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updated: 7/23/2014 7:38 PM

Konerko says Thomas was always 'dialed in'

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  • Paul Konerko was impressed by the way former Sox slugger Frank Thomas (above) prepared himself on a daily basis early in his career.

    Paul Konerko was impressed by the way former Sox slugger Frank Thomas (above) prepared himself on a daily basis early in his career.
    Associated Press


Frank Thomas is the White Sox' all-time home run leader with 448. Paul Konerko is second with 432.

Konerko was a much younger player when he was Thomas' teammate from 1999-2005, and watching the Hall of Famer work on his hitting helped Konerko move up the franchise leaderboard.

Thomas is going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The first baseman/designated hitter received 83.7 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America over the winter, becoming the first former Sox player to make it into the Hall on the first ballot.

"Just from what I saw the years (Thomas) was here, it was something he had learned obviously before I got here, but he was just really consistent and dialed in with his work," Konerko said. "He knew when things went bad and he wasn't swinging the bat the way he wanted to. He had drills and just a whole formula on how to get himself (ready). He was very aware at all times where he was at with his swing.

"He knew what to do when it was good and knew what to do when he didn't feel good. He kind of just knew and learned how to kind of get it back to where he wanted to and he knew little tricks to do it. That all leads to the numbers and not going through long stretches of bad results. That's what I saw."

Perfect memories:

Wednesday marked the fifth anniversary of former White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.

Alexei Ramirez was playing shortstop behind Buehrle that day, and he often thinks back on the gem.

"I remember it often," Ramirez said through a translator. "Whenever I see Buehrle, we signal each other and we recall that day and it's just such a special occasion that not that many pitchers have accomplished."

Viciedo sits:

Outfielder Dayan Viciedo was scratched from Wednesday's starting lineup with a sore left hamstring.

"He was tight," manager Robin Ventura said. "It was enough to keep him out of the lineup. We'll see what happens when we go to Minnesota. It wouldn't have been a smart idea to put him out there. You would have risked injuring it more."

Still sidelined:

Pitching coach Don Cooper missed his third straight game with vertigo Wedensday, and he did not accompany the White Sox to Minnesota, where they open a four-game series against the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field.

"He's not feeling that much better," manager Robin Ventura said. "How much longer, I don't know. I do know he's not feeling all that great so he won't be flying with us."

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