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Former voice of the Chicago White Sox Ken “Hawk” Harrelson has been out of the booth since 2018. However, he says that retiring wasn’t his choice and that he was forced to hang up his microphone.
Harrelson is 81 these days, and some quick, impressive math reveals that he was approximately 76 years old when he rode off into the proverbial sunset. However, during a recent interview on the Foul Territory podcast hosted by Scott Braun and ex-White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Harrelson indicated he may have had more gas left in the tank.
“I didn’t retire, I got retired,” said Harrelson. “I got fired, is what it boils down to. I’m sure they will deny that, but what led up to that and everything else is going to be interesting.”
Harrelson didn’t elaborate much further on the topic but did hint that he’s got a book coming out. Maybe he’ll dish out some more details in there.
If what Harrelson is saying is true, it’s something I’ll never understand. Why would a team want to get rid of a voice that fans have become so familiar with?
Could the answer perhaps lie in one of the many -isms of the modern day: Ageism.
Eh… I doubt it. Oddly enough, broadcasting, especially in baseball, is better with a crabby old dude behind the mic. At least that’s how I feel. I’ll take a crotchety old-timer over some young kid who’s excited to be there any day of the week.
An old guy complaining is practically the soundtrack of baseball.
I’m anxious to see what Harrelson puts in his book. If he’s already retired, there’s no need to hold back from naming names.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle