After 33 creative years with the White Sox, Hawk Harrelson has a simple sign off
CHICAGO – When the final score was put on the board, following a game that wasn’t a can of corn for the team he roots for, that didn’t feature a lot of ducksnorts or Kansas City specials, where the White Sox grabbed some bench a few times thanks to a talented pitcher, and no player could make it stretch over the fence, his career was officially “o-vah.”
Mercy, what a career it has been for Hawk Harrelson.
He was in the booth for 33 seasons with the White Sox, but Sunday was the last time as the play-by-play announcer before he starts his retirement. It’s been six-months full of tributes to Harrelson, with his catch-phrases being repeated ad nauseam, all as a salute to a colorful career calling games on the South Side.
But his emotional goodbye, unlike his broadcasting since 1982 with White Sox, was quite simple.
“I love you all, and I always will,” is how an emotional Harrelson finished up his final broadcast with color commentator Steve Stone by his side.
Perhaps it wasn’t the way that Harrelson wanted to finish his run with the team, only because the White Sox lost the finale of their City Series game with the Cubs 6-1 on Sunday, but everything else was what he might have hoped.
A collection of guests rolled into the NBC Sports Chicago booth over the course of the game, including Alderman Ed Burke, who gave Harrelson a proclamation from the City of Chicago in his honor during the second inning. Former White Sox catcher and good friend AJ Pierzynski joined him in the booth, wearing a “Hawk” baseball cap in tribute to Harrelson.
But the best tribute came after the game, when the White Sox came out of the dugout and took off their caps, and waved them towards the broadcast booth behind the plate at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Even the Cubs took part in the gesture, and saluted Harrelson after his final broadcast.
It was a fitting day for the White Sox broadcast legend, who headed off into the sunset simply after a career of creativity in the broadcast booth.