McNamee wins Frick Award for baseball broadcasting
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Graham McNamee has won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting.
Baseball’s Hall of Fame made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings.
McNamee is the 40th winner of the Frick Award. He will be honored during the Hall of Fame awards presentation on July 23 in Cooperstown, New York.
An aspiring opera singer turned broadcaster almost by accident, McNamee called every World Series from 1923-34 and also worked the first four MLB All-Star games from 1933-1936.
“Graham McNamee defined what it was to broadcast baseball games to a nationwide audience,” Hall president Jeff Idelson said.
“Without any blueprint, he created a genre, bringing baseball to an even bigger, national stage: The new medium of radio. The legendary voices of the last three-quarters of a century can trace their lineage straight to Graham. Baseball’s scope and popularity were forever widened in the wake of his pioneering work.”
During a lunch break while on jury duty in 1923, McNamee auditioned for a job at New York City radio station WEAF. That fall, he was paired in the booth with famed sportswriter Grantland Rice for the World Series between the Yankees and New York Giants.
McNamee was a versatile announcer, working at major events for NBC, calling auto races, boxing matches, political conventions and the return of Charles Lindbergh from his trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. McNamee was featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1927.
Born in 1888, McNamee died in 1942 at the age of 53.
The 10 finalists for the Frick award this year all made their marks from broadcasting’s origins through the mid-1950s, identified as the Broadcasting Dawn Era following the restructuring of the Frick Award election process in 2013.