The Ford C. Frick Award is presented annually at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball." The award, named after the late broadcaster, National League president, Commissioner and Hall of Famer, has been presented annually since 1978.
Frick was a driving force behind the creation of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and he helped foster the relationship between radio and the game of baseball.
The 2007 recipient was longtime Royals broadcaster Denny Matthews. Past winners include Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully, and former Cardinals announcers Jack Buck and Harry Caray.
Had Dean been honored, it would have made two St. Louis representatives in this year's Hall of Fame class. Billy Southworth, who managed the Cardinals in the 1940s, was voted in by the Veterans Committee. The Cardinals won the World Series in 1942, '44 and '46, and won the National League pennant in 1943.
Last year, St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel was honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, the Hall's recognition for outstanding baseball writers.
Dean already made the Hall of Fame as a pitcher, and the Cardinals retired his No. 17. He called Cardinals and St. Louis Browns games from 1941-46, Browns games from 1947-49 and 1952-53, and called CBS' "Game of the Week" from 1954-65.
Voters base their selections on longevity, continuity with a club, honors -- including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games -- and popularity with fans.
Voting was conducted by a 20-member electorate composed of the 14 living Frick Award recipients and six broadcast historians/columnists, including past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Ernie Harwell, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Harry Kalas, Matthews, Felo Ramirez, Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker and Bob Wolff, and such historians/columnists as Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of New York Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian), Curt Smith (historian) and Larry Stewart (Los Angeles Times).