CLEVELAND -- Ken "Hawk" Harrelson regularly made a two-hour journey to Granger, Ind., after night games at U.S. Cellular Field when the iconic television voice of the White Sox was working both home and road games.But Harrelson often had company on those long journeys, even if nobody was in the
CLEVELAND -- Ken "Hawk" Harrelson regularly made a two-hour journey to Granger, Ind., after night games at U.S. Cellular Field when the iconic television voice of the White Sox was working both home and road games.
But Harrelson often had company on those long journeys, even if nobody was in the car with him. He would pick up Vin Scully broadcasting from the West Coast on Dodgers games through his radio.
"He's a godsend, it's just that simple," Harrelson said of Scully, who will be retiring after 67 years with the Dodgers. "He has been the spokesman for the national pastime for a long time.
:: Farewell, Vin Scully ::
"I don't think he knows how much we love him, but more importantly, how much we respect him."
Harrelson celebrated his 75th birthday on Sept. 4. He was 8 years old when Scully began his historic run with the Dodgers. Now that's career longevity.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura played for the Dodgers in 2003-04, the final two years of his career. He also had the chance to get to know the legendary and beloved broadcaster.
"Even growing up, his voice is what you remember," Ventura said. "In my lifetime, there has never been a time when he wasn't there. So as great as he is, you know growing up that's the voice you hear.
"He's great at what he does. That's evident whether he's calling for the Dodgers or doing a national game or even doing golf or whatever else he's taking up. I think that's the beauty of it. You just enjoy hearing his voice. You love to hear him tell a story."
Ventura heard stories from Scully of legends he'd only read about or been told about during their short time together.
"He'd ride the bus, and you would hear a story on Jackie Robinson or just a lot of historical things that have happened with the people that have played there," Ventura said. "You are lucky to play there at a time when you get to listen to him, you get to hear little things like that that just don't happen all the time.
"There's a passing of the baton. These players now who come up probably won't get a chance to hear that, and it's unfortunate. You talk to your 8- or 9-year-old self, and it seems a little crazy that he would know who you are or be able to talk to him. I was fortunate to play there and to have a chance to do that."
Harrelson is finishing year No. 32 with the White Sox and hopes to come back in a similar capacity next year, broadcasting the road games of the 2017 schedule. He also knows there will be a void in the broadcast world created by Scully's retirement.
"With Vin, there will never be another one -- one and only," Harrelson said. "I just hope he has, he and [Scully's wife] Sandra have, each and every day, have a wonderful day of retirement. If there's anybody who earned it or deserved it, it's him."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.