Baseball Hall of Fame Restructures Frick Award Selection Process

Broadcasters to be Considered by Era of Most Significant Contributions Starting with 2014

September 04, 2013

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors has restructured the procedures for the Ford C. Frick Award selection process, refining the criteria and organizing candidates by era, with changes effective immediately.

The Ford C. Frick Award has been presented annually since 1978 by the Museum for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Annual winners are announced as part of the Baseball Winter Meetings each year, while awardees are presented with their honor the following summer during Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown, New York.

Beginning with the 2014 Award, the selection process will reflect an era-committee whereas eligible candidates will be grouped together by years of most significant contributions of their broadcasting careers.

The three cycles will reflect eras of major transformations in broadcasting and media.

  • The “High Tide Era” – to be voted on this fall, announced in December at the Winter Meetings and presented during the annual Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2014 – will consider candidates whose contributions have come during the regional cable network era, beginning with the mid-1980s through today.
  • The “Living Room Era” – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2015 – will consider candidates whose most significant years fell during the mid-1950s through the early 1980s, as the game spread through television and into homes across the country.
  • The “Broadcasting Dawn Era” – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2016 – will consider candidates who contributed to the early days of baseball broadcasting, from its origins through the early-1950s.

The totality of each candidate’s career will be considered, though the era in which the broadcaster is deemed to have had the most significant impact will be determined by a Hall of Fame research team.

The High Tide Era process will begin September 9, when the Museum releases the list of eligible candidates for the 2014 Frick Award. Fans will have the opportunity to select three of the 10 finalists for the 2014 ballot through fan voting at our Facebook page. A Hall of Fame research committee will set the remainder of the ballot. The final 10-name ballot will be announced in early October.

The 20-member Frick Award Committee will cast ballots during November, with the 2014 winner to be announced during the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings from Orlando, Fla., December 10-11. The Frick Award electorate is comprised of the 16 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, including Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC/MLB Network), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

Thirty-seven broadcasters have been presented with the Frick Award with Mel Allen and Red Barber selected as the first recipients in 1978. A single winner has been selected in each year following, with the late Tom Cheek receiving the honor in 2013.

Voters are asked to base their selections on longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans. 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 Ford C. Frick Award was named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner.  The complete list of recipients includes:

Ford C. Frick Award Recipients

1978 Mel Allen 1990 By Saam 2003 Bob Uecker
  Red Barber 1991 Joe Garagiola 2004 Lon Simmons
1979 Bob Elson 1992 Milo Hamilton 2005 Jerry Coleman
1980 Russ Hodges 1993 Chuck Thompson 2006 Gene Elston
1981 Ernie Harwell 1994 Bob Murphy 2007 Denny Matthews
1982 Vin Scully 1995 Bob Wolff 2008 Dave Niehaus
1983 Jack Brickhouse 1996 Herb Carneal 2009 Tony Kubek
1984 Curt Gowdy 1997 Jimmy Dudley 2010 Jon Miller
1985 Buck Canel 1998 Jaime Jarrin 2011 Dave Van Horne
1986 Bob Prince 1999 Arch McDonald 2012 Tim McCarver
1987 Jack Buck 2000 Marty Brennaman 2013 Tom Cheek
1988 Lindsey Nelson 2001 Felo Ramirez    
1989 Harry Caray 2002 Harry Kalas