In a surprising bit of late-night/early morning news in the baseball world, the Chicago White Sox have landed a big name from the other side of town. No, they didn’t acquire Kris Bryant — yet — but this name might hurt the Cubs’ faithful just as much.
According to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, Len Kasper will leave Marquee Network and the Chicago Cubs television booth after 16 seasons with the team to become the new play-by-play man for the White Sox at their new flagship home ESPN 1000.
Sharma reports that the news will become official this morning with an on-air announcement on ESPN 1000’s morning programming, presumably the Kap & J. Hood Show which airs from 7:00-10:00 am (ct) on Good Karma Brand’s WMVP-1000 AM.
Station Director Mike Thomas already announced this week that the all-new White Sox Weekly would make its debut this Saturday hosted by Jeff Meller, and now the station has added one of the best play-by-play voices in all of baseball to their radio booth for the 2021 season in Len Kasper, who as Sharma noted in his story, joins legends like Steve Stone, Jack Brickhouse, and Harry Carey as voices to call ball games for both Chicago baseball teams.
The White Sox already have arguably one of the best television pairings in all of baseball with a rising star in the industry Jason Benetti alongside the legendary Steve Stone calling games on NBC Sports Chicago.
Here’s what one commenter on a poll ran by The Athletic this summer in which the voters ranked Benetti and Stone inside the top-10 in baseball; “Jason Benetti is like an updated version of Bob Costas; witty, well-informed and adept at multiple sports.”
According to Sharma’s report, Kasper will join current White Sox radio color analyst Darrin Jackson for the 2021 season and beyond. Jackson, who has spent the past 12 seasons after Steve Stone replaced him in the television booth, spent the truncated 2020 season paired with Andy Masur.
Sharma went on to report that there’s no bad blood between Kasper and the executives at Marquee, but that Kasper has always loved radio and always wanted to call a World Series, an opportunity he could possibly achieve with the White Sox in the near future.
The last White Sox World Series called on the radio airwaves was on ESPN 1000 when John Rooney got to make the call that still sends shivers down the backs of White Sox fans everywhere. You can listen below at the 11:31 mark.
Kasper’s vacated seat in the Cubs’ television booth will reportedly be filled by current studio analyst Chris Myers. Myers himself is a big name in the industry having spent 22 years at FOX Sports and a decade at ESPN prior to joining Marquee Network last January.