Broadcast pioneers McNamme, Dean finalists for Frick
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Broadcasting pioneers Graham McNamee and Dizzy Dean are among the 10 finalists for the 2006 Ford C. Frick Award, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum said Tuesday.
Also on the list selected by a museum research committee are Ken Coleman, Tony Kubek, Tom Cheek, Gene Elston and Denny Matthews. The ballot also features three candidates -- Bill King, Dave Niehaus and Jacques Doucet -- chosen by fans in an online vote conducted in November by the Hall of Fame.
Matthews, who has broadcast Kansas City Royals games for 37 years, and Niehaus, who also has been in the broadcast booth for 37 years calling Seattle Mariners games, are the only active broadcasters on the ballot.
Frick Committee voting members will cast their votes by mail in January, and results will be announced Feb. 21. The award will be presented at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony July 31.
McNamee, who died in 1942, called the first 12 World Series and generally is credited with the birth of live sports broadcasting in this country. In 1923, McNamee, who also called games for 13 seasons for Westinghouse and NBC, reported the World Series between the Yankees and the Giants from the Polo Grounds in New York.
Dean, already in the Hall of Fame as a player, spent 24 seasons as a color man in St. Louis and nationally with Mutual Radio and ABC/CBS Game of the Week, helping revolutionize baseball broadcasts. He died in 1974.
Coleman, who died two years ago, spent 35 seasons with the Indians (1954-63), Reds (1975-78) and Red Sox (1966-74, 1979-89).
Doucet spent all 34 years of his baseball broadcast career as the play-by-play radio voice of the Montreal Expos on the French network before retiring last year, while Elston spent 43 seasons broadcasting the Cubs and Astros, Mutual Game of the Day, NBC Game of the Week and CBS Game of the Week before retiring in the late 1990s.
Kubek, now 69, was a star shortstop for the New York Yankees in the 1960s, then spent 30 seasons nationally with the NBC Game of the Week and the Blue Jays and Yankees as a color commentator.
Cheek and King died in a two-week span in October. Cheek spent 32 seasons covering the Montreal Expos (1974-76) and Toronto Blue Jays (1977-2004), the last 28 seasons as the Jays' radio play-by-play man before his death from brain cancer at age 66. King, whose signature call of "Holy Toledo!" was a household phrase for decades in the San Francisco Bay Area, spent 25 years as the lead radio play-by-play man for the A's before his death at age 78 from complications following hip surgery.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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