Most of us don’t have a Hall of Fame vote, but you can make your feelings known about one person who will enter the hallowed halls in Cooperstown next summer: The 2010 winner of the Ford Frick Award.
That’s the award given each year to a broadcaster who has made major contributions to the game of baseball. Although they are technically not “Hall of Famers,” the honoree each year has his name added to a plaque in Cooperstown and – if living – gives a speech during Hall of Fame induction weekend.
It’s probably the most prestigious honor a sports broadcaster can receive, and previous winners include such legends as Mel Allen, Red Barber, Vin Scully, Curt Gowdy, and Marty Brennaman.
The recipient each year is chosen by the living Ford Frick Award winners and five historians, but we get to help decide who is on the ballot.
Between now and December 31st, fans have the opportunity to select from more than 200 eligible broadcasters, and the top three selections will appear on the final, 10-name ballot for the 2010 award.
You’ll find the ballot here: http://www.facebook.com/baseballhall?v=app_20678178440#
Some of the interesting names for Red Sox fans to consider are current Boston announcers Joe Castiglione, Dave O’Brien, and Jerry Remy.
My partner on PawSox telecasts on Cox Sports, Bob Montgomery, appears on the ballot along with his former partners in the Red Sox booth – Ned Martin and Sean McDonough.
Former Pawtucket/current New York Mets announcer Gary Cohen is also among the candidates.
There are several legendary broadcasters who have not won the Ford Frick Award yet including Jon Miller, Tim McCarver, Bill King, Joe Nuxhall, George Grande, Dick Enberg, and Al Michaels, but my vote goes to the late Tom Cheek, who was the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays from their inception in 1977 until he became ill in 2004. I’m a bit biased because Tom and his broadcasting partner Jerry Howarth were extremely helpful to me when I was first starting out in the business, but I do believe that Tom was one of the all-time greats and had a big impact in spreading baseball’s popularity in Canada.
So go ahead and be a Hall of Fame voter.
In this case, you don’t have to take steroids into consideration.