Will it be Ralph Kiner, Joe Nuxhall, Dick Enberg or one of seven other familiar broadcasters who will be honored next year by the Hall of Fame?
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced 10 finalists for its Ford C. Frick Award. This program is now conducted in a three-year cycle in which candidates are grouped by timeframe; this year’s grouping of announcers is from what the Hall of Fame is calling the “Living Room Era,” broadcasters prominent in the mid-1950s to mid-1980s. Three are already in the Hall as players.
Here they are, with bio text as provided by the Hall:
–Richie Ashburn called Phillies game from 1963 until his passing in 1997 following a 15-year playing career that culminated in his election to the Hall of Fame in 1995;
–Billy Berroa began announcing Major League Baseball games in 1963 and spent 18 years with the Mets (1987–93; 1997–2007) as a Spanish radio and TV announcer;
–Rene Cardenas helped create the first Spanish-language MLB broadcast in 1958 with the Dodgers, working a total of 38 years for the Dodgers, Astros and Rangers;
–Dizzy Dean broadcast 24 years in St. Louis and nationally on CBS’ Game of the Week from 1955–65 following a Hall of Fame pitching career;
–Dick Enberg has called Angels and Padres games for 16 seasons during the course of his 50-plus seasons behind the mic, which includes coverage of the Super Bowl, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games for both NBC and CBS;
–Ernie Johnson Sr. called games for the Braves in Milwaukee and Atlanta from 1962–99, becoming a beloved figure regionally and nationally through Turner Broadcasting System;
–Ralph Kiner, elected to the Hall of Fame as a player in 1975, began his broadcast career with the White Sox in 1961 before joining the Mets in 1962 and remaining with the National League’s New York franchise for more than 50 seasons;
–Ned Martin worked as the Red Sox’s radio and television voice from 1961–92, covering the 1975 World Series for NBC-TV;
–Joe Nuxhall spent 38 years with the Reds (1967–2004), and totaled 53 years with the Reds as a former major league pitcher and broadcaster;
–Jack Quinlan called Cubs games from 1955–64 before his promising career was cut short by a fatal automobile accident in spring training of 1965.
Two of these 10 finalists are living, Cardenas and Enberg. The finalists include fan selections Enberg, Kiner and Quinlan from online balloting on Facebook.
According to the Hall announcement, final voting will be by the 16 living recipients plus four broadcast historians/columnists; the winner will be announced in December.
Mel Allen and Red Barber received the award in its first year, 1978; Eric Nadel received it in 2014.