By Bruce Levine–
(CBS) Iconic broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson will return to the White Sox broadcast booth with a reduced workload in 2016.
Harrelson is scheduled to call 81 games in 2016, including 78 road games, the home opener and the White Sox’s two home games against the Cubs, according to industry sources. Harrelson signed a two-year contract, according to sources.
The team will hire a new television play-by-play broadcaster to work with Steve Stone, who’s expected back to do the full schedule. Stone and Harrelson have worked TV broadcasts together for eight seasons.
A three-hour-plus round trip drive for Harrelson to call home games has become strenuous for him, and that was part of the reason he chose to have the overwhelming majority of his work come on the road.
Harrelson has broadcast White Sox games since 1982. He was the general manager of the team in 1986 for nine months before deciding that front office work wasn’t his strength. Harrelson, 74, did New York Yankee games on TV in 1987-1’88. He returned to the White Sox booth in 1989.
The enigmatic Harrelson has been close to landing in the broadcaster’s wing of the baseball Hall of Fame. He has won numerous awards for play-by-play in his 40 years of doing MLB games in Chicago, New York and Boston.
The broadcast booth at U.S Cellular Field is named after Harrelson, who’s a Georgia native. The broadcast level was dedicated to him in 2011.
Harrelson played in the major leagues for nine seasons. He hit 35 home runs in 1968 and 30 in 1969.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.