Joe Buck, Al Michaels and Dan Shulman headline this year’s list of finalists for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award, the most prestigious award given out for excellence in baseball broadcasting.
The eight finalists for the 2021 Frick Award consist of candidates from the National Voices category -- broadcasters whose contributions were realized on a national level -- for this year’s voting cycle. The full list of finalists include Buddy Blattner, Buck, Dave Campbell, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Ernesto Jerez, Michaels and Shulman. Dean and Drysdale are already enshrined in the Cooperstown, N.Y., museum for their merits as pitchers, but the Frick Award is an honor specifically set apart from the Hall’s famous Plaque Gallery that focuses solely on a person’s broadcasting career.
Voting for the Frick Award, named in honor of MLB’s Commissioner from 1951-65, rotates through three categories on a cycle: National Voices, Major League Markets (team-specific broadcasters) and Broadcasting Beginnings (early team voices and pioneers of baseball broadcasting). Broadcasting Beginnings will be considered next in the fall of 2021, followed by Major League Markets in ’22.
This year’s Frick Award will be decided by an electorate of 12 living Frick Award recipients and three broadcast historians and columnists. The ballot was created by a subcommittee that included former Frick Award winners Bob Costas, Denny Matthews, Eric Nadel and Dave Van Horne, along with historian Curt Smith. An active or retired broadcaster must have worked big league games for a minimum 10 consecutive years with either a local or national broadcast, or a combination of the two, to be eligible for the Frick Award. White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is the most recent Frick Award winner, and he will be celebrated alongside this year’s winner during the 2021 Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown as this year’s induction weekend was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.
You can learn more about each of this year’s eight Frick Award finalists at the Hall of Fame’s website.