Vote For Joe Buck. Go Ahead, I Dare You

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Posted by OMDQ

Attention, baseball fans: for the entire month of November, you get to help choose the next recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award.

Well, sort of. Right now, there is a list of 200 broadcasters who are eligible to receive the award and have, I'm assuming, passed through some sort of rigorous screening process. Every day this month, fans can choose to cast votes for up to three, with the top three earning a place on the final ten person ballot that will be released December 5.

I toyed with the idea of posting my own top ten list here, but that can wait at least until the official ballot is released. In the meantime, let's share top threes - mine are, in no particular order:

Ned Martin (Boston Red Sox, 1961-92): You had to know there was gonna be a Sox announcer on any ballot I filled out. My sincerest apologies to Joe Castiglione and Ken Coleman that it couldn't be them.

Joe Nuxhall (Cincinnati Reds, 1967-2004): A win for Nuxhall would mean that the Reds had a pair of Hall of Fame announcers in the booth from 1974-2004; Marty Brennaman won the Frick award in 2000.

Tom Cheek (Montreal Expos, 1974-76; Toronto Blue Jays, 1977-2004): Called more than 4,300 consecutive games for the Blue Jays, from the team's first contest in 1977 to June 2004. Cal Ripken, eat your heart out.

Honorable Mention: Ray Fosse (something about the idea of Fosse being in the Hall while Pete Rose isn't makes me chuckle), Dave Niehaus (has been behind the mic for all of Seattle's 31 seasons) and Ralph Kiner (no one has ever been honored by the Hall as both a player and a broadcaster; by my count, there are sixteen Hall of Famers among the 200 names on this year's ballot).

Those are my choices. Who have you guys got?

Posted by One More Dying Quail at 8:56 PM


No vote for Jose Mota or Chip Caray??

I have to ask - what are the criteria for this? I mean, Matt Vasgersian is on here.

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 12:01:00 AM  

Al Hrabosky's name being on the list automatically renders it null and void.

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 1:02:00 AM  

Ned Martin, Jim Woods and Jim Kaat

Steve M said...
Nov 4, 2007, 1:57:00 AM  

"from the team's first contest in 1977 to June 1977."

What's that, maybe three months? Not too impressive... :)

dollar said...
Nov 4, 2007, 1:26:00 AM  

I agree with your choice of "The Ol' Left-hander". Despite being a Padres fan since age five (long story), I grew up in a cable TV-free home in Reds country listening to Brennaman and Nuxxie 162 days of the year. True professionals; never hesitant to criticize their employer's product on the field.

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 1:53:00 AM  

Bill King, plz

Unknown said...
Nov 4, 2007, 5:32:00 AM  

It is hard to pick just three off the list. It is every year. There are certainly deserving "pioneers" who deserve consideration. McNamee, Laux, and Totten for example. However, ten "good choices" in my opinion:

Tom Cheek - 28 years with the Blue Jays before his untimely passing. Smooth, solid, broadcaster best known for his "Touch 'em all, Joe..." call of Carter's Series-clinching home run in 1993.

Ken Coleman - Great at football, great at baseball (mostly in Boston.) 1967's Impossible Dream was the apotheosis of Coleman's career.

Earl Gillespie - Unsung voice of the 1950s Milwaukee Miracle Braves, Gillespie was a lot like Harry Caray; fish nets to catch fouls and the ubiquitous "Holy Cow!" exclamation (also used by Caray, the Scooter, and Halsey Hall of Minnesota.)

Ernie Johnson - A loyal Brave, Ernie Sr. was steady, without affectation, and a fine professional. He is easy to overlook.

Ralph Kiner - One of the great masters of the malaprop, Kiner is more than deserving of joining his fellow Mets originals Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson in the Hall. Dizzy Dean and Rizzuto are also HOF players who had equally (or more) memorable careers in the booth.

Bill King - The late and great. Maybe the best all-around sports play-by-play man ever. He was great at baseball, even better at football and hoops. Generally a flawless, knowledgeable, broadcaster who capped the A's amazing moments with a rousing "Holy Toledo!"

Ned Martin - Another steady Boston icon, Martin was at his best during the heady 1970s and his partnership with Possum Woods in that era was one of sports great broadcasting duos. Possessed a resonant voice and a classic trademark: "Mercy!"

Jim "Possum" Woods - The greatest sidekick in baseball broadcasting history. Good enough to be a great Numero Uno, he instead blessed fans in Pittsburgh (where he teamed with the legendary Bob Prince) and Boston (with Ned Martin). Also served time in New York with Allen and Barber, in Oakland, and in St. Louis. Another great sidekick already mentioned is Joe Nuxhall, never a very smooth broadcaster, but unquestionably passionate.

Dave Niehaus - A Seattle institution, Niehaus cut his teeth with the worthy Dick Enberg and the Angels (also the football Rams). Gravelly voiced, he's been offering up "Fly Away", "My, Oh My!" and "grand salami time" since the Mariners inception.

Lanny Frattare - Like Niehaus, he's still active. He's been the Voice of the Pirates longer than anyone else. Low key, strikes the perfect balance between objective pro and Pirates rooter -- classic home run call ("Go ball! Get outta here!") and winning exclamation ("Nooooooo doubt about it!") are as good as homerism gets without entering obnoxious (see: White Sox) territory.

Down to just three, I'd lean (this year) towards:

3. Woods
2. Frattare
1. King

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 9:29:00 AM  

Joe Morgan
Rod Allen
Jose Mota

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 4:24:00 PM  

Can I add a couple more?

Ken Harrelson
Rick Rizzs

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 4:26:00 PM  

the website didn't work for me.
filled in all the info and nothing.
i'm sure mlb will pepper my email address with spam though

Anonymous said...
Nov 4, 2007, 7:45:00 PM  

Jon Miller, Skip Caray and Richie Ashburn. Ashburn and Harry Kalas were a great team until Ashburn's untimely death a few years ago.

dadlak said...
Nov 4, 2007, 8:53:00 PM  

Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray.

Before ESPN, Fox Sports Net and MLB Extra Innings. Before blogs and, these three men, with the help of Ted Turner's little superstation, broadcast baseball across the country.

Anonymous said...
Nov 5, 2007, 9:44:00 AM  

Richie Ashburn. Would love to see him in the Hall as both a player and announcer.

Anonymous said...
Nov 5, 2007, 1:35:00 PM  

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