“Ken Harrelson created a bond between the White Sox and their fans with his unabashed love of South Side Chicago baseball,” Hall of Fame president Tim Mead said in a statement. “Each time he stepped into the booth, ‘Hawk’ called the game with the passion of a fan and the knowledge of an MLB All-Star. As the narrator for some of the greatest moments in White Sox history, including the franchise’s 2005 World Series championship, Ken’s voice will echo for all time throughout the Windy City.”
The Frick Award is voted on by a 15-person committee that includes the award’s 11 living recipients and four current broadcasters and baseball historians. The award is named in honor of the former writer, broadcaster, National League president, and baseball commissioner. Frick was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1970. Although he is most well known as a broadcaster, Harrelson was a very good ballplayer who spent nine seasons in the big leagues from 1963-71. Most notably, he hit .275/.356/.518 with 35 home runs and a major-league-leading 109 RBI with the Red Sox in 1968. That earned him his only All-Star Game selection and a third place finish in the MVP voting. Harrelson, 78, began broadcasting Red Sox games in 1975 before joining the White Sox broadcasting team in 1982. He served as the team’s general manager in 1985, joined the Yankees as a broadcaster in 1987-88, then returned to the ChiSox booth in 1989. Harrelson retired from broadcasting following the 2018 season.
Here’s Harrelson getting the call with the news:
Harrelson broke his leg in spring training in 1970, which contributed to his playing career ending at age 29. He had a short stint as a professional golfer between the end of his playing career and the start of his broadcasting career. Baseball fans of all ages know Hawk’s signature, “You can put it on the boooooard … yes!” home run call.
Harrelson will be honored during Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown in July. . The Baseball Writers Association of America voting results will be announced in January.