Frick Award winner Pat Hughes reflects on historic career
When Pat Hughes found out he had been named the 2023 Ford C. Frick Award winner, he soon flashed back to a very different day.
“(Winning the Frick Award) is so much beyond what you could expect when you start out,” Hughes said. “Early in my career, I was doing a California League game, San Jose at Lodi. There was one media member attending the game: Me. I was doing a tape-delay broadcast that was going to be played on a small station in Los Gatos, Calif., the next day. The press box consisted of a card table that had a wobbly leg and a chair. I’m doing play by play, I’m doing color, I’m doing commercials. But that kind of background and practice is invaluable to you.
“I did a lot of practicing. I don’t take any game lightly. I never have, and I hope I never do.”
Hughes, who has called Cubs games on the radio since 1996, is the 47th recipient of the Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Hughes will be honored at the July 21-24 Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown, taking his place beside fellow Frick Award winners like Mel Allen, Vin Scully and Ernie Harwell.
“I know I work very hard but so do so many other announcers,” Hughes said during a media availability on Dec. 7 after learning he had won the Frick Award. “It’s almost hard to put into words (what this means), and I live by being able to express myself and put things into words.
“You don’t think about the Hall of Fame because it’s something so big, you think: There’s a strong likelihood you’re never going to get in. You just work hard, and sometimes good things happen.”
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum