7/17/2013 2:17 P.M. ET
MLB Network to air 'Hawk' documentary Thursday
Hour-long show about White Sox broadcaster to premiere at 6 p.m. CT
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- There's probably going to be a little party taking place at a home in Granger, Ind., on Thursday night, celebrating the colorful life of a true White Sox icon.
Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and his wife, Aris, will host said party, with his family getting together to watch MLB Network's documentary "Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson," airing at 6 p.m. CT. This hour-long special, narrated by Bob Costas and featuring some of the great stories coming from Harrelson's 50 years in baseball, might be especially entertaining for his grandchildren.
"They're understanding just now that I played, and it means a lot because they love the White Sox. They run around with their White Sox hats on all the time," said Harrelson. "We'll get copies of it, and they'll have it forever."
Harrelson currently is working his 29th season as part of the White Sox broadcast booth. He frequently has talked about working until he literally can't work anymore, meaning Harrelson would like to pass on while calling a game. He made that same comment and ensuing humorous description of the end while flashing a smile during an interview in Philadelphia prior to the All-Star break.
"If I could write my own script, just keel over one day and, 'He gone,'" Harrelson said. "I tell you what, I love it more now than I ever have, and I really would like to die in a booth. I really would."
But the colorful phrases and often polarizing figure that comes from Harrelson's uniquely entertaining broadcast style stand as only part of the material covered in this documentary. According to Harrelson, there were approximately seven hours of interviews by MLB Network, covering topics such as Rocky Marciano offering him a chance to fight former World heavyweight champ Sonny Liston at Fenway Park, and Joe Namath telling him the night before Super Bowl III how the Jets were going to upset the Baltimore Colts.
There also are stories about broadcasting advice he received from Curt Gowdy and Howard Cosell, and turning down a trio of managing jobs.
"I talked about things I hadn't talked about or even thought about in 30 years," Harrelson said. "There was a lot left out and [things I] couldn't talk about."
Maybe those left-out stories will be discussed among Harrelson's family as they watch Thursday's show.
"We'll have a little family get together at the house. We have about 15 or 16 in that area there," said Harrelson. "[The documentary is] flattering. It's something I didn't expect."