The White Sox named local product Jason Benetti to their TV broadcast team on Wednesday and extended the contracts of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone.
Benetti, 32, is set to call 81 games next to Stone in 2016 as Harrelson starts a reduced schedule.
Harrelson, who is beginning his 32nd season in the team’s broadcast booth, will call 81 games, 78 of which come on the road. The longtime play-by-play man is also expected to be in the booth for the home opener and when the Cubs play two games at U.S. Cellular Field in July. Now in his ninth season with the White Sox, Stone’s schedule is expected to remain the same.
Benetti, who grew up a White Sox fan, has called college basketball, football, baseball and lacrosse at ESPN since 2011. He also previously served as the radio play-by-play man for the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
“Jason is one of the top up-and-coming voices in sports television,” vice president of sales and marketing Brooks Boyer said in a release. “He is a homegrown talent who will mix a love for the game with a deep knowledge of the White Sox and an informative and entertaining style. We believe Sox fans will immediately connect with his humor, intellect and personality.”
A graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High, Benetti graduated in 2005 from Syracuse University, where he earned a bachelor degree in broadcast journalism, economics and psychology. He also attended Wake Forest University’s school of law. Prior to joining ESPN, Benetti worked for Fox Sports 1, Westwood One Radio and Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
“Joining the White Sox television team of Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone — with the chance to work with Steve on home games — is truly a dream come true for a kid who grew up in the south suburbs watching Sox games during the 1990s,” Benetti said. “This is beyond exciting for me.”
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Benetti was born with cerebral palsy and works with the “Just Say Hi’ campaign launched the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
“The way I look or walk is such a small part of who I am as a person,” Benetti said. “I like to joke that, fortunately, I chose a profession where all I needed was my voice, not my legs. I have always felt that if I can help one other person, or if I can help change one person’s attitude about how they perceive others, then I have made a positive difference.”