Ten of the National Pastime’s legendary voices have been named as the finalists for the 2015 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The 10 finalists for the 2015 Frick Award are: Richie Ashburn, Billy Berroa, Rene Cardenas, Dizzy Dean, Dick Enberg, Ernie Johnson Sr., Ralph Kiner, Ned Martin, Joe Nuxhall and Jack Quinlan. The winner of the 2015 Frick Award will be announced on December 10 at the Baseball Winter Meetings and will be honored during the July 25 Awards Presentation as part of the July 24-27 Hall of Fame Weekend 2015 in Cooperstown.
The 10 finalists for the 2015 Frick Award include the three fan selections produced from online balloting at the Hall of Fame’s Facebook site – www.facebook.com/baseballhall – in September. Enberg, Kiner and Quinlan emerged as the top three fan selections in the online voting. The other seven candidates were chosen by a Hall of Fame research committee. Cardenas and Enberg are the living candidates on the ballot.
The 2015 Frick Award ballot reflects the 2013 changes in the selection process where eligible candidates are grouped together by years of most significant contributions of their broadcasting careers. The new cycle continues with this year’s Living Room Era, which features broadcasters whose main body of work came from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s.
The three-year cycle for the Frick Award began in 2013 with the High Tide Era, which featured candidates whose most significant years fell from the mid-1980s to the present and resulted in the election of Eric Nadel as the 2014 Frick Award winner. The cycle will continue in the fall of 2015 with the Broadcasting Dawn Era, which will feature candidates whose most significant years came from the days of broadcasting’s origins through the mid-1950s. In the fall of 2016, candidates will again be considered from the High Tide Era.
Final voting for the 2015 Frick Award will be conducted by a 20-member electorate, comprised of the 16 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, including past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Tim McCarver, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC and MLB Network), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).
To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network, or a combination of the two. More than 40 broadcasters were eligible for consideration for the award based on these qualifications for 2015.
The 10 finalists for the 2015 Frick Award:
– Ashburn called Phillies game from 1963 until his passing in 1997 following a 15-year playing career that culminated in his election to the Hall of Fame in 1995;
– Berroa began announcing Major League Baseball games in 1963 and spent 18 years with the Mets (1987-93; 1997-2007) as a Spanish radio and TV announcer;
– Cardenas helped create the first Spanish-language MLB broadcast in 1958 with the Dodgers, working a total of 38 years for the Dodgers, Astros and Rangers;
– Dean broadcast 24 years in St. Louis and nationally on CBS’ Game of the Week from 1955-65 following a Hall of Fame pitching career;
– Enberg has called Angels and Padres games for 16 seasons during the course of his 50-plus seasons behind the mic, which includes coverage of the Super Bowl, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games for both NBC and CBS;
– Johnson called games for the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta from 1962-99, becoming a beloved figure regionally and nationally through Turner Broadcasting System;
– Kiner, elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975, began his broadcast career with the White Sox in 1961 before joining the Mets in 1962 and remaining with the National League’s New York franchise for more than 50 seasons;
– Martin worked as the Red Sox’s radio and television voice from 1961-92, covering the 1975 World Series for NBC-TV;
– Nuxhall spent 38 years with the Reds (1967-2004), and totaled 53 years with the Reds as a former major league pitcher and broadcaster;
– Quinlan called Cubs games from 1955-64 before his promising career was cut short by a fatal automobile accident in Spring Training of 1965