The Ford C. Frick Award is presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the United States to a broadcaster for major contributions to baseball. It is named for Ford Christopher Frick, the former Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Before his career as an executive, Frick was a baseball writer who gained fame as a ghostwriter for Babe Ruth in the 1920s. The award was created in 1978 and named in tribute to Frick following his death that year.
Though they are sometimes erroneously referred to as "Hall of Famers", honorees are not inducted into the Hall of Fame. Honorees (if living) give a speech at the Hall of Fame during induction weekend, and their names are added to a plaque in the Hall's library. For several years in the early 2000s, Frick Award honorees also became life members of the Veterans Committee, which considers candidates for Hall of Fame induction who are not eligible for the regular voting by the Baseball Writers Association of Americaspecifically, players no longer on the BBWAA ballot and all non-players. However, starting with the 2008 elections, voting for players on the main Veterans Committee ballot was restricted to Hall of Fame members. After further changes announced for the 2011 elections, Frick Award winners are eligible to serve on all three of the Veterans Committee voting bodies that consider candidates from different eras of baseball.
Since 2004, fans have been allowed to vote for three of the award's ten annual nominees. The remaining seven candidates are selected by a committee consisting of previous Frick Award winners and broadcast historians and columnists.
"Gene Elston's soothing voice and knowledgeable broadcasts helped educate and entertain generations of budding fans as baseball headed south. Today, the Houston area is one the real baseball hotbeds in the country, and Gene's influence for a quarter of a century is largely responsible. We can't wait to honor Gene and his family this summer in Cooperstown." - Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey (National Baseball Hall of Fame Newsletter, 02/22/2006)
The winners of the Ford C. Frick Award are not truly "members" of the hall of fame . Their names are inscribed on an exhibit called "Scribes and Mikemen" outside of the main library at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ford Frick —this award is named in his honor—might be best thought of as the Commish of Major League Baseball , but did you know that he was originally a reporter who became a National League public relations officer?
When Harry Caray (recipient of the 1989 Ford C. Frick Award) passed away, the Chicago Cubs wore an honorary patch during the following season in his honor.