You won’t find Steve Stone’s name listed in any of the biographies or documentaries concerned with the life and career of Da Greens Brothers, but in the spring of 1960, the thirteen-year-old South Sider accomplished something unique in regards to Da Greens Brother’s storied career. Stone shot the only known color footage of the Brothers taking in a White Sox Game.
Steve was born on July 14, 1947 in South Euclid, Ohio; a shared latitude with Comiskey Park where everyone in town is also a White Sox fan. Steve’s love of the Sox and the broadcasting booth led him on a whirlwind career that would finally land him his dream job. White Sox broadcaster alongside childhood role model Hawk Harrelson.
Steve first met Hawk in the spring of 1963. Steve was part of an early defensive to keep the Sox in Chicago. Stone befriended beleaguered Kansas City Owner Charlie “O” FInley who had had grand visions of moving the White Sox out of town to Seattle and moving the A’s into the Comiskey. In 1963 Steve put an end to Charlie’s dreams by recruiting then rookie Hawk Harrelson into persuading Finley to taking his circus to Oakland. It worked. Harrelson also gave Steve career advice on how to realize his dream of being announcer. Hawk said “Stoney go out on that bump and throw that ball. Get your ducks on the pond!”
From this moment on Steve practiced baseball everyday of his life and became really good, eventually being drafted by the Indians. Through a few sly moves Steve finally made his way to Chicago in 1973. Then Sox Owner Bill Veeck even let Steve sit in the broadcasting booth with Harry and Billy when he was not pitching. (As a joke Veeck traded Stone to the Cubs for two years)
Veeck and Stoney would smoke cigars after games and talk announcing until the break of dawn, owner Bill Veeck, would even show tapes of the game and Steve would put his spin on it, delighting Harry Caray and Billy Piersall who would often join them. Steve’s baseball career was fading and his announcing career was blooming. Steve’s childhood dream of announcing was about to happen, just not at all how he imagined.
in the winter of 1980 Hawk (now an insider for the Sox) chose Steve Stone and Harry Caray to take on the job as announcers. But first they had to get rid of Jimmy Piersall and the stigmatism and stench of the Dahl circus that had become the late 70’s White Sox. Veeck covertly worked with two hired guns, Reinsdorf and Einhorn to blow up the White Sox as we knew them. They thought up pay TV as the ruse to get Steve and Harry out of the spotlight for a couple years and to take the White Sox off the map while they reorganized. No one could believe what happened next.
Harry And Steve wanted to practice their craft before returning to the White Sox so they found a small market team not too far away from Comiskey. The team was known as the Cubs and no one loved them, not even their own manager. The venue was old and perfect for the nickle dime people that showed up. The only problem was no one knew exactly how good Steve Stone would be at announcing. Within one year he had an audience of 22 million people tuning in every day to hear his broadcasts. Steve was happy but would still go back to Comiskey every night after Cubs games to sit in the booth hoping one day he could become White Sox announcer alongside his good friend Hawk.
As you can imagine things didn’t work out on the North Side, the Cubs were never able to shake their losing ways and Steve took all the necessary steps to get back to the south side after Harry’s passing. By 2007 there he was, living the dream right beside childhood hero, Hawk Harrelson.
The footage below is part of Steve Stone’s audition package that he sent to Bill Veeck back in 1960, It captures his between inning prowess against the backdrop of the now famous Da Greens Brothers. Cool was inadequate to describe it. Steve was in teenage heaven!