Sportscasting for a career is a dream for many young broadcasters…especially at the major leagues. But for Jason Benetti, the path to the show not only took a few detours, but had more than a few road blocks.
Benetti suffers from cerebral palsy which hindered his ability to partake in sports and band activities in school…but didn’t stop him from broadcasting his high school’s marching band events.
WBUR recently profiled the White Sox’s Jason Benetti’s rise to the top as a major league television broadcaster.
In the Benetti family treasure trove of keepsakes, there’s a letter Jason Benetti wrote in elementary school explaining what he wanted to be when he grew up. Benetti doesn’t quite remember which teacher gave him the assignment. But the guy who grew up a baseball fan in Chicago’s south suburbs knows what he wrote.
The “Yes” was a nod to Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and one of his signature calls. Jason Benetti had big dreams — and one big obstacle to overcome.
Jason Benetti remembers practicing to be a sports broadcaster when he was 12 years old, doing voice impressions of Harrelson. His announcing booth? Whatever living room he and his friends were playing video games in. “So I would play Madden or whatever baseball — Ken Griffey Jr. [Presents Major League] Baseball or whatever, NHL 94, like that sort of thing,” Benetti recalls. “And I would do play-by-play of the games while I was playing with my friends.”