Dunn's return to Chicago has special addition

Dunn's return to Chicago has special addition

CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn was sitting in the visitors' clubhouse Monday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field when he got a call to take a walk over to the home training room. Dunn knew he would see former teammates during this four-game series, White Sox friends whom he left on July 31 when the designated hitter was traded to Oakland, but he didn't want to be the guy bothering the other side's preparation for victory.

It's a good thing he did. Waiting for him in the White Sox clubhouse was a new golf cart decked out in his beloved Texas Longhorn colors, along with the team's insignia. It was a gift from John Danks and Chris Sale, a gift that left the usually eloquent and humorous Dunn fumbling for words and on the cusp of choking up.

"I don't know. … . It's awesome. I don't know how else to put it. For Chris and John to do that … when you're that kind of teammate like that, those two guys … and they're pitchers, which is kind of weird," said Dunn, speaking to the media from the Oakland dugout. "But for those two guys to think about doing it and actually do it, that means everything.

"That means ... I won't tell them that now, but everybody says it's the thought that counts and it's true. They could have handed me a Texas pencil, but it's really cool of them. I probably won't sell it immediately. I'll probably keep it for a while. It was cool. It was special."

This gift in a way symbolizes Dunn's time in Chicago, after coming in via a four-year, $56-million free-agent deal. He was not a complete success on the field, hitting just .201 with 106 homers over parts of four years. But he was a tremendous influence in the clubhouse and off the field, making an impact on his teammates.

As far as the White Sox fans not exactly standing behind him, Dunn understands.

"I get it. I had a fantasy team not do very well this week and I wasn't happy with those guys either," a smiling Dunn said. "Obviously it makes it harder. But it comes with the territory. Hopefully we can make them boo again tonight."

Dunn's territory presently stands as trying to help Oakland into the playoffs, marking what would be his first postseason appearance after a stretch of 1,983 regular-season games without October baseball. Dunn homered in his first at-bat with Oakland and has been reenergized by this move into contention. The A's entered Monday's opener with a two-game lead for the first Americal League Wild Card.

"Offensively we're not anywhere near where we're hoping to be, obviously," Dunn said. "But with this pitching staff, if you can get these guys any run support you have to feel like you have a chance. Hopefully we can grind it out and get these guys some runs and get hot at the right time."

"For all the ups and downs he had over the four years, Dunner was obviously outstanding in the clubhouse," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "And an important piece in sort of creating the right environment and what we wanted here."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.