The Chicago White Sox have a lot of holes on the field that they need to fill in 2024.
Now there will be another one in the TV booth.
Jason Benetti, who replaced Ken “Hawk” Harrelson as the Sox’ TV voice on NBC Sports Chicago eight years ago, was signed by the Detroit Tigers to play at least 127 games for Bally Sports.
“I am incredibly proud to join this historic and emerging Tigers franchise,” Benetti said in a statement. “It was clear from every single person I spoke to throughout the interview process why so many respected professionals and creative people have joined the organization in recent years. There’s something special about this 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 an interview with the Tigers that it was “clear this was the right place” for him.
“I was born and raised in the Midwest and know how important sports are, especially here in the Motor City,” he said.
The news was bittersweet for Sox fans who enjoyed it unique relationship between Benetti and long-time color man Steve Stone, which is equal parts entertainment and play-by-play. Playing Sox games has been his dream job since he was in elementary school in Homewood.
“I want to be the White Sox sportscaster.” He once wrote in a class assignment. “As long as I don’t look like Harry Caray.”
At the time it seemed like a pipe dream. Cerebral palsy was supposed to be a hindrance, but Benetti honed his craft at Syracuse and as a minor league baseball announcer before joining the Sox. After a stint at ESPN, he moved to Fox last year and was one of the nation’s top sportscasters in college football and basketball.
“I love learning from coaches, watching practices and seeing the leadership.” he told the Tribune in 2020. “There are a lot of life lessons in it too and I grew up loving gaming. That’s where my heart is.”
White Sox chief revenue and marketing office Brooks Boyer said in a statement that this gave Benetti the chance to explore the opportunity with the Tigers and was “proud to see Jason continue to live out his dream” of broadcasting baseball . Benetti also broadcasts other sports and is one of the top college football announcers for Fox.
Boyer said radio voice Len Kasper, who has a long experience in television also with the Chicago Cubs, didn’t want to move into the locker room next to Stone, and the search has begun for a new TV play-by-play man to partner with Stone.
Harrelson, who said over the summer that he never left the Sox but “retired,” is not expected to be considered a candidate.
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