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Hawk Harrelson is a finalist for the Ford Frick Award

Oct 2, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

I’m just gonna leave this here:

Hey, there are people who like Hawk. They are almost all White Sox fans who, when you press them, talk about Hawk as a “familiar voice” or someone with whom they have nice associations with White Sox baseball. Rarely, however, do they say that they actually think he’s a particularly good announcer. Just that they sort of like him. In this way Harrelson to his fans is a lot like “Fat Bottomed Girls” is for me. Something that makes me feel good when I hear it but, when asked to assess its actual merit in objective terms, well, I can’t really do it.

The Frick Award, though, is not about warm fuzzies felt by a minority of partisans. It’s presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for his or her “major contributions to baseball.”  I suppose his introduction of the term “he gone!” has some value — I’ve used that, like, three times on Twitter in the past four years, I believe — but I don’t know if it’s “major.”

Anyway, Good luck, Hawk. I’m sure you’re a nice man and that you’ll say interesting things if you win it.

  1. jarathen - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Considering that “He gone!” is used almost universally as a sarcastic phrase when not coming from Harrelson’s stupid mouth, his contribution is not in the spirit he intended, which is, like his mouth, stupid.

    Honestly, he’s really just not a good broadcaster. I appreciate that his casts are for White Sox fans, but he’s part of the whole “we” problem, where people not playing the game, and not even involved in the construction or maintenance of the team proper, view themselves as part of the team.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      I didn’t realize that the “we” thing is a problem. People feel like the team represents their city (or fandom, perhaps more accurately). What is wrong with including oneself in that?

      Throw in a little of the “12th man” stuff the Reds were trying to deal with in a boisterous PNC park and one can make the leap that fans can have an effect on the outcome of games. Why shouldn’t fans feel included when discuss “their” team?

      • petey1999 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        I think the “we” thing bleeds over to disrespect for the other team and, consequently, to the game itself.

  2. ptfu - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Hawk’s got the Will to Win. Look out Cooperstown.

  3. Matthew Pouliot - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    And he’ll say nothing at all if someone else wins it.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Considering what he usually says that would actually be pleasant.

    • Brian Donohue - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      Stone deserves it more, if only for the capacity to endure it all, right there beside him. Hang wif’em Steve!!!

    • moogro - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      I got the joke, Matthew.

  4. petey1999 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    How can he win an award for excellence in baseball broadcasting when so very many people really can’t stand to listen to him?

  5. philliesblow - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Obviously they are running short of people to nominate.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      I’m already looking forward to next year, when John Sterling gets nominated

      • Jeremy T - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        …because he’s the absolute last person who should be nominated for this award, with Hawk being second to last. Come on, thumbers, do I have to explain everything? :)

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Suzyn Waldman.

        See, Sterling shouldn’t be last.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Fair enough. I clearly didn’t think this through.

      • km9000 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        I admit I first reflexively gave a thumbs down when I saw Sterling’s name, even though I knew you were being sarcastic.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        Completely understandable. I had to resist a strong urge to set my keyboard on fire while I was typing it.

      • raynman49 - Oct 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        OMG!!! Ha Ha Ha!

  6. cohnjusack - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    My favorite Hawk Harrelson quote:

    “You look at Darin Erstad, and you don’t see the best hitter in the game. You don’t see the best centerfielder. You don’t see the best first baseman. But put it all together, and he’s one of the best baseball players you’ll ever see.”
    — May 2007. Darin Erstad was in the midst of his 7th consecutive sub-100 OPS+ season.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Did you know Erstad played football at Nebraska? Bet you didn’t…

      • huskerkid93 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Did you know that Erstad was the head baseball coach at Nebraska? Bet you didn’t…

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      What you need in the booth to complement the Hawk is a Spock/Sheldon type that points out how illogical and incoherent the stuff he says really is all the while Hawk hand waves and soldiers on not missing a beat. Turn the whole performance into extended Albert and Costello skit. THAT would be entertaining.

      • moogro - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        This. Anything can be salvaged with a little thought. Except Joe Buck.

    • crackersnap - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Hawk had already warned you that Erstad was not the best hitter in the game. Maybe Hawk had already researched and mastered Erstad’s OPS+ trend when he said that?




  7. ezthinking - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Not a real fan of the White Sox, but I always enjoy listening to Hawk as he is an unabashed fan of the White Sox.

    He calls them out when they suck, praises them when they’re good, and shuts up and watches a close game in the ninth with hardly a comment.

    Vin Scully is praised for letting a moment ‘breathe.’ Hawk does it as well as anyone.

    Local broadcasters should root for their team. Hawk has undoubtedly contributed that as much as anyone.

    • kranepool - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      I’m not a White Sox fan but I do enjoy listening to Hawk Harrelson do White Sox games.

      I’m sure Craig and most of the posters on this site don’t care for Hawk since he did actually play and play quite well at the Major League level

      • km9000 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        Yeah, well, so did Joe Morgan.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        Playing and broadcasting are two completely different skill sets. Some guys can do one, some can do the other, and precious few can do both well.

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        As did Tim McCarver.

    • jarathen - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      Local broadcasters should know the team, but calling every player by some nickname and saying “the good guys” every single time isn’t professional.

    • jgillmeister - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      I’ve listened to HH enough to know he doesn’t know when to shut up. He ruins more good moments with his yapping than any other announcer I’ve heard.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Vin Scully: Sandy into his windup, here’s the pitch… SWUNG ON AND MISSED, A PERFECT GAME.
      Hawk: YES, YES, YES.
      Meg Ryan: YES, YES, YES.
      I’d give Meg the FF Award before I’d give it to Hawk.

  8. km9000 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    What the Frick?

  9. jobber33 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    He calls the game like it;s still the time he played in. Doesn’t really bother to learn anything about the other team unless they are friends of his. A good announcer like Scully will praise the other team and will acknowledge when someone on the Dodgers screws up. Harrellson just says oh well. He also will blame the ump for any close call that goes against the Sox. This guy is nothing short of self-centered,whining drunk that needs to just stay home. If a partner of his in the booth talks to much, he wants them fired.

  10. aceshigh11 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Is he nominated only because his first and last name starts with the same letter, just like ol’ Ford?

    That’s about the only reason that makes sense.

  11. KR - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    You can put it on the board….. no.

  12. irishdodger - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    As long as Craig and the rest of the haters acknowledge that Harry Caray was just as bad. He did everything yall say that Hawk does now…especially at the end of his career.

  13. sdelmonte - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Other nominees:

    Joe Castiglione, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Duane Kuiper, Eric Nadel, Eduardo Ortega, Dewayne Staats and Pete van Wieren.

    I am only vaguely familiar with Kuiper, Staats and van Wieren. And none of them are that memorable. Surely they could have nominated Gary Cohen.

    • pastabelly - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Castiglione is pretty mediocre. I’m glad that Dave O’Brien is now in the booth with Castiglione. He’s one of the best in the business and one of the few at ESPN who add something to the cablecast. Always liked van Wieren as well.

      • petey1999 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        I disagree with your opinion of Joe, but agree that with O’Brien in the booth, they are a great radio team. When comparing these guys, I think it’s important to remember that radio and TV styles are, and should be, different. Ever notice that Scully’s style in the first half of games is a radio style – more descriptive and higher energy than in the second half? O’Brien is also different on TV than on radio.

    • Gamera the Brave - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      King is a Bay Area legend, but retired so long ago, I only kinda remember his style. Was good, as I recall. I listen to Kuiper, he is solid, pretty objective. I don’t know about Frick-quality, but he’s really good.

      We Bay Area fans are really pretty lucky to have a really good bunch of announcers. And Tim Roy…

      • clydeserra - Oct 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        he was actively the A’s broadcaster when he died after surgery in 2005.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Ortega is the Padres’ Spanish-language announcer, he’s pretty well liked by Padres’ Spanish-speaking fans. My understanding of Spanish is not high enough to understand whether he’s good or not, but he’s been around for a while.

  14. makeham98 - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    This is just too awesome. It has to happen, it just has to.

    • crackersnap - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      I used to agree completely with this sentiment. Then I watched what happened to Congress.

  15. nnnse - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:04 PM


  16. shawndc04 - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Who in the world is responsible for making this “nomination”?

  17. kalinedrive - Oct 2, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    “Excellence in baseball broadcasting” is quite a STRETCH!

  18. dadawg77 - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Hawk is like watching the game with a friend at the bar, which does have some charm. And like your friend you have to discount his ability to rate talent. He was the worse GM in MLB history, who moves a hall of fame catcher to left field? This also adds comedy to broadcast when he goes after Beane. For the person mentioning Stone, he is overrated by the little old ladies who used to listen to him on cubs games. He is probably jealous of Hawk as he hadn’t had his chance to be a bad gm.

  19. bobsnygiants - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    I will always be a ken Harrelson fan , Red Sox fan

  20. moogro - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Roy Thomas Baker is about as objective as you can be. Run anything through the Baker filter and it’s unbelievably great.

  21. crackersnap - Oct 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Not being a follower of the White Sox, the only times I come across the finely honed skills that are the talent known as Ken Harrelson are when he is a bonehead.

    The fact that I do come across those gems with great frequency can only mean that he is a bonehead quite often.

    Therefore, it is with great pleasure and pride that I congratulate Harrelson for his achievement in representing the south side of Chicago, thus distancing himself from any chance of polluting my love for the fine game of baseball.

  22. ditchparrot19 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    If the award was for “enthusiasm in broadcasting,” I could buy it. “Excellence” is something altogether different, however.

  23. hbk72777 - Oct 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    That’s one more award that is only good for holding toilet paper.

    That buffoon is the worst announcer in the history of sports.If he announced for the Yankees, I’d quit watching baseball.

    Uecker, Scully, those are great announcers.

  24. westpalmlion - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    He gone

  25. db1001 - Oct 2, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    A really fun thing to do if your bored is to go and watch an archive of a white sox game where they blow the lead in the ninth inning and listen to the disappointment in Hawks voice, try it, it’s hilarious. He gets so mad.

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