2019 Ford C. Frick Award Ballot

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.

The winner of the 2019 Frick Award will be announced on Dec. 12 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 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 candidates are deceased.

Finalists

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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.”

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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 (formerly of the 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.

Candidate Bios

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Connie Desmond

15 seasons…One of the rare few to broadcast for all three New York teams – the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees…Came to New York in 1942 and teamed with Mel Allen on the Yankees/Giants package on WOR radio…Turned to Dodgers’ games from 1943-56 with Red Barber, Ernie Harwell and Vin Scully…Teamed with Barber, Scully and Harwell on the first live coast-to-coast Baseball telecast…Began career by calling the action for the Toledo Mudhens…Passed away March 10, 1983.

Pat Flanagan

15 seasons…One in a group of talented Chicago broadcasters that changed the way teams reached their fans over the radio…One of the first to recreate road games from a Western Union ticker…Primarily a Cubs fan, Flanagan was behind the microphone for both Chicago squads on WBBM…Covered the first All-star game from Comiskey Park in 1933…Also broadcast the 1932, 1934, and 1938 World Series for CBS…Passed way in 1963.

Jack Graney

21 seasons... The first player to make successful transition from the field to the broadcast booth…He used his experience from 14 seasons on the diamond to turn telegraphic recreations into an art form…He was chosen to do the All-Star Game and World Series of 1935…Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Bob Dolgan said of Graney, “you could smell the resin in the dugouts, feel the clean smack of ball against bat and see the hawkers in the stands”…Passed away April 20, 1978.

Harry Heilmann

17 seasons…A Detroit fixture on both the playing field and behind the microphone for 34 years…One of the game’s truly great right-handed hitters, the longtime right fielder played big league ball for 17 seasons (1914, 1916-32), the first 15 with the Tigers, before finishing playing career with a two-year stint with the Reds…Ended his career with four batting championships and a .342 lifetime mark, topped off by hitting .403 in 1923…Was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952…Enjoyed vast popularity as a player, but when he took his spot behind a microphone at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium his popularity soared to new heights and became known as the “Voice of the Tigers” through his 17-year tenure…Began broadcasting Tigers games on radio station WXYZ-AM in 1934…By the late 1940s was also broadcasting Tigers games on television station WWDT-TV…Passed away on July 9, 1951.

Al Helfer

23 seasons…Former college athlete, once offered baseball contract by Connie Mack but instead got into broadcasting…Play-by-play broadcaster for Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Brooklyn Dodgers, Phillies, New York Giants, Houston and Oakland A’s…In 1950, began a five-year stint calling the Mutual “Game of the Day,” where he got his nickname “Mr. Radio Baseball”…At its peak during Helfer’s tenure, the “Game of the Day” had almost 1,500 radio outlets throughout the world…During his career he traveled an estimated five million miles…Also broadcast a number of World Series for NBC…Claimed to have formed, with Red Barber, the first play-by-play broadcast team…Broadcast 14 no-hitters, the last being Catfish Hunter’s perfect game in 1968, as well as Johnny Vander Meer’s second consecutive no-hitter in 1938…Also broadcast collegiate football, including Army-Navy tilts and numerous Rose Bowl contests…Passed away on May 16, 1975.

Waite Hoyt

25 seasons…One of the first to transition from the playing field into the broadcast booth…Broadcast one World Series, when the Reds went in 1961…Made a successful transfer to the Cincinnati broadcast booth after 20 years as a Hall of Fame pitcher… Was the last of the Major League announcers to abandon telegraphic recreations of away games…Waite’s rain delay broadcasts were filled with reminiscences of the golden days of baseball…They were so popular, they were made into an LP entitled, “The Best of Waite Hoyt in the Rain.”...Hoyt as elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, after pitching for six pennant winners in New York in the 1920s and 21 seasons overall…Passed away Aug. 25, 1984.

Rosey Rowswell

19 seasons…In 1925 was given a watch by the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates that read, “most faithful fan”…When the Pirates finally decided to broadcast all of their home games over KDKA radio, they decided to go with their number one fan on the air…The decision turned to gold, when Rosey turned out to be more popular than most Pirates players over the next 19 seasons…He invented his own language behind the microphone…A “dipsy-doodle” was a strikeout pitch, and his signature home run call was “raise the window, Aunt Minnie, here she comes”…Silences on the air were not uncommon as Rosey walked around his chair to give the Pirates good luck…A Pirates backer until the end, he was never accused of being too impartial…Commissioner Landis once opined, “there are people living in and around Pittsburgh who don’t’ even know the names of the other seven clubs in the National League.”…Passed away in 1955.

Ty Tyson

22 seasons…Former collegiate baseball player for Penn State…Broadcasting pioneer began his radio career in 1922 and broadcast the first play-by-play account of a Tigers game from Detroit in 1927…With no broadcasting booth for this new media, had to set up in the stands…Spent the first 16 years doing radio broadcasts for WWJ-AM, but was then replaced by former hitting star Harry Heilmann…Came back to the Tigers in 1947, where he did over-the-air broadcasts for the next six years with WWDT-TV…Passed away Dec. 12, 1968.

2018 Award Winners

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Hall of Fame Awards

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