Pierzynski hopes to call '18 game with Hawk

Former White Sox catcher says broadcaster is Hall of Famer

Pierzynski hopes to call '18 game with Hawk

JOLIET, Ill. -- A.J. Pierzynski has a broadcasting goal for 2018. Make it more like a quest to be fulfilled.

The catcher on the White Sox 2005 World Series champion and the team's starter behind the plate for eight seasons plans to broadcast one game with Ken "Hawk" Harrelson. The iconic White Sox broadcaster is set to work a 20-game home schedule during his 34th and final season in the TV booth.

"No matter what happens, I'm going to get a game and do a game with him," Pierzynski said before speaking at the University of St. Francis' 41st annual Brown & Gold dinner Wednesday night. "We tried to work it out last year, but the timing didn't work because of the logistics.

"I've put my call, my one request from [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf]: 'At some point this year, I get to do a game with Hawk.' It's going to be a different game without him."

Pierzynski regaled 600 people Wednesday night with entertaining stories from his 19-year Major League career, as well as many behind-the-scenes tales from the 2005 White Sox season and their 11-1 postseason run to history. He recounted a moment in the 2004 offseason when he had breakfast in Orlando with Harrelson, who extolled the virtues of the White Sox to the free agent coming off of a career-high 77 RBIs in his one season with the Giants.

After playing his last game for the Braves in 2016, Pierzynski joined FOX Sports as a full-time broadcaster this past season. He didn't call any White Sox games but kept track of the organization's ongoing rebuild.

"They never wanted to do it in the past. They never wanted to use that word. So it's surprising they let them do it," Pierzynski said. "I still talk to some people in the White Sox organization and they seem happy with everything they've done.

"It looks like some of the players they got are pretty good. You make trades for 25 guys and if five work out, you are like, 'Hey we had a great rebuild.' You just never know.

"You are still going to have sign some free agents," Pierzynski added. "Even the Astros thought they had this team, they had to go out and get [Brian] McCann, [Josh] Reddick and [Justin] Verlander. You still have to go out and sign the right guys. It looks like they are trending in the right direction, but they have a long way to go."

If Pierzynski gets his wish, he will be broadcasting one game during the '18 portion of this White Sox rebuild with his friend and broadcasting legend.

"How he's not in the Hall of Fame, it blows my mind," Pierzynski said of Harrelson, a three-time finalist for the Hall's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters. "He's given more phrases and more things to people in everyday life.

"Not even just in the baseball world. You will hear people say, 'He gone,' just walking down the street. So he's done things that no one else has done, and he deserves to be rewarded. Vin Scully was Vin Scully for the Dodgers for all those years, but Hawk to White Sox fans and baseball fans is different. He's still a legend as far as I'm concerned."

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.