Jimmy Piersall may be done on Chicago’s airwaves.
After nearly 30 years in town, the last 14 at WSCR-AM 670, Piersall has been told the station will not bring him back as a contributor next baseball season. Unless the outspoken and often controversial analyst lands another job”not a high probability”local fans have heard him rag on some underachieving player for the last time.
Piersall’s parting with WSCR coincides with the station preparing to air White Sox games this season. Are they related?
Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf carries an intense dislike of Piersall, dating to the early days of his stewardship when they often clashed. Reinsdorf certainly wouldn’t appreciate having his Sox critiqued, and sometimes bashed, by Piersall on the team’s flagship station.
Piersall stopped short of blaming Reinsdorf.
“Those aren’t my words,” he said when asked if he believed his adversary was the reason he no longer will be with the station.
“You have to understand the White Sox and Reinsdorf are over there now,” Piersall said. “But I don’t want to get involved in any [fights]. I’m not holding any grudges. I enjoyed a lot of good years [with WSCR]. If they want to go another way, hey, that’s the way life is.”
Piersall managed to get himself fired from both baseball teams. He was serving as a minor-league instructor for the Cubs until his pointed analysis of the team on WSCR left him out of favor with top executives.
Piersall, though, forever will be known for his stormy years with the Sox. He once choked Daily Herald sportswriter Rob Gallas and eventually was fired after making derogatory remarks about Sox players’ wives.
Piersall recalled he was hired to join the Sox full-time on the same day Mayor Richard J. Daley died in December 1976.
“They had a press conference and nobody came,” Piersall said. “Harry (Carey) said, ‘Well, you’re starting off on the right foot.’ I loved Harry. I loved working with him. He taught me the most important lesson: Be prepared.”