The Chicago White Sox have plenty of holes in the field to fill in 2024.
Now there will be another one in the TV broadcast booth.
Jason Benetti, who replaced Ken “Hawk” Harrelson as the TV voice of the Sox at NBC Sports Chicago eight years ago, has signed with the Detroit Tigers to pitch at least 127 games for Bally Sports.
“I am incredibly proud to join this historic and rising Tigers franchise,” Benetti said in a statement. “From every person I spoke to throughout the interview process, it was clear why so many respected professionals and creative people have joined the organization over the last few years. “There’s something special about that, and I’m excited to bring that energy to Tigers fans around the world.”
Benetti, 40, who grew up a Sox fan in Homewood and attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School, said after his interview with the Tigers that it was “obvious that this was the right place” for him.
“I was born and raised in the Midwest and understand how important sports are, especially here in the Motor City,” he said.
This news was bittersweet for Sox fans. The unique relationship between Benetti and longtime man of color Steve Stone, it’s equal parts fun and games. Playing Sox games has been his dream job since his grade school days in Homewood.
“I would like to be a sports reporter for the White Sox” he once wrote in a class assignment. “As long as I don’t look like Harry Caray.”
It seemed like a pipe dream at the time. Having cerebral palsy was supposed to be a disability, but Benetti honed his talent at Syracuse and as a minor league baseball announcer before moving to the Sox. After a stint at ESPN, he moved to Fox last year and became one of the nation’s top sportscasters for college football and basketball.
“I love learning from the coaches, watching practices and seeing the leadership.” he told the Tribune in 2020. “There are a lot of life lessons in this too, and I grew up loving gaming. That’s where my heart is.”
Brooks Boyer, the White Sox’s chief revenue and marketing officer, said in a statement that Benetti was given the chance to explore this opportunity with the Tigers and was “proud to see Jason continue to realize his dream of broadcasting baseball.” Benetti also covers other sports and is one of Fox’s top college football announcers.
Boyer radio voice said Len Kasper, who has a long history in television He did not move into the booth alongside Stone, including the Chicago Cubs, and the search began for a new TV actor to partner with Stone.
Harrelson, who said over the summer that he had never retired from the Sox but was “retired,” is not expected to run.