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Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Al Michaels has won the 2021 Ford C. Frick award

Al Michaels is the winner of the 2021 Ford C. Frick award, as voted on by the 15 person electorate of former winners and broadcast historians.

The other seven nominees for the 2021 award were Buddy Blattner, Joe Buck, Dave Campbell, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Ernesto Jerez, and Dan Shulman.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:18 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: al michaels, ford c. frick award

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: December 09, 2020 at 05:05 PM (#5993430)
Obviously best-known for "Do you believe in miracles?" (and as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, it was great to have him announce Super Bowl 52) but it's nice to see him get this. I recently went on YouTube and re-watched the opening to Game 3 of the 1989 Series; his on-the-spot reporting of the earthquake was thoroughly professional.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5993435)
When was the last time he did a baseball game?
   3. Ron J Posted: December 09, 2020 at 05:42 PM (#5993440)
#2 Not sure it matters if the competition included people who have been dead for a long time.
   4. baerga1 Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5993458)
Honestly I didn't even know he ever did baseball. That aside, that dude is about as bankable as play-by-play guys come. Are there people who don't like him? Like are there people who turn on a football game and are like "darn, it's Al Michaels"? Serious question. If so, why? (no fair answering "because Cris Collinsworth").
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 09:03 PM (#5993473)
Yea, I didn't mean Michaels wasn't deserving, I just don't remember him doing baseball since...the '89 World Series I guess?

I agree, he's one of those guys that is just steady, and just hasn't seemed to have changed a bit in 40 years.
   6. The Duke Posted: December 09, 2020 at 11:47 PM (#5993487)
They better hurry and get ole’ Diz inducted before he passes on
   7. PeteF3 Posted: December 10, 2020 at 01:28 AM (#5993492)
Michaels came back to do baseball for the ill-fated Baseball Network in '94 and '95. With the '94 Series wiped out he, McCarver, and Palmer ended up splitting duties on the '95 Series with NBC's Costas/Uecker/Morgan team.

After that, I believe he did one of ESPN's Legends of Broadcasting games in 2003 where they would bring in Curt Gowdy, Ernie Harwell, and others to sit in with Miller & Morgan. And he and Costas did a one-off MLB Network game fairly early in the existence of that channel.
   8. Scott Lange Posted: December 10, 2020 at 08:32 AM (#5993497)
Counterpoint: He doesn't deserve it. Assuming wiki's career timeline is correct, his baseball resume is:

3 years Reds radio
3 years Giants TV/radio
6 years ABC backup announcer
9 years ABC lead announcer

And that's it. The only baseball call I associate him with personally is the earthquake, and that was only memorable because of the circumstance and not anything special he said or did. I'd much rather see a local guy who was synonymous with baseball in his city for 40+ years honored rather than a national guy who spent less than a decade calling significant games and is far better known for football and the Olympics than anything he did with baseball.
   9. Russ Posted: December 10, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5993502)
I'd much rather see a local guy who was synonymous with baseball in his city for 40+ years honored


I agree 100%. Lanny Frattare was the voice of the Pirates for 33 years and would have been even more popular had he not been overshadowed by the legacy of Bob Prince. Frattare was a great play by play man who balanced his homer-ism with important truth during some of the dark days from 1976 to 1979 (and there were MANY). He would be much more deserving of this award than Michael’s.. I don’t even know if Frattare has even been nominated. He has some national claim to fame for being one of the announcers on the Bob Knight 1985 chair throwing game on ESPN!
   10. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 10, 2020 at 10:54 AM (#5993513)
I still remember his incredible call of Dave Henderson's homer off Donnie Moore with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the 9th inning of game 5 of the 1986 ALCS ". . . and it's GONE!". The force and still clarity of his voice was great.
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 10, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5993595)
8. Scott Lange Posted: December 10, 2020 at 08:32 AM (#5993497)
Counterpoint: He doesn't deserve it. Assuming wiki's career timeline is correct, his baseball resume is:

3 years Reds radio
3 years Giants TV/radio
6 years ABC backup announcer
9 years ABC lead announcer

And that's it. The only baseball call I associate him with personally is the earthquake, and that was only memorable because of the circumstance and not anything special he said or did. I'd much rather see a local guy who was synonymous with baseball in his city for 40+ years honored rather than a national guy who spent less than a decade calling significant games and is far better known for football and the Olympics than anything he did with baseball.
9. Russ Posted: December 10, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5993502)
I'd much rather see a local guy who was synonymous with baseball in his city for 40+ years honored


I agree 100%. Lanny Frattare was the voice of the Pirates for 33 years and would have been even more popular had he not been overshadowed by the legacy of Bob Prince. Frattare was a great play by play man who balanced his homer-ism with important truth during some of the dark days from 1976 to 1979 (and there were MANY). He would be much more deserving of this award than Michael’s.. I don’t even know if Frattare has even been nominated. He has some national claim to fame for being one of the announcers on the Bob Knight 1985 chair throwing game on ESPN!


Important note: I'm not sure when the HOF made this change, but they have done with the Ford Frick Award something similar to what the Veterans Committee did with various subsets of "old time" ballpayers. There is now a rotating election for the Frick Award where one year, it's focused on national voices (this year); one year, local voices (somebody like Frattare); and one year is old-timers (going back to the early days of various media outlets, really old-school, etc.).
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 10, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5993604)
Also: I think Al Michaels has been the best sportscaster of my 46-year lifetime.

One of my first memories is actually the Miracle on Ice game, which was on in my home. It was an all-time performance, with an all-time ending.

One of my first exposures to baseball came fro Monday Night Baseball. He was awesome in that role (the idea of a major network treating baseball like an NFL game seems impossible today, BTW.)

The Don Denkinger call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series; the Dave Henderson home run in the 1986 ALCS; the completely improbable 7-game series win of the 1987 Twins; the 1989 Earthquake Series. I cannot relive the memories of my infatuation with baseball as a child of the '80s without Al Michaels pretty much being the soundtrack of it (along with Vin Scully).

Then you add the NFL work - Monday Night Football, 15 years of Sunday Night Football, all the playoff games and Super Bowls; all the Olympics...totally deserving of this award.
   13. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: December 10, 2020 at 04:16 PM (#5993605)
One of my first memories is actually the Miracle on Ice game, which was on in my home.


I remember bits of it on an old black & white TV my father-in-law gave my first wife & me a few months before we got married (not quite 3 months after the Olympics, I see). Just about the only thing I do remember seeing on it, except for an American Bandstand appearance by someone ... maybe the Jam.
   14. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 10, 2020 at 05:52 PM (#5993635)
Al Michaels also called the Hagler-Hearns fight.
   15. Scott Lange Posted: December 10, 2020 at 11:24 PM (#5993674)
There is now a rotating election for the Frick Award where one year, it's focused on national voices (this year); one year, local voices (somebody like Frattare); and one year is old-timers (going back to the early days of various media outlets, really old-school, etc.).


This does explain things somewhat. If 1/3rd of your winners by definition are going to be national guys, and the top couple guys last multiple decades, then you're going to get the 4th or 5th most significant broadcaster of each decade voted in, which is what Michaels was to the 80's. That was my formative decade, and I think of Scully first, Garagiola second, Costas third, Mel Allen fourth (for TWIB)... and I guess Michaels somewhere around fifth.

There ought to be 5 or 6 local guys for every primarily-national one. I grew up in Atlanta and got to enjoy Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson for a good chunk of their respective forty year broadcasting careers. That's like 6,000+ games each, and a day-in day-out relationship with an entire region. That's so much more meaningful than 9 years of one game a week plus every other World Series. We were lucky, but I think most cities have at least one guy like that every 20 or 30 years.
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: December 10, 2020 at 11:33 PM (#5993676)
There ought to be 5 or 6 local guys for every primarily-national one.


I agree.

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