One of the reasons Ken Harrelson took on a schedule of road games only as opposed to home games last season was it did away with having to make the long drive from the Sox’ home park to his home in Granger, Ind., near South Bend.
Harrelson, feisty as ever at 75, revealed his growing impatience for bad drivers on those late night drives. It was no doubt worse after White Sox losses, which the Hawk to this day doesn’t tolerate easily.
“Living in the Eastern zone and working in the Central zone, after the games are getting longer, that makes my trip with my temper — semi-truck drivers and my temper don’t mix,” Harrelson said Wednesday. “Not at 3:30 in the morning, especially when it’s raining, because I’ve got an ax-handle in the back of my car along with some mace. And I’ve literally chased some of those guys before. I’m just glad I haven’t caught anybody because one of us would’ve been knocked out.”
The White Sox announced Wednesday that Harrelson, a bigger-than-life face of the franchise and iconic play-by-play man who began his broadcasting career with the Red Sox in 1975, will scale back from his road games only schedule to doing 20 games total next year, mostly Sundays. And that 2018 would be his last, although he’ll stay with the organization as an ambassador after that.
“I have enjoyed, even the eight years I’ve had this commute, going back and forth to Granger,” Harrelson said. “There’s always something to think about, on the way here and on the way back. If we won, it’s great, and I can turn on my Sirius XM and listen to Vin Scully or somebody on the West Coast. And if we lost, we can sit there and cuss everybody out. With nobody to hear it except me. I talk to the Hawk a lot. He doesn’t always respond. But we have some good conversations.”
A spin through some of Harrelson’s calls: