<
>

Reinsdorf: A.J. will forever be appreciated

Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf expressed his love and appreciation for the departed A.J. Pierzynski in the form of a released statement from the team.

Reinsdorf, who only releases farewell statements to the club’s most cherished players, recalled specific moments from Pierzynski’s White Sox career, as well as what his tenure meant to the organization. The veteran catcher is now headed to Texas after signing a one-year, $7.5 million contract with the Rangers.

The complete text of Reinsdorf’s statement:

“A.J. Pierzynski played a major role in many of the greatest moments in recent Chicago White Sox history. From reaching first base in Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series, to his double in Game 3 of the World Series in Houston, to his performance behind the plate during the 2008 “Blackout Game” division-winning 1-0 victory, A.J. was a key contributor, often in his own very unique way.

“Every White Sox fan appreciates and celebrates what A.J. meant to this organization during his time in Chicago. A.J. epitomized Chicago’s South Side through his toughness, his attitude, his flair for the dramatic and his passion for the game. He came to compete – and to win – every day.

“A.J. will forever be appreciated and remembered by White Sox fans as a very special member of this franchise. He earned that spot in our hearts. I personally wish A.J. the very best with the Rangers and with the rest of his career. I suspect U.S. Cellular Field will be one ballpark where A.J. Pierzynski will never be booed. He’s earned our cheers.”

White Sox fans will have to wait to express their appreciation to Pierzynski. The White Sox and Rangers don’t play each other at U.S. Cellular Field until a three-game series Aug. 23-25. The two teams play each other for the first time April 30-May 2 in a three-game series at Texas.