The Chicago White Sox are set to announce Wednesday the team’s new TV play-by-play voice for most home games during the 2016 season. Jason Benetti, 32, is set to become the voice of the Sox alongside color commentator Steve Stone with Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson working a reduced schedule, mainly sticking to road games.
Benetti is a graduate of Syracuse University and did play-by-play for the Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals for five seasons. He has also done play-by-play work for ESPN in multiple capacities and is a local to the Chicago area, having grown up in Homewood, Illinois.
In an article written by Ed Sherman, a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune, it was noted that Benetti has overcome much adversity on his way to landing his “dream job” with his hometown team. Benetti was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after being born 10 weeks premature and went through extensive surgical procedures.
A lingering effect from cerebral palsy is Benetti’s “drifting eye.” However, in the same piece written by Sherman, Benetti said he has been able to handle comments about his quirks without trouble and he looks forward to White Sox fans learning his mannerisms.
“That’s the awesome thing about this situation,” Benetti said. “White Sox fans will get to know me. They’ll get used to whatever quirks come with me.”
Harrelson, 74, is still expected to work most road games. The longtime Sox broadcaster opted to travel on the road throughout the season instead of making the 180-mile round trip from his home in Granger, Indiana to U.S. Cellular Field for each home game.