Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, a former player who called Chicago White Sox games for 34 years, won the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick award for excellence in broadcasting on Wednesday.
The 78-year-old was an outfielder and first baseman from 1963-71 for the Kansas City Athletics, Boston, Cleveland and Washington, then had a 43-season broadcast career. Known for his home run call, “You can put it on the board, yes!” and for giving Frank Thomas his nickname “the Big Hurt,” Harrelson was proud to be called a “homer.”
He retired from broadcasting in 2018.
“I am truly humbled to receive the greatest honor for any broadcaster in baseball,” Harrelson said in a statement released Wednesday. “It is very humbling to join the impressive list of past recipients, including all of the voices who educated and entertained generations of Chicago fans over the years.”
He started broadcasting for the Red Sox (1975-81) and switched to the White Sox in 1982. Harrelson became Chicago’s general manager after the 1985 season, left after one year and became a New York Yankees‘ broadcaster in 1987.
He returned to the White Sox broadcast crew in 1989 and stayed through 2018. He is a five-time Emmy Award winner.
Harrelson will be recognized at the Hall in Cooperstown, New York, during an awards presentation on July 25, a day before induction ceremonies.
“Hawk is so deserving of this tremendous honor,” White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “His passion for baseball is unmatched, and he has entertained generations of White Sox fans with his stories, experiences and insight. He cared passionately about the White Sox and like our fans, took every win and loss to heart.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.