Mark Buehrle is one of those baseball players who is hard to find, solely based on scouting reports. He is a genuine, class act that an organization dreams of having around their clubhouse for an extended period of time. Buehrle was a vital part of the Chicago White Sox for over a decade, specifically, as a member of the 2005 team that brought a championship back to the city of Chicago. One thing that stood out about the lefty was that even after he dominated in the 2005 World Series, threw a no-hitter, hurled a perfect game, and made an unbelievable flip to Paulie, he was still one of those guys that flew under the radar of the national media. Did he have his moments in the spotlight? Yes. However, like White Sox great Paul Konerko and current pitcher Jose Quintana, Buehrle never had a continuous spotlight on him like certain players do, nowadays. Even following his number retirement ceremony, he did not receive as much attention on social media as players like David Ortiz or Derek Jeter. Does he deserve the attention? Absolutely. However, it does not really matter as much, at this point in his career. It’s safe to say the city of Chicago, specifically the South Side, truly knows about what kind of person Buehrle was on and off the field.
Mark was a solid, reliable workhorse who always pitched over 200 innings a season. And it was his presence and demeanor that is what many fans, players, and personell within the organization remember him by. Dominant and focused on the mound; fun, friendly and relaxed off of it. Buehrle never caused any commotion in the clubhouse by cutting up jerseys or bringing his kids around too often. Instead, he was a team player that did what everyone asked of him: pitch every five days. By looking at his stats, it tells a lot about the type of player Mark was during his career. He went out, did his job, had very consistent numbers, but nothing that was overly impressive. He was not the type of pitcher to throw 95+ mph or strikeout 10 batters every time. Yet, he was still dominant enough to force guys to pop up or ground out with an 88 mph fastball.
What all of this proves is the legacy you leave behind isn’t always because of the number of strikeouts you had or how fast you pitched. A large part of how you are remembered, as a player, has to do with who you are in the clubhouse, how you act around the fans, and carry yourself outside of the game. Will Buehrle ever make it into the Hall of Fame? Unfortunately, it does not look promising, even though we know he rightfully deserves all the consideration in the world. But that’s ok, because he did something not every Hall of Famer does. He impacted an entire fan base in a positive way for his accomplishments and generosity towards those around him. It is no question that he will be remembered through many generations of White Sox fans. Mark is the perfect example of the baseball player every youngster should try to emulate. Thank you, Mark, for everything you have done for the Chicago White Sox organization, and the city of Chicago.