The selection process behind the Ford C. Frick Award will take on a new look, effective immediately, centered around new criteria that will organize candidates for the broadcasting honor by era.
Presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for excellence in baseball broadcasting, the Frick Award has been presented annually since 1978. Starting with the 2014 honoree, the Frick Award will now be presented in a cycle, honoring three era-specific categories.
The first cycle, known as the "High Tide Era," will be voted on this fall. It will honor candidates whose primary contributions have been made during the regional cable network era, ranging from the mid-1980s to the present.
The second cycle, known as the "Living Room Era," will make its debut at the 2015 award presentation. That cycle will consider broadcasters who made their biggest impact between the mid-1950s and early '80s.
The third cycle, known as the "Broadcasting Dawn Era," will honor candidates from the early days of broadcasting and will name its inaugural winner in advance of the 2016 presentation.
Though the totality of each candidate's career will still be considered, a Hall of Fame research team will place each broadcaster into a corresponding era.
The "High Tide Era" election will begin Sept. 9 when the Museum releases a list of eligible candidates. Fans will continue to be part of the election process, having the opportunity to select three of the 10 ballot finalists through an online voting process on the Museum's Facebook page. A Hall of Fame research committee will set the remainder of the ballot, to be announced in early October, before the 20-member Frick Award Committee casts its ballots during November.
The committee, comprised of the 16 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, consists of Frick winners Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, as well as historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.