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Harrelson May Cut Back On White Sox Broadcast Schedule

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 29, 2014 3:30PM

2012_5_31_hawk.jpg The way the White Sox have played in recent weeks must be trying for television play-by-play man Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, judging from the numerous spots of dead air and explosions at umpires during broadcasts. White Sox fans and others who have called for a shakeup in the broadcast team may get their wish next year.

Harrelson spoke with WSCR-AM baseball reporter Bruce Levine about his future with the Sox and he intimated he may cut back on his workload to spend more time with his family. Harrelson, who turns 73 next week, lives in Granger, Ind. and does a four-hour, roundtrip commute for home games. Harrelson told Levine he is weighing calling fewer road games.

“I have a 10-year-old and 7-year-old playing ball in South Bend, and I am missing a lot of it,” Harrelson said with a look of sadness. “If I told you I was not thinking about (cutting back), I would be lying. I am thinking about it. I have not made a decision, but it will be one that my family will help me with. I really don’t want to miss my grandkids growing up. They are old enough now to know I am known by a lot of people and they really kind of like that.”

Harrelson added he’s already had discussions about his 2014 workload with Sox executives, but won’t make any concrete decisions until after this season.

Levine also made a case for Harrelson to be inducted in the broadcast wing of Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Harrelson has been broadcasting for 40 years. From the perspective of service time and impact on a fan base, he has few peers. When it comes to sharing his opinion on umpires or players, he’s never shy about letting his audience know where he stands.

As much as many Sox fans love Harrelson, though, detractors will also stand in line to deride him as a homer and White Sox cheerleader.

You can love the Hawk or hate him. The truth may be he is near impossible to ignore.

Harrelson has the support of White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf for a Hall of Fame nod, noting that several of Harrelson’s catchphrases such as “grab some bench,” “you can put it on the board,” and “stretch” are now commonplace with broadcasters across the league. (Thankfully, “you’ve gotta be bleeping me,” “Hell yes!” and “that's how you get yourself a 16,000 square-foot home in Scottsdale” didn’t catch on.)

Harrelson believes he has a good chance of winning the Ford Frick Award.

“It is probably going to happen at some point,” he said. “It might not be in my lifetime, but that is OK, too. If they put me in after I am dead, I promise you I will not show up.”