The steady decrease in Ken “Hawk” Harrelson‘s coverage of Chicago White Sox games will continue, and finally end following next season. Today, the White Sox announced that Harrelson will mainly announce Sunday home games during the 2018 season, before he retires at the end of the season. “The Hawk” has been the play-by-play announcer for the last 27 years on the south side of Chicago, and prior to that served as the White Sox’ general manager for one season.
Last year, Harrelson limited his broadcast time to just road trips, due to his old age and the long, tiring trip from his home in Granger, Indiana to the south side of Chicago for home games. Jason Benetti grabbed the reigns as the home play-by-play man, and suddenly Sox fans experienced a mix of Benetti’s reserved, humorous style and Harrelson’s passionate, “homer” calls.
Notorious for his belligerence toward under-performing umpires, Harrelson’s passion stems from his love of the White Sox, which also manifests itself in his calls. Jubilantly shouting “You can put it on the board! Yes!” among other patented bits like “Kansas City special” and “hang with-em,” Harrelson has imprinted his name and style in White Sox legacy. Now, listeners will have to “Sit back, relax, and strap it down” for years of Benetti at the helm of the broadcast booth.
Though many will enjoy the transition to full seasons of Benetti and partner Steve Stone, it’s undeniable that all White Sox fans will remember The Hawk. Look for our column covering the legendary career of Ken “The Hawk” Harrleson’s career in baseball this evening.