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MLB Network Documentary On Hawk Harrelson Premieres Tonight

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 18, 2013 2:45PM

Image via MLB Network screen grab.

Thanks to the White Sox’ poor play this season, TV announcer Ken Harrelson has had a lot of time to tell stories of his glory days in Boston with Carl Yastrzemski, the best players he’s ever seen and other colloquialisms of his half-century in Major League Baseball, all while we wonder how close Sox color analyst Steve Stone is to throwing Harrelson out of the broadcast booth.

Harrelson’s life and escapades—and you can bet a man who dresses like the Hamburglar leaving a hospital has some stories—is the subject of a one-hour documentary premiering on the MLB Network 6 p.m. tonight. Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson, narrated by Bob Costas, gives Harrelson a platform to tell tall tales Abe Simpson wouldn’t believe. thankfully provided some highlights:

Harrelson on turning down three manager jobs:
I turned down three manager's jobs and that's the reason I turned them down: because my temper is not conducive to being a good manager at all.

Harrelson on the rivalry between Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio:
Ted Williams and I are having dinner. This is after I'm retired, I'm broadcasting now, and Ted comes down to Spring Training. We're talking, and [of] all the 150 hours we talked on hitting, I never talked to him about DiMaggio. Finally, I said, "Tell me about DiMaggio," because they didn't like each other at all. I said, "Ted, tell me about that trade where DiMaggio was going to come to Fenway. You're going to go to Yankee Stadium with that little short porch out there." He says, "To hell with Yankee Stadium." He said, "Put me in Detroit." I said, "Well, how many home runs would you have averaged in Detroit?" He said, "75 a year," and you got to believe him. I said, "Well, tell me about DiMaggio." He goes, "He's the best right-handed hitter I ever saw." I had never talked with Joe about baseball. This is amazing. I said, "Joe, tell me about Ted Williams and that trade [where] you were going to go to Fenway and he was going to go to New York." I said, "How many home runs would you have averaged in Fenway?" He said, "Probably around 70 a year," but you got to believe him. I said, "Well, tell me about Ted." He goes, "He's the best left-handed hitter I ever saw." Almost verbatim, the two of them.

Harrelson said he’s anxious to see the finished product and happy that his grandchildren now know he was more than a baseball announcer.

"They're understanding just now that I played, and it means a lot because they love the White Sox. They run around with their White Sox hats on all the time," said Harrelson. "We'll get copies of it, and they'll have it forever."
Start placing your bets on “Yaz” references now.