2019 Ford Frick Award Ballot Finalized at Hall of Fame
Eight of the National Pastime’s pioneering voices have been named as the finalists for the 2019 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Candidates from the Broadcasting Beginnings category will be considered for the 2019 Frick Award in accordance with the three-year Frick Award election cycle.
The eight finalists for the 2019 Frick Award are: Connie Desmond, Pat Flanagan, Jack Graney, Harry Heilmann, Al Helfer, Waite Hoyt, Rosey Rowswell and Ty Tyson. The winner of the 2019 Frick Award will be announced on Dec. 12 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas and will be honored during the July 20 Awards Presentation as part of the July 19-22 Hall of Fame Weekend 2019 in Cooperstown. All of the 2019 Frick Award 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 repeats every three years, with the Current Major League Markets ballot to be reviewed in the fall of 2019 and the National Voices ballot to be reviewed in the fall of 2020.
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 2019 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, Bob Costas, 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 2019 Frick Award ballot was created by a subcommittee of the voting electorate that included Matthews, 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.
The eight finalists for the 2019 Frick Award:
- Desmond called Yankees, Giants and Dodgers games in 1942 and 1943-56, coming to New York in 1942 and teaming with Mel Allen on the Yankees/Giants package on WOR radio. He called Dodgers’ games from 1943-56 with Red Barber, Ernie Harwell and Vin Scully.
- Flanagan was one of the first announcers to recreate road games from a Western Union ticker. Primarily a Cubs voice, Flanagan was behind the microphone for both Chicago squads on WBBM. He covered Major League Baseball’s first All-Star Game from Comiskey Park in 1933.
- Graney called Indians games for 21 seasons from 1932-44 and 1946-53 following a 14-year playing career with the Indians, making him one of the first players to successfully transition to the broadcast booth.
- Heilmann spent 17 years behind the mic for the Tigers from 1934-50 following a 17-year big league career that saw him win four American League batting titles en route to Hall of Fame election in 1952.
- Helfer called games for 23 seasons for the Pirates (1933-34), Reds (1935-36), Yankees (1937-38, 1945), Dodgers (1939-41, 1955-57), Giants (1945, 1949), Phillies (1958), Colt .45s (1962) and Athletics (1968-69). He also called Mutual’s Game of the Day from 1950-54 and called 14 no-hitters.
- Hoyt was another early example of a player transitioning to the booth, making a successful switch to the Cincinnati broadcast team after 20 years as a Hall of Fame pitcher.
- Rowswell called games for the Pirates for 19 seasons (1936-54), captivating fans with his down-home language and unrelenting team support.
- Tyson spent 22 seasons in the Tigers’ broadcast booth (1927-42, 1947-52), providing the first account of a Tigers game from Detroit in 1927.
Additional information on the eight finalists can be found at baseballhall.org/frickaward2019.
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: