Hawk among nominees for 2017 Frick Award

Longtime White Sox broadcaster Harrelson 'going to savor the moment'

Hawk among nominees for 2017 Frick Award

CHICAGO -- Ken "Hawk" Harrelson received a phone call Monday afternoon with the information that he was one of the eight finalists for the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

And now the 75-year-old iconic White Sox broadcaster doesn't intend to think much about the possibility of being named the winner, announced on Dec. 7 at Baseball's Winter Meetings.

"I'm going to just savor the moment," Harrelson told MLB.com by phone Monday afternoon. "I really haven't had a chance for it to sink in, except for the fact I feel deeply honored. No question about that."

Harrelson is joined by nominees Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Pat Hughes, Bill King, Mike Krukow, Ned Martin and Dewayne Staats. The winner will be honored at the July 29 awards presentation during Hall of Fame Weekend 2017 in Cooperstown, N.Y. All candidates except King and Martin are living.

"Everybody in there is deserving," said Harrelson, who knows almost all the Frick finalists. "It's just that simple."

Final voting for the 2017 Frick Award will be conducted by an electorate comprised of the 13 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists. That list includes past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Dick Enberg, Jaime Jarrín, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Felo Ramírez, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists David J. Halberstam (historian), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

The Hall of Fame selected only Major League, team-specific broadcasters based on commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans and recognition by peers. Candidates, active or retired, must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.

This 2016 season marked the 27th straight season for Harrelson as the television voice of the White Sox, and his 31st overall. Harrelson worked through his first year broadcasting primarily road games and a few select home games, raving once again Monday about moving to that plan and noting the plethora of young talent he gets to witness across baseball on a daily basis.

When asked about what winning the Frick would mean to him, Harrelson -- a Frick finalist from 2007 and '14 -- was momentarily speechless before admitting, "It would just be unbelievable."

"I have never been a memorabilia guy. I've never been a guy who saved a lot of things. I wish now that I had because of the grandkids," Harrelson said. "And if that were to happen, certainly this would be for the [three] grandkids."

Although Harrelson is never one to really set goals, he had one focus beginning this year, and and it has nothing to do with winning the Frick.

"My one goal is to go up until 2020," Harrelson said. "... There might be more, I only know of a couple of guys who have been in professional baseball parts of eight decades. And that would put me in professional baseball in all parts of eight decades with Don Zimmer and Dave Garcia. I've been lucky enough to be around it all these years."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.