Book Reviews

“Hawk: I Did it My Way” by Ken Harrelson with Jeff Snook

Book review at Knup Sports

Tom looks at Hawk Harrelson and his interesting career in and around baseball and pro golf.

Ken Harrelson is proud to say he did it his way. That appears to be important to him. One problem with that is he never accepts responsibility when things went wrong. It starts with an issue with his dad. It goes to having bullets whiz by him and the multitude of fights that led to having a broken nose five times.

The author continues with how he got the name “Hawk” and how it became the alter ego. He now had a reputation to live up to and this nickname allowed him to step out of one personality and into another. He relates stories of boxer Rocky Marciano attempting to set up a fight for Hawk. Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy wanted a hairstyle similar to Harrelson’s. Then the time he met Frank Sinatra which probably led to the part of the title called, “I Did it My Way”.

He takes credit for being the first to wear a glove in baseball history. It was a golf glove but he had a hand issue to protect so he wore the glove. He gives his version as to how he became the first free agent n baseball history. It did turn out well for him.

Harrelson relives the time he became the General Manager for the White Sox. The interesting part here is he says he always enjoyed working with Jerry Reinsdorf. The fact is he worked for him. He tells how he said he could turn the team around. He fired a future Hall of Fame manager in Tony LaRussa so he could get his man in the helm. In fact, most of his hires were from cronyism. The end result was he wasn’t very good at the new job and he resigned when his wife read a detrimental story in the newspaper. Give him credit that his family came first. But once again, he never admitted he didn’t anything wrong for the team to end 22.5 games out of first place.

The book is worth the read. Hawk Harrelson never misled anyone with my way comment and he illustrates it throughout the book. Baseball fans will like the book and a large number of stories that go with it.

I would like to thank Triumph Books for the copy of this book for an honest review.

About the Author:

Ken “Hawk” Harrelson played nine major league seasons between 1963 and 1971. He was an All-Star with the Boston Red Sox in 1968, when he led the American League with 109 RBI’s. After retiring from baseball at the age of 29, Harrelson played professional golf. He returned to Boston to begin his broadcasting career in 1975 and spent time in the booth for the Red Sox, White Sox, and Yankees. He also served as the General Manager of the White Sox in 1986.

Jeff Snook is a freelance writer and author of several books about sports, most recently as a co-writer for Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer’s autobiography Let Me Be Frank.

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