Hawk honored during final road game

Indians pay tribute to iconic White Sox broadcaster in regular-season finale

Hawk honored during final road game

CLEVELAND -- The Indians paid tribute to Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the iconic White Sox television announcer, with a scoreboard tribute during the first inning of Chicago's 3-1 loss in Sunday's 2017 season finale.

That final White Sox defeat also marked the final road game of Harrelson's illustrious broadcast career, and the tribute to Harrelson included some older pictures from his playing days in Cleveland.

"I said, 'That guy wasn't that bad looking,'" an emotional Harrelson said with a laugh over the tribute, which was followed by fans' applause and Harrelson standing and tapping his heart in appreciation. "They've got a great fan base here, and I'm hoping that they can bring it home."

Hawk discusses the Indians

Harrelson will broadcast 20 home games next season, which will be his 34th in the White Sox booth, and then move into an ambassador's role for the organization. If he stays with the team into 2020, Harrelson will join Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda, Don Zimmer and Dave Garcia as the only people to be involved with baseball for parts of eight decades per the broadcaster, former player and former general manager.

In My Words: Hawk says goodbye to road life

But before the 2017 season moved into the postseason, Harrelson paid true ultimate respect to the 102-win Cleveland team.

"That might be the strongest club I've ever seen in my career going into the postseason because of the pitching staff," Harrelson said of the Indians. "... They're really good. Their second baseman and shortstop, they've got, like, [62] home runs, 170-something RBIs, and they've got a great manager. I just can't believe anybody can beat them. Of course, we all know that anything can happen in a short series. I had a couple tears there at the end. It's been a long run."

As for the White Sox, Harrelson believes they will be a "monster" three years from now as the rebuild moves into its final stage. And with the Cubs not going anywhere, Harrelson added there will be some great baseball in the great city of Chicago.

Those potential Chicago battles soon will be going on without Harrelson in the booth.

"I've been blessed. I love this game. Fifty-six years, parts of seven decades, and baseball's been great to me," Harrelson said. "I started in 1959 at 17. It's been a good ride. I've had a lot of fun. I've been blessed, but it's over."

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.