Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ken Harrelson Wins MLB's Highest Broadcast Honor

Ken Harrelson
Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, whose 42 years as a major-league broadcaster included 33 with the White Sox, is the winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2020 Ford C. Frick Award.

The Chicago Tribune reports the selection by a panel of the 11 living past Frick honorees and four historians/columnists was announced Wednesday at baseball’s winter meetings.

Harrelson, 78, who retired in 2018, is the fifth Chicago announcer to earn the honor — following Milo Hamilton (1992), Harry Caray (1989), Jack Brickhouse (1983) and Bob Elson (1979) — since the Frick was first awarded in 1978.

“It’s just such an honor,” Harrelson said Wednesday. “I’ve always considered myself to be probably as lucky, if not the luckiest, human being ever stepped two feet on the face of the earth. I’ve got a great family and a wonderful career and been with some great people and with an organization that in my opinion is certainly the best in baseball and one of the best in all of sports. So it’s going to be an honor. It’s going to be a lot of fun. And as long as I can keep Bob Uecker off my ass, I’ll be all right.”

Harrelson fielded the call from the Hall of Fame from his home, surrounded by family and friends, including former White Sox catcher-turned-broadcaster A.J. Pierzynski. The news he had been selected left him momentarily — and uncharacteristically — at a loss for words.

Considered the sport’s high honor for broadcasters, the Frick Award will be conferred July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y., as part of the July 24-27 Hall of Fame weekend.

Among the seven finalists Harrelson beat out was Pat Hughes, who is poised to begin his 25th season as radio play-by-play voice of the Cubs and 38th as a major-league broadcaster.

“Hawk was a very colorful performer, and adored by White Sox fans," Hughes, 64, told the Tribune. "He belongs in the Hall.”

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