Ford C. Frick Award finalists announced

Ford C. Frick Award finalists announced

Ford C. Frick Award finalists announced
Their voices have reached millions by way of broadcasting big league baseball games, but only one will be heard next year in Cooperstown.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Wednesday announced the 10 finalists for the prestigious 2012 Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

In alphabetical order, the finalists are: Skip Caray, Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Mike Shannon.

The 2012 Frick Award winner will be announced on Dec. 6 at the Winter Meetings. Induction will take place from July 20-23, 2012 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

As part of the process, three finalists were selected by the fans during online balloting in September at the Hall of Fame's Facebook page.

A total of 37,212 votes were cast, a record under the current voting format. The three fan choices, respectively, are Shannon, Cheek and Doucet.

The remaining seven candidates were chosen by a Hall of Fame research committee. McCarver, Nadel and Shannon are the active broadcasters on the ballot. Cardenas and Doucet are the only other living candidates among the finalists.

Final voting for the award will be conducted by a 20-member electorate, comprised of the 15 living Frick Award recipients and five broadcast historians/columnists, including past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff; and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

Van Horne was the 2011 Frick Award winner.

Caray broadcast Braves games on TBS for 33 years; 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; Cheek broadcast 31 Major League seasons covering the Montreal Expos (1974-'76) and Toronto Blue Jays (1977-2004); Coleman spent 35 years with the Indians (1954-63), Reds (1975-78) and Red Sox (1966-74, 79-89); Doucet spent his entire 34-year career broadcasting for the Expos as the play-by-play radio voice on their French network (1969-2004); King worked for 25 seasons (1981-2005) as the A's lead play-by-play voice on radio; McCarver has broadcast for 31 seasons, the last 16 for Fox TV on its national broadcast, and he has a string of 21 seasons working the postseason; McNamee was a national pioneer in sports broadcasting, calling games for 13 seasons for Westinghouse and NBC, also calling 12 World Series; Nadel has spent the last 33 seasons with the Rangers, the longest tenure of any announcer in franchise history, and Shannon has called Cardinals games for 40 years following a nine-year playing career in St. Louis.

Frick Award voters look at a number of criteria, including longevity, continuity with a club, honors, national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games, and popularity with fans.

To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.