Pat Hughes named 2023 Frick Award winner
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Pat Hughes, who has called Chicago Cubs games for more than a quarter of a century as the team’s radio play-by-play voice, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Hughes will be honored during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation as part of Hall of Fame Weekend, July 21-24, 2023. Hughes becomes the 47th winner of the Frick Award, as he earned the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame’s 15-member Frick Award Committee.
The final ballot featured broadcasters whose main contributions came as local and national voices and whose careers began after, or extended into, the Wild Card Era. The 10 finalists were: Dave Campbell, Joe Castiglione, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Jerry Howarth, Ernie Johnson Sr., Duane Kuiper, Steve Stone and Hughes.
“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said Josh Rawitch, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”
Born May 27, 1955, in Tucson, Ariz., Hughes attended San Jose State University and began his baseball broadcast career in 1978 with the San Jose Missions. After a season with the Columbus Clippers, Hughes joined the Minnesota Twins broadcast team in 1983 before moving to Milwaukee a year later, calling Brewers games on radio with Bob Uecker, the 2003 Frick Award winner, through 1995.
A nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award, Hughes also won three straight Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year Awards from 1990-92. He has called more than 6,000 MLB games during his 40-year career, including eight no-hitters, the 25-inning White Sox vs. Brewers contest from 1984 that was the longest game in American League history and Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game in 1998.
The 15-member Frick Award voting electorate, comprised of the 12 living recipients and three broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Bob Costas, Ken Harrelson, Jaime Jarrín, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Al Michaels, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne, and historians/columnists David J. Halberstam (historian), Barry Horn (formerly of The Dallas Morning News) and Curt Smith (historian).
The list of 10 Frick Award finalists was constructed by a subcommittee of the electorate that included Brennaman, Halberstam, Harrelson, Nadel and Smith. 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. Frick was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970.
Click here for a list of previous Ford C. Frick Award winners.
As established by the Board of Directors, criteria for selection is as follows: “Commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.” 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 Frick Award election cycle rotates between a composite ballot featuring local and national voices whose careers began after, or extended into, the Wild Card Era in four consecutive years, followed by a fifth year featuring a ballot of candidates whose broadcasting careers concluded prior to the advent of the Wild Card Era in 1994. The cycle begins with the 2023 Frick Award, with composite ballots of local and national voices continuing with the Awards in 2024, 2025 and 2026 before the pre-Wild Card Era ballot is considered for the 2027 Award.