COOPERSTOWN, NY (News release) – Eight of the National Pastime’s most recognizable and honored voices have been named as the finalists for the 2018 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Candidates from the National Voices category will be considered for the 2018 Frick Award in accordance with the three-year Frick Award election cycle.
The eight finalists for the 2018 Frick Award are: Buddy Blattner, Joe Buck, Bob Costas, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Al Michaels, Joe Morgan and Pee Wee Reese. The winner of the 2018 Frick Award will be announced on Dec. 13 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and will be honored during the July 28 Awards Presentation as part of the July 27-30 Hall of Fame Weekend 2018 in Cooperstown. Buck, Costas, Michaels and Morgan are living, while all other candidates are deceased.
The Frick Award election cycle rotates annually among Current Major League Markets (team-specific announcers); National Voices (broadcasters whose contributions were realized on a national level); and Broadcasting Beginnings (early team voices and pioneers of baseball broadcasting). This cycle will repeat every three years, with the Broadcasting Beginnings ballot to be reviewed in the fall of 2018 and the Current Major League Markets ballot to be reviewed in the fall of 2019.
Criteria for selection is as follows: “Commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.”
Final voting for the 2018 Frick Award will be conducted by an electorate comprised of the 11 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, including past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Dick Enberg, Jaime Jarrin, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne, and historians/columnists David J. Halberstam (historian), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).
The 2018 Frick Award ballot was created by a subcommittee of the voting electorate that included Enberg, McCarver, Miller, Nadel and Smith.
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. Buck, Costas, Dean and Blattner all have ties to KMOX 1120AM.
The eight finalists for the 2018 Frick Award:
– Blattner worked 26 seasons for outlets primarily in the 1950s and 1960s including the Liberty Game of the Day, Mutual Game of the Day, ABC Game of the Week, CBS Game of the Week and NBC, along with several stops with individual teams. He called St. Louis Hawks basketball games on KMOX.;
– Buck has been with Fox Sports for the last 22 seasons as the network’s lead baseball announcer after calling games for the Cardinals for 11 seasons, broadcasting 20 World Series along the way. Of course, the son of KMOX and Cardinals legend Jack Buck, Joe called Cardinals games with is father on KMOX in the early 1990s through 2008;
– Costas has called baseball games for 24 seasons with NBC, The Baseball Network and MLB Network, handling play-by-play for eight League Championship Series, three World Series and two All-Star Games. He is also a former host of Sports Open on KMOX, after calling play-by-play for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association and Mizzou basketball;
– Dean, elected to the Hall of Fame as a pitcher in 1953, made his mark as the voice of CBS’ Game of the Week from 1955-65 following several seasons with the Cardinals and Browns. He also was a color commentator for Cardinals baseball on KMOX;
– Drysdale, elected to the Hall of Fame as a pitcher in 1984, called national games for ABC for 10 years starting in 1977, including working the network’s Monday Night Baseball package;
– Michaels called baseball games for 25 seasons with NBC (1972), ABC (1976-89) and The Baseball Network (1994-95), and drew assignments in seven World Series, six All-Star Games and eight LCS;
– Morgan, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990, spent 21 seasons (1990-2010) as an analyst on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball package, also appearing as an analyst on NBC and ABC;
– Reese, elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1984, worked for six seasons with Dizzy Dean on CBS’s Game of the Week and three seasons with Curt Gowdy on NBC’s Game of the Week;
Additional information on the eight finalists can be found at baseballhall.org/frickaward.
The annual award is named in memory of Hall of Famer Ford C. Frick, renowned sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball Commissioner. Past recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award:
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent not-for-profit educational institution, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime. Opening its doors for the first time on June 12, 1939, the Hall of Fame has stood as the definitive repository of the game’s treasures and as a symbol of the most profound individual honor bestowed on an athlete. It is every fan’s “Field of Dreams,” with its stories, legends and magic shared from generation to generation.