It would not be a stretch to say, Hawk Harrelson has done it all.
He has hung out with Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. He was once encouraged by Rocky Marciano to fight Sonny Liston. He missed the cut by one stroke in the 1972 British Open. He was out with Joe Namath the night before the Jets pulled off the upset in Super Bowl III. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a Nehru suit.
The Hawk turns 74 today. Let’s take a look back at some of the defining moments in his life.
Hawk and Joe Namath
On Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio
From MLB’s “Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson:”
Ted Williams and I are having dinner. This is after I’m retired, I’m broadcasting now, and Ted comes down to Spring Training. We’re talking, and [of] all the 150 hours we talked on hitting, I never talked to him about DiMaggio. Finally, I said, “Tell me about DiMaggio,” because they didn’t like each other at all. I said, “Ted, tell me about that trade where DiMaggio was going to come to Fenway. You’re going to go to Yankee Stadium with that little short porch out there.” He says, “To hell with Yankee Stadium.” He said, “Put me in Detroit.” I said, “Well, how many home runs would you have averaged in Detroit?” He said, “75 a year,” and you got to believe him. I said, “Well, tell me about DiMaggio.” He goes, “He’s the best right-handed hitter I ever saw.” I had never talked with Joe about baseball. This is amazing. I said, “Joe, tell me about Ted Williams and that trade [where] you were going to go to Fenway and he was going to go to New York.” I said, “How many home runs would you have averaged in Fenway?” He said, “Probably around 70 a year,” but you got to believe him. I said, “Well, tell me about Ted.” He goes, “He’s the best left-handed hitter I ever saw.” Almost verbatim, the two of them.
Hawk’s affinity for Joe West
The walkoff: Hawk’s final call
Don’t stop now!