Denny Matthews was the 2007 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. Matthews began his 39th season behind the microphone in the Royals radio booth in 2007, and became the first Kansas City broadcaster to receive the honor that has been presented annually since 1978.
Matthews has been with the Royals since the franchise’s inception as an American League expansion club in 1969. He beat out more than 250 applicants for the No. 2 announcing position alongside veteran Bud Blattner and has been with the team ever since.
Matthews took over the No. 1 spot in 1975, teaming with Fred White through 1998 and with Ryan Lefebvre since 1999. In addition to his Royals work, Matthews also did play-by-play for CBS Radio Network during portions of the regular season and during the 1982 and 1985 World Series. He also worked with Frick winner Ernie Harwell on CBS’ broadcast of the 1982 AL Championship Series between the California Angels and the Milwaukee Brewers.
But it is with the Royals that Matthews is most identified and small wonder. Matthews is just one of nine announcers in Major League Baseball history to spend an entire career with one club with at least 35 consecutive seasons behind the microphone. He joins Vin Scully (Dodgers, 56), Jack Buck (St. Louis, 47), Jaime Jarrin (Los Angeles, 44), Joe Nuxhall (Cincinnati, 40), Phil Rizzuto (Yankees, 40), Bob Uecker (Milwaukee, 36), Richie Ashburn (Philadelphia, 35) and Mike Shannon (St. Louis, 35) as the only broadcasters to accomplish the feat.
2007 Ford C. Frick Award Winner Denny Matthews (Kansas City Royals/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)