A.J. Pierzynski reconnects with White Sox as ambassador

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A.J. Pierzynski (left) was a key figure on the White Sox’ championship team of 2005.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A.J. Pierzynski, to this day a fan favorite from the 2005 White Sox World Series championship team, is reuniting with the South Siders as an ambassador.

“Opening Day, the draft, come to some games and be around a little bit,” Pierzynski said. “It will be fun.”

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Pierzynski, who works as an analyst for FOX, said he will also team up with Ken Harrelson for a game in the White Sox TV booth in 2018. Harrelson will work a select amount of games as an ambassador next season. He had hoped to do it in 2017 but couldn’t line up a date with his schedule.

“I’ll move heaven and earth to make sure I’m able to get in at least one game with Hawk,” Pierzynski said.

“I’ll come out and ride on the Hawk’s coattails.”

Harrelson and Pierzynski have known each other for 30 years and remain close. Both of them stopped by The Swan and Dolphin Resort for the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings Monday.

“He needs to be in the Hall of Fame. Hawk is a special person and a once in a generation announcer,” Pierzynski said. “Hawk is special, he’s special to White Sox fans and to me and my family.”

Asked if he has aspirations for managing or coaching, Pierzynski said, “Are you offering me a job?”

“Yeah, if there was the right situation and my family was OK with it, how could you say no to someone saying ‘how would you like to be a coach or manager?’ ”

Pierzynski knows he wouldn’t be the first to move from a broadcast booth back to the field with no managing experience.

“Didn’t it just happen to some team called the Yankees?” Pierzynski said. “They did it, right? Bob Brenly did it and won a World Series [with the Diamondbacks] so it can happen. [Mike] Matheny did it out of nowhere, Robin [Ventura] did it. It’s not impossible. The one thing broadcasting does is it keeps you involved in the game. If you disappear, people not only forget about you but you also forget about baseball. It keeps you engaged in the game.”

Pierzynski, who lives in Orlando, says he has been busier than ever being a father, driving his kids to school and sporting events. He was the ballboy for the Seattle Seahawks during their 30-24 loss to the host Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.

He kiddingly opened his visit with reporters saying he was announcing a career change to ballboy. Then he shared the Sox’ invitation to bring him on as an ambassador.

“I consider myself a White Sox after winning a championship there and the years there,” Pierzynski said. “For them to approach me means a lot. It’s special. I remember a lot of the places I played but I will always remember that one.”


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