MLB Network picks up four Sports Emmys

Costas, Ripken, Rosenthal and 'MLB Tonight' earn gold trophies

MLB Network picks up four Sports Emmys

NEW YORK -- Yes, sir.

It only seems appropriate to start with those words after Verne Lundquist -- who famously uttered them after a Jack Nicklaus putt three decades ago at The Masters -- was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday night at the 37th Annual Sports Emmys. They also seem like an apt way to describe how baseball's night went during the show.

MLB Network earned four more gold trophies during the event at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P Rose Hall in Manhattan, making it one of eight networks that won at least that many awards. And they were among five overall honors for baseball broadcast coverage as the industry recognized its finest.

Bob Costas won a record 27th Emmy, and Bill Ripken chartered his own course in a famous family by winning his first. "MLB Tonight" was honored for the fifth time in seven tries, making it already one of the winningest daily sports studio shows ever, and Ken Rosenthal repeated.

Costas, who had emceed an autism awareness event for MLB the previous night at the Met Museum, could not attend the Sports Emmys because of pre-Olympic duties in advance of Rio de Janeiro. He won for Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Host, representing both MLB Network and NBC Sports.

Aaron Cohen, an Emmy-winning TV writer, accepted on behalf of the sports-broadcast icon and said Costas told him "he hoped Hannah won. The only other point that he asked me to make was to express his high regard and appreciation for all the other nominees in the category, though he also wanted to ask, and I quote, 'How the hell do you keep overlooking Bob Ley?'"

Ripken won for Outstanding Sports Personality - Studio Analyst. He played 12 years as an American League infielder, including seven years with his Hall of Fame brother Cal Jr. and also part of that time for his father, former Orioles manager Cal Sr. Bill Ripken clutched his Sports Emmy by the red carpet after the show was over, proud of his achievement but focused on what it meant to a team.

"Baseball was a team sport, number one, and a lot of people were behind this," he said. "When I have some ideas for some of my breakdowns in tapes, there are a lot of people who help me along the way. The edit-bay people are incredible, the producers are incredible, I get a little leeway from leadership to do some things that I really want to do and enjoy doing, and it kind of worked out tonight. Harold (Reynolds) and Al (Leiter) being nominated with me, that's pretty special, too, because either one of those guys could have won it as well."

Reynolds hugged Ripken and said of his "mad scientist" partner: "It was the most exciting thing for me all year. He worked so hard, he's cut out his own niche. He has just kind of broken out of that shadow of his dad and his brother and finally people recognize Bill."

"MLB Tonight" won again for Outstanding Studio Show - Daily. Other nominees were Inside the NBA on TNT, MLB on FOX Pregame Show, Road to the Final Four (tbs/CBS/TNT/truTV) and World Cup Tonight on FS1.

"This is for everybody who walks in the door every day at MLB Network and works really hard," Dave Patterson, MLB Network senior vice president of production, said in accepting the award.

Asked what sets "MLB Tonight" apart, Patterson said after the show: "We want to change the way people watch baseball. We want to bring people into every single game, not just one game. We want people to get every single moment of every single game, and every exciting moment. If we can do that every night, we've done our job."

Rosenthal won for a second consecutive year in the category of Outstanding Sports Personality - Sports Reporter. In his acceptance speech, Rosenthal, a longtime baseball writer who became a fixture for Fox Sports and then also MLB Network, noted that his signature bowtie was to benefit cancer and he mentioned a few people from the industry in particular.

"The people I mentioned -- Bill Webb, who was our director at MLB on FOX, Craig Sager, and a friend of mine we recently lost, Joe Strauss -- I was definitely thinking that if I won, if I was lucky enough to win, I was going to acknowledge them," Rosenthal said after winning Tuesday.

Rosenthal -- still "shocked" by earning TV awards -- also said during his acceptance speech that it was not until he joined MLB Network that he got "comfortable" as a television personality.

"They gave me the room to grow," he said. "What I do on FOX, it's really quick during the game, it might be 20 seconds or so, and I never was quite myself. Once I got to MLB Network, I kind of learned how to be myself on TV, which is a real important thing, and I wasn't very good at it initially. So I'm extremely grateful, always grateful to them, and I love working there."

MLB Network has now won 25 Sports Emmys since its inception in 2009. It was nominated 12 times this year, bringing the total nominations to 79.

A fifth baseball-related award was claimed by FoxSports.com for Outstanding Digital Innovation. They won for their production of "A Royal Reality," a virtual reality depiction of Kansas City's world championship.

Upon taking the stage for his lifetime award, Lundquist was so surprised to be joined by former broadcast booth comrades Gary Danielson, Bill Raftery, Dan Fouts and Calvin Hill that he bellowed: "Now I feel like I'm part of the Vienna Boys Choir."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.