The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame is proud to share that 2017 inductee Ken “Hawk” Harrelson has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Ken will enter Cooperstown as as a recepitant of the Ford Frick Award given annually for excellence in broadcasting. He is the 16th member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame/Chicago White Sox organization to call Cooperstown home and the third Ford Frick Award winner joining Harry Cary and Jack Brickhouse. The Frick Award is voted on by a 15-person committee that includes the award's 11 living recipients and four current broadcasters and baseball historians. The award is named in honor of the former writer, broadcaster, National League president, and baseball commissioner. Frick was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1970.
An exemplary ballplayer for nine years in the big leagues, Hawk entered the broadcasting booth with the Red Sox in 1975 before joining the White Sox broadcasting team in 1982. He served as the team's general manager in 1985, joined the Yankees as a broadcaster in 1987-88, then returned to the White Sox booth in 1989. Harrelson, 78, retired from broadcasting following the 2018 season.
Known for his “Homerism” and unabashed love for his team, he was sometimes criticized by media professionals and loved by White Sox fans. Some of his more famous “Hawkisms” or catch phrases include, “You can put it on the board. Yes!!!! (White Sox home run), Grab some bench! (Strikeout) and Don’t stop now boys!! (White Sox rally). Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame President Charles Carey said, “It is with great honor that we share this news. Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in baseball history. While inspiring the minds of a generation of White Sox fans; his knowledge of the game, baseball history and love for the White Sox is legend. He couldn’t be more deserving. We are thrilled for him.” Ken will be enshrined in Cooperstown in July of 2020 and The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame will celebrate its 41st year and hold its induction ceremony for 2020 in September.
Former San Francisco 49ers tackle Cas Banaszek passed away on December 4, 2019, at the age of 74.
Banaszek was originally selected by San Francisco in the first round (11th overall) of the 1967 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 11-year career with the 49ers (1967-77), appearing in 120 games (112 starts). Banaszek, a Second-Team All-Pro selection in 1968, is also a member of the 10-Year Club, which honors all players who spent 10-or-more years with the 49ers, and is one of 51 players who have joined this exclusive fraternity.
Following his playing career, Banaszek spent one season (1981) as an assistant offensive line coach for the 49ers and was part of the Super Bowl XVI Championship team.
Born Casimir Joseph Banaszek on October 24, 1945, he attended Northwestern University and was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife, Diann, his two children, Cas Jr. and Jennifer, his brother, Ken, and four grandchildren, Emma, Jane, William and Gabrielle.