign from his catcher.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say there’ll be some mixed emotions for Sox fans watching the game tonight. It will almost feel wrong rooting against Buehrle. That being said, the Sox need wins, even if it is against their former ace.