Cohen a 2017 Ford C. Frick Award finalist

Mets TV play-by-play broadcaster 1 of 8 nominated for excellence

Cohen a 2017 Ford C. Frick Award finalist

NEW YORK -- Mets television play-by-play broadcaster Gary Cohen is one of eight finalists for the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award, which the National Baseball Hall of Fame presents annually for excellence in broadcasting.

A staple of SNY's award-winning broadcast team since the network's inception in 2006, Cohen has covered the Mets in some capacity for the past 28 years. The last 11 of them have been with SNY, where he has teamed with analysts Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling in one of baseball's most popular booths.

Other finalists for the 2017 Frick Award include Jacques Doucet, Ken Harrelson, Pat Hughes, Bill King, Mike Krukow, Ned Martin and Dewayne Staats, that group rising above a field of more than 200 eligible broadcasters. The Hall of Fame will announce the winner on Dec. 7 at the Winter Meetings, prior to a July 29 induction in Cooperstown.

Best Call: Cohen on Bartolo's HR

Cohen's nomination is part of a new initiative by the Hall of Fame board of directors, which aims to place more emphasis on local voices. Every three years, the Hall will nominate a slate of local broadcasters for the award, cycling them with a second group of national voices and a third group of broadcasting pioneers.

A college of past Frick recipients will choose each year's winner based on the candidates' "commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers." To be eligible, a broadcaster must have accrued at least 10 years of continuous Major League service.

Cohen, who was a member of the Mets' WFAN radio team for 17 years prior to joining SNY, has also done play-by-play on national baseball broadcasts for CBS Radio and ESPN Radio. During the offseason, he is the radio voice for Seton Hall men's basketball, also contributing play-by-play work during March Madness for CBS Radio and Westwood One.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.