Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, November 01, 2019

Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson named 2020 Ford C. Frick Award finalist

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today that legendary Chicago White Sox television play-by-play announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is one of eight finalists for the Hall of Fame’s 2020 Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Harrelson, 78, joins fellow broadcasters Joe Castiglione, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Pat Hughes, Ned Martin, Mike Shannon and Dewayne Staats as the eight finalists for 2020 Frick Award honors.

In 2020, only major-league, team-specific broadcasters are eligible for the award, based on their commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans and recognition by peers. Candidates, active or retired, must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network or a combination of the two.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 01, 2019 at 03:01 PM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ford c frick award

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. asinwreck Posted: November 01, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5897857)
Harrelson certainly has a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club.
   2. Itchy Row Posted: November 01, 2019 at 03:09 PM (#5897860)
He also probably gets recognized. "Look out. I think Hawk is here."
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 01, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5897861)
"Look out. I think Hawk is here."
--rodents and small birds everywhere
   4. I Am Not a Number Posted: November 01, 2019 at 03:30 PM (#5897866)
rodents and small birds everywhere

And all sentient beings with ears and an aversion to nonsense going into those ears.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 01, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5897898)
This is an Onion article, right?
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 01, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5897901)
If he were alive, Bill Conlin would return his award in protest.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5897909)
I've heard quite a bit of Hawk, Hughes, Shannon and Staats. Of those, Hughes wins by a mile. Shannon had a certain folksy charm and was a guy I never minded hearing. Staats is dull but adequate. I guess I actually never heard that much of Hawk because it was a quick switch to mute or an alternate feed. I suppose if forced to choose, I'd rather listen to him than Hudler (Satan taking notes I'm sure) but Hawk is way, way down the list.

But who here really cares about the Frick Award? And Hawk spent a lifetime and then some in baseball so I won't object (much) if somebody wants to give him an award for that. In fact it would be nice if there was some sort of "lifer" award so guys like Zimmer, Pesky, hell even Yosh could get more publicly appreciated.

Note basically all these guys are lifers so Hawk doesn't stand out in that regard. I think of Staats as a young guy cuz he was when he worked for the Cubs ... but that was 35 years ago and he's been doing this for 40+ years now.
   8. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5897918)
But who here really cares about the Frick Award? And Hawk spent a lifetime and then some in baseball so I won't object (much) if somebody wants to give him an award for that.

Stockholm Syndrome. The Sox have given plenty of awards and attention to Hawk during his farewell. Sox fans are the only ones who appreciated him, why does he need some sort of special acknowledgement from the rest of us who he tortured?

Sure, I don't care about this award either, but him winning it devalues it.
   9. asinwreck Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5897920)
Can't the Hall just give it to Bob Elson again if it wants to honor a Sox broadcaster? Say it's to commemorate the 40th anniversary of getting the honor?
   10. winnipegwhip Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5897924)
If he were alive, Bill Conlin would return his award in protest.


Not if Ken was named "Chicken Hawk" Harrelson.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5897925)
It might be a moot point anyway, if Hawk doesn't have the Will to Win.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5897929)
my parents got me his book when I was about 8 years old

but I doubt they wanted me to aspire to his fashion sense there
   13. QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5897936)
Sincere question, among those with knowledge of the subject:

It's clear that Harrelson doesn't deserve it- of the folk listed, who among them is most deserving?
   14. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: November 01, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5897939)
Pat Hughes definitely deserves it. I am not familiar with the others as much as him.
   15. bobm Posted: November 01, 2019 at 06:16 PM (#5897944)
Stockholm Syndrome. The Sox have given plenty of awards and attention to Hawk during his farewell. Sox fans are the only ones who appreciated him, why does he need some sort of special acknowledgement from the rest of us who he tortured?

Like it wasn't bad enough that their owner foisted "Harold Baines, Hall of Famer" on us?
   16. Perry Posted: November 01, 2019 at 06:23 PM (#5897948)
Shannon's not only been in the game for 60 years, he's a St. Louis native who's spent his whole baseball life with the Cardinals. He has a reputation of being a bit of a clown announcer, and Cards fans joke about him being drunk on the air, but as far as I can tell there's no actual evidence for that, it's based on a penchant for the occasional non-sequitur or malapropism and some less than perfect diction. I think that because of those things he's underrated for his skills, actually -- he's a solid baseball guy and a solid reporter of the action. You hear him do a long interview, you realize he's an extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful guy. He's a bit comparable to Joe Nuxhall, who got a lot of support, but I think I'd pick him ahead of Nuxie, having heard a lot of both of them.
   17. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 01, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5897952)
I've said this before, but one of the most frustrating things about Hawk was that he had a few great tools. He occasionally would start talking about a hitter's approach at the plate and swing in such a way that demonstrated that he knows a lot about these subjects. It's just he very rarely chose to say such things, and never when talking about an opposing hitter. IOW, he's not a naturally a useless lump of flesh in the booth, he chose to be a useless lump of flesh in the booth.
   18. PeteF3 Posted: November 01, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5897964)
I've said this before, but one of the most frustrating things about Hawk was that he had a few great tools. He occasionally would start talking about a hitter's approach at the plate and swing in such a way that demonstrated that he knows a lot about these subjects. It's just he very rarely chose to say such things, and never when talking about an opposing hitter. IOW, he's not a naturally a useless lump of flesh in the booth, he chose to be a useless lump of flesh in the booth.


His other main strengths were a.) he clearly loved what he did, and b.) he was immune from old-fogeyism, at least for the most part. He was always adamant that the players of whichever modern age he was broadcasting at the time were the most talented ever. If he was really into a story, most notably Mark Buehrle's perfect game and Dwayne Wise's 9th-inning catch, you could actually get some great calls out of him. But all the other #### he rightfully catches flack over tended to take over every other broadcast.
   19. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: November 01, 2019 at 08:04 PM (#5897970)
Final voting for the 2020 Frick Award will be conducted by a 15-member committee comprised of the 11 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists. Past living Frick honorees include: Marty Brennaman, Bob Costas, Jaime Jarrín, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne. The broadcast historians/columnists include: David J. Halberstam (historian), Barry Horn (formerly of the _Dallas Morning News_), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).


I always figured that Hawk wouldn't get in because his complaints about umpires annoyed MLB honchos too much. But Bud Selig ain't on this committee. If the other longtimers like him well enough, he's got a shot.

His other main strengths were a.) he clearly loved what he did, and b.) he was immune from old-fogeyism, at least for the most part. He was always adamant that the players of whichever modern age he was broadcasting at the time were the most talented ever. If he was really into a story, most notably Mark Buehrle's perfect game and Dwayne Wise's 9th-inning catch, you could actually get some great calls out of him. But all the other #### he rightfully catches flack over tended to take over every other broadcast.

I always thought his strengths were: 1) he had a great way with nicknames (especially back in the 1990s) and 2) he had a distinctive personality.

He really was great in his prime. He & Paciorek were a very good pairing for a while. But he stayed on the job well past his expiration date. He wasn't "back-in-my-day" old fogeyism, but he was really grouchy and unhappy so often in a way that just wasn't pleasant to listen to. And he got the least out of his partners, most notably Steve Stone.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: November 01, 2019 at 08:28 PM (#5897974)
He really was great in his prime. He & Paciorek were a very good pairing for a while.


That was where I first encountered him, and I enjoyed that pairing.

   21. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 01, 2019 at 09:26 PM (#5897978)
I am not familiar with the others as much as him.


Joe Castiglione has been the Red Sox radio voice since 1986. He was second fiddle to Ken Coleman for a few years and has had a series of partners since. He’s the radio equivalent of Nick Markakis. People in Boston love the guy but he’s not memorable in any way. For better or worse he doesn’t lend himself to Deadspin (RIP) articles highlighting incredibly dumb things but he’s a pro’s pro. He makes everyone around him a little better, he’s done a great job on all four World Series runs. About the most memorable thing he’s done is Fall out of his chair on Benintendi’s great catch in the ALCS last year.

He also has been a professor at Northeastern University for many years. Most famously one of his students who then interned for WEEI before becoming the Sox TV play by play guy was Don Orsillo who is now the Padres guy and I believe was rated part of the #1 TV team in the Awful Announcing poll this year.

Ned Martin worked on both the radio and TV side for the Sox for roughly an eternity. He was already entrenched on the radio when I started following the team then moved to TV around the time Castiglione showed up. Another guy who was more steady Eddie than flashy but I’d say he was superior to JoeC which is not a knock on Castiglione, just a recognition of how good Martin was. One thing I remember him saying is that he was taught at a young age to use adverbs not adjectives to describe events. My friends and I still joke about him describing foul balls as popped, spilled, sliced and carved. I can picture the exact differences in each of those.

Neither guy was/is a look at me type. They are probably not everyone’s cup of tea but, perhaps because I grew up with Martin and Ken Coleman, they have a style that I adore.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2019 at 09:29 PM (#5897979)
who among them is most deserving?

I not only think Hughes is most deserving of this bunch (that I'm reasonably familiar with) but I think he's highly deserving period. He might be my #1 pbp guy. He's so good he somehow made Santo's rank amateurism lovable. God only knows what the man could do with a good partner. If there's a flaw, he's maybe getting a bit cranky, overly corny in his 60s. Surprised he never got a TV gig (as far as I know).

As I've said before, my two main criteria for a broadcast team is that they at least seem to love the game and they at least act convincingly as if they like each other. For all I know, Hughes is a jerk in private but in the booth he's kinda the Johnny Carson of broadcasters. Granted, if he wins, his acceptance speech will probably be filled with the names of Cubs' sponsors just out of habit. :-)

(In terms of the set of comparisons, it's really only a comp to Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox, Cards, Braves, O's, A's, Giants and national announcers of the last 30-50 years.)
   23. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 01, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5897981)
If he were alive, Bill Conlin would return his award in protest.


At least Hawk only abuses his victims' ears.
   24. John Northey Posted: November 01, 2019 at 11:30 PM (#5897999)
So the final 8 are Joe Castiglione, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Ken Harrelson, Pat Hughes, Ned Martin, Mike Shannon and Dewayne Staat. My vote would go to Doucet as the French voice of the Expos for decades.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 01, 2019 at 11:48 PM (#5898007)
Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson named 2020 Ford C. Frick Award finalist

YOU GOTTA BE BLEEPIN' ME!!!!!
   26. The Duke Posted: November 02, 2019 at 12:12 AM (#5898022)
Everyone always says Shannon is drunk but as a player he had a very serious genetic issue that affected his kidneys and cut short his career. I don’t believe he has ever been able to drink after that
   27. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: November 02, 2019 at 06:57 AM (#5898054)
Now, this HAS to be fake news/ Onion article/or at least some kind of horrible mistake. Possibly the worst I've ever heard you can feel Harrelson's words stealing your baseball IQ by the second.
   28. crict Posted: November 02, 2019 at 08:40 AM (#5898062)
Jacques Doucet has been a finalist many times, and I wonder if that's the best that a non-english speaker can hope for. He is the voice of baseball in French. He literally created the baseball vocabulary in French. He's also a big part of the current baseball nostalgia in Quebec. He's been a fantastic ambassador for baseball in the province.
   29. QLE Posted: November 02, 2019 at 02:24 PM (#5898120)
Jacques Doucet has been a finalist many times, and I wonder if that's the best that a non-english speaker can hope for.


Not necessarly- Buck Canel, Jaime Jarrin, and Felo Ramirez all received the Frick Award.
   30. Shredder Posted: November 02, 2019 at 05:17 PM (#5898168)
He really was great in his prime. He & Paciorek were a very good pairing for a while.
My biggest problem with Harrelson was his open rooting for the Sox when calling a game. Bob Miller used to call LA Kings games, and I remember an interview with him where he talked about how much you're around the players, and you know their families, and naturally you're going to have affinity for the team that employs you, but you try as hard as you can to suppress that when calling a game. The biggest motivator to go to a Sox game when the Angels were in town was not having to listen to Harrelson calling it. His homerism was incredibly unprofessional. And I'm not talking about showing a little more excitement for a great Sox play than for the opposing team. I'm talking about "C'mon, Paulie, take him right here. Take him right here." It wasn't worthy of a Major League Baseball broadcast.

Though I did kind of like "right size, wrong shape".
   31. Koot Posted: November 02, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5898218)
I always found Hawk entertaining, but I guess he probably doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame. I'm afraid this is paving the way for a first ballot entry of "The Voice of the Yankees", John Sterling and his "companero" Susyn Waldman.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: November 02, 2019 at 08:14 PM (#5898220)
Everyone always says Shannon is drunk but as a player he had a very serious genetic issue that affected his kidneys and cut short his career. I don’t believe he has ever been able to drink after that


From my knowledge, he has been sober for at least 20+ years, with a small part of the time after his wife death that he fell off the wagon (friend of a friend type of information) On the air he's not drunk.

Shannon is good at times, not good at times, but he's not the annoying Brennan or Harrelson type that goes on and on about how the game should be played etc... He just tells stories and talks about the game and doesn't sermonize. He'll talk about the good old days, don't get me wrong on that, but it's more about talking about how he enjoyed the past than it is about how crappy the present is.

He has his Shannonism's which make him fun to listen to, but he also tells good stories (same can be said about McCarver...except McCarver loves to sermonize--and hagiography certain people) he is no longer in his prime so it makes listening to him a bit tough at times, but in his prime, he was pretty good.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: November 02, 2019 at 09:39 PM (#5898227)
My biggest problem with Harrelson was his open rooting for the Sox when calling a game.

different sport, but a radio guy on the Rutgers football game vs Illinois today literally called out "NOONAN!" - think of the movie Caddyshack - as the Illini tried (and made) a second-quarter field goal.

I laughed.
   34. Rough Carrigan Posted: November 02, 2019 at 11:21 PM (#5898244)
The first few years of his broadcasting career, working for the Red Sox in the late 1970's, he called it pretty straight. He didn't do any of the overt rooting and descending into persecution complex crap when the team loses that he did with the White Sox.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: November 03, 2019 at 02:06 AM (#5898281)
Shannon is still broadcasting? Last few Cards broadcasts I've seen didn't have him so I assumed he'd retired.

My biggest problem with Harrelson was his open rooting for the Sox when calling a game.

Most egregious example I know of was a Cubs-Sox game. Cubs were batting and a Sox IF interfered in some way so Cubs got to run a bit crazily on the basepaths. Cubs' batter got "thrown out" at second but was called safe because he could "advance X bases without fear of being put out." Hawk immediately lost it, at one point saying something like "the only possible reason that runner could be called safe is because the umpires want the Cubs to win this game" -- a very serious claim. Even as the TV replays were making it pretty clear that it must have been some sort of interference call, Hawk kept ranting that the fix was in. If memory serves, I had to switch to the Cubs' radio broadcast to get the call then Hawk was still ranting when I got back to TV.

It took ages for Hawk to stop ranting and for the call to be explained on TV at which point Hawk went into "but the ball is dead when there's interference. I've been around this game 50 years and I've never seen a play where the ball was live after interference" which is just plain wrong for some interferences (well, for all I know he's never seen it but that seems very unlikely). Not that I see how the ball being dead was gonna change anything. He seemed to still feel the Sox had been screwed for the entire broadcast.

There's homerism and then there's seeing an obviously ridiculous play -- the runner was tagged out about 6 feet from the bag, no question -- called safe and, instead of going the rational direction of "OK, there must be interference or something," going straight to "the umps are fixing it." And then staying out there for what must have been 3+ minutes, no doubt with directors screaming in your headphones to shut up (maybe he wasn't wearing them). Hudler and Sutcliffe are probably the only two I can name that I think are worse.
   36. Greg Pope Posted: November 03, 2019 at 08:29 AM (#5898291)
There's homerism and then there's seeing an obviously ridiculous play -- the runner was tagged out about 6 feet from the bag, no question -- called safe and, instead of going the rational direction of "OK, there must be interference or something," going straight to "the umps are fixing it."

Right. I don't have a problem with the team's announcers saying things like "we need to score". Heck, Ron Santo's obvious pain when the Cubs did something stupid was endearing. But even a homer announcer will normally say something like "that was a bad call, we got lucky there". But for Hawk, every call that went in the White Sox's (Soxs'?) favor was correct, and every call that didn't was cheating. And the sulking when the other team did something great. These are absolutely terrible announcer traits.

Add in the other annoying stuff and he was just unlistenable. Every player was the greatest at everything. He talked about his own golf game non-stop (and not in a way that had to do with the game or with old players or anything). He had a million phrases that he liked and he used them EVERY time. "Can of corn", "Carmines" for the Red Sox, etc. You can have a home run call, but come on.
   37. Perry Posted: November 03, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5898311)
Shannon is still broadcasting? Last few Cards broadcasts I've seen didn't have him so I assumed he'd retired.


I don't know that he's ever done TV, but he's still on the radio side and has been for nearly 50 years.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMLB Owners Will Look For Ways To Recover Millions In Lost Revenue
(24 - 11:50am, Jul 10)
Last: Ziggy: social distancing since 1980

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(6755 - 11:46am, Jul 10)
Last: Jay Z

NewsblogTrump wants tax breaks to lure baseball fans back, but the incentive could misfire with attendance still barred
(16 - 11:28am, Jul 10)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogNick Markakis has opted out of 2020 season
(8 - 11:24am, Jul 10)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-10-2020
(2 - 10:53am, Jul 10)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogOT – NBA Revival Thread 2020
(512 - 10:22am, Jul 10)
Last: Dandy Little Glove Man

NewsblogBraves could ditch ‘Tomahawk Chop,’ but won’t change name
(57 - 7:46am, Jul 10)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-9-2020
(6 - 7:33am, Jul 10)
Last: crict

NewsblogTo bunt, or not? How to handle new rule in extras
(8 - 3:23am, Jul 10)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(385 - 2:47am, Jul 10)
Last: Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging

NewsblogMLB.TV costs $59.99 for the 60-game season
(11 - 11:00pm, Jul 09)
Last: never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135

NewsblogFormer Red Sox executive Dave Dombrowski joins Nashville MLB initiative
(28 - 9:28pm, Jul 09)
Last: Der-K's emotional investment is way up

NewsblogMLB umpire Joe West says U.S. coronavirus deaths aren't actually from coronavirus
(55 - 8:59pm, Jul 09)
Last: never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135

NewsblogMLB announces 2021 regular season schedule
(1 - 6:42pm, Jul 09)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogMarcus Hayes: Zack Wheeler, Mike Trout consider opting out, abandoning their teams and the game
(26 - 4:54pm, Jul 09)
Last: The Duke

-->

Page rendered in 0.4335 seconds
46 querie(s) executed