Dave Van Horne named 2011 Ford C. Frick Award Winner for Broadcasting Excellence

December 08, 2010
Dave Van Horne is the winner of the 2011 Ford C. Frick Award. (Florida Marlins)

View a transcript of the conference call with Van Horne (pdf)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Dave Van Horne, who has spent the last 42 seasons calling play-by-play action for the Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Van Horne, who will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend, July 22-25, is the first Expos broadcaster to win the Frick Award. He is the second Marlins broadcaster honored, joining Felo Ramirez, a Spanish-language broadcaster, and the second Frick Award winner to have called games for a Canadian team, following Tony Kubek, who broadcast games for the Blue Jays and was honored in 2009.

"Dave Van Horne introduced Major League Baseball to English-speaking fans in Montreal, and his voice became the standard for two generations of Expos fans," said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. "Since 2001, Dave has energized Marlins fans in South Florida with his infectious love for the game, his excitable play-by-play, and his signature 'Up, Up and Away' home run calls. We are thrilled to announce Dave Van Horne as the 2011 Frick Award winner."

Van Horne, a native of Easton, Pa., began his broadcasting career with the Richmond Braves of the International League, and was twice named the Virginia Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association before joining the Expos for their inaugural season of 1969. He called Expos games on radio and television, describing such memorable moments as the Expos debut on April 8, 1969, Willie Mays' 3000th hit, Nolan Ryan's passing Walter Johnson on top of the career strikeout list and Steve Carlton striking out his 4,000th batter. Van Horne also called games for The Baseball Network on ABC and NBC.

Van Horne joined the Marlins in 2001 as the club's lead radio voice. He broadcast the Marlins' 2003 World Championship season, adding to a resume that includes three World Series and National League Championship Series broadcasting assignments for Canadian networks. Van Horne also broadcast the last Expos game in Montreal, in 2004, as a member of the visiting Marlins radio broadcast team.

Van Horne has shared the broadcast booth with partners such as Don Drysdale, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Ken Singleton, Buck Martinez, Tom Cheek and Tommy Hutton. He was the recipient of the 1996 Jack Graney Award, given by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for contributions to the game through broadcasting.

Van Horne will be honored as an award recipient during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25 in Cooperstown, N.Y, along with 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Bill Conlin, who was announced on Tuesday. Pat Gillick, who was elected on Monday by the Expansion Era Committee, will be inducted on July 24, along with any electees who emerge from 2011 Baseball Writers' Association of America election, to be announced Jan. 5.

The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner. For a complete list of recipients, click here.

Ten finalists for the 2011 Ford C. Frick Award were selected in October, featuring three fan selections from an online vote conducted at www.facebook.com/baseballhall and seven broadcasters chosen by a research committee from the Cooperstown-based museum. The final ballot contained a mix of pioneers and current-day broadcasters, and was voted upon by a 20-member electorate. Complete biographical information on the 10 finalists can be found here. The 10 finalists: Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Dizzy Dean, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Ned Martin, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Van Horne. Cardenas, Doucet, McCarver, Nadel and Van Horne were the living candidates.

In September, Cheek (11,661 votes), King (4,758 votes) and Doucet (2,714 votes) finished as the top three vote-getters in the Museum's online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot.

The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 15 living Frick Award recipients and five broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, 2010 Frick Award winner Jon Miller, Dave Niehaus (who cast his vote before passing away Nov. 10), Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of NY Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

Voters were asked to base their selections on the following criteria: longevity; continuity with a club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans. This year's balloting process marked the eighth time fans had the opportunity to be a part of selecting the final ballot for the award, after changes to the voting process implemented by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors to the voting process in 2003.

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 200 broadcasters were eligible for consideration for this year's award, with bios of each candidate appearing at the Web site.