It's the time of the year where the announcers and media types are nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award. It's also the time of year where pedants breathlessly remind you that the eventual sections won't be "Hall of Famers" who are actually "in the Hall of Fame" but that they'll be Ford C. Frick winners, who will have plaques and be honored in the Hall of Fame. You can see the distinction.
The Giants, of course, have done very well in the Frick awards over the years. Russ Hodges was one of the first honorees, Lon Simmons was honored in 2004, and Jon Miller went in two years ago. This is of note now because the big list of potential nominees is out, and it has a Giants' aftertaste, he said, too tired to come up with Pat Burrell joke.
The list of 41 consists of: Joe Angel, Richie Ashburn, Alan Ashby, Bert Blyleven, Lou Boudreau, Thom Brennaman, Rodger Brulotte, Joe Buck, Steve Busby, Skip Caray, Joe Castiglione, Tom Cheek, Don Chevrier, Gary Cohen, Jerry Doggett, Jacques Doucet, Dick Enberg, Ed Farmer, Ray Fosse, Hank Greenwald, Tom Grieve, Tom Hamilton, Ken Harrelson, Mark Holtz, Pat Hughes, Jim Hunter, Todd Kalas, Bill King, Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper, Eric Nadel, Joe Nuxhall, Phil Rizzuto, Ron Santo, Mike Shannon, Charlie Slowes, Dewayne Staats, Steve Stone, Pete Van Wieren, Mike Wilner and Bert Wilson.
Joe Angel. Huh. And, oh, Joe Buck. Mmm hmmm. Dewayne Staats should get in, but that's because I'm mistakenly convinced he was the Bill James of Dutch baseball (honkbal). Ron Santo and Bert Blyleven can't get in until another 20 years of vicious arguing. And if this were a contest decided by "most copies of 1983 Fleer card I've owned", Alan Ashby would destroy the competition.
Wait, Ken Harrelson. That ... wait, that's not "Hawk" ... I mean ... no, no, it can't be. I'm not even looking it up.
But this is of note on a Giants site because of the following names:
- Hank Greenwald
- Mike Krukow
- Duane Kuiper
Kruk and Kuip are regional treasures, and blessed are we to have them call games for us, even if I will pay someone $50 never to hear the term "gamer babe" again. They've both contributed to my love and enjoyment of baseball like few others, and I want them to get the highest honors possible.
But they'll get in. If not this time, then soon. They're a multi-decade duo that's been covering the same team this whole time. Well, except that season Kuiper cheated on us with the Rockies, but he learned his lesson.
No, they'll get in. Hank Greenwald, though, will need help. And while I absolutely adore the current announcing crew, they weren't the soundtrack to my youth and my fledgling appreciation for baseball. Greenwald was. And maybe it's fanboyism and nostalgia talking, but he truly was one of the best baseball announcers I've ever heard.
The 41 names up there will get whittled down to 10 after a fan vote.
Round 2 of voting for this group of 41 began on Monday, and fans can continue to make their selections until Oct. 9 at www.facebook.com/baseballhall. The finals will include all 10 nominees, with the winner announced during the Winter Meetings Dec. 3-6 in Nashville, Tenn.
If we learned anything this year, it's that Giants fans could get Melky Cabrera a Ford C. Frick finalist slot if they really wanted to. Vote early, and vote often.
And while you'll vote for Kruk and Kuip, as you should, all I'm asking is that you don't forget Greenwald. He's kind of a forgotten man in the Giants organization, possibly because he left on bad terms with Larry Baer, but he's a worthy recipient, at least to this homer.
This video includes interviews and appearances with all three. The video is also awesome.
Also of note: Bill King was also the best, and you should vote for him too. That's four. You have a job to do. Write the names down.