Ken Harrelson, better known as Hawk, is the biggest Chicago White Sox fan on this earth. The White Sox play-by-play announcer treats Sox players like they were his own children while he calls games. Sure he is quick to judge them, but no matter what they do, he goes back to supporting them at the end of the day. After Adam Dunn strikes out for the third time in a game, the Hawk will give a quick “you’ve got to be bleeping me” and carry on his way. When Dunn comes up the fourth time and draws a walk, Hawk will complement the slugger and throw in a Carl Yastrzemski reference shortly thereafter.
Without many flashy players like a Bryce Harper or a Yasiel Puig, most baseball fans outside of Chicago do not have a go-to player who comes to mind when the White Sox are brought up in a conversation. Almost every baseball fan knows Hawk due to some of his classic meltdowns during games as he lashes out on deserving umpires for blown calls. Others know Hawk for defiance of Sabermetrics. Whatever people outside of Chicago know Hawk for, it usually is not positive. However, when they hear the words “White Sox,” the first person who comes to mind is the colorful announcer.
In a day and age where everyone likes to express their opinion, countless voices are heard berating Harrelson. People want him to hang it up and to never be heard from again. But as Hawk always says, he will die in the booth. Unless he does something completely off the charts, Harrelson will continue to call games. While non-White Sox fans would rather watch the game on mute than listen to Hawk, Sox fans have always embraced their favorite homer.
Hawk has always had a soft spot for former Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski because, quite frankly, they are both viewed the same way. When they are a part of a fan’s organization, that person loves them. If Harrelson or Pierzynski have no affiliation to the team a person cheers for, they become the enemy. White Sox fans love Hawk because through the ups and downs, he still loves the Sox. Never playing for the White Sox, the organization has embraced a once outsider like he was a former MVP who led them to a World Series. Fans take pictures with Hawk and have him kiss their baby’s forehead like he is the President of the United States. With it not being the “sexy” choice to be a White Sox fan in Chicago, Hawk has shown people that being a Sox fan means one is affiliated with who he thinks is the greatest organization in all of sports.
Over the course of 33 years, Hawk has stuck with the team through it all. While he may never be looked upon in a favorable manner by those around baseball, he will definitely be admired by the White Sox faithful forever.
One day, as a sign of admiration for the man who as always loved them, the White Sox will place a shiny statue of Hawk in the outfield. No matter what others think of him, White Sox fans will always think highly of Hawk, even after he passes on. While he may not be one of the best play-by-play announcers ever, he is one of the best ambassadors in baseball history. And you can put that on the board.
Nick Kapetan is a Chicago White Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.