Kubek a Hall of Famer, as a broadcaster


The Associated Press

Tony Kubek, an All-Star shortstop who became a fixture on NBC’s “Game of the Week” telecasts for more than two decades, was honored with the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award on Tuesday.

The award is presented annually for major contributions to baseball broadcasting.

The other finalists were former Reds player and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall, Dizzy Dean, Billy Berroa, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Lanny Frattare, Graham McNamee and Dave Van Horne.

The 73-year-old Kubek will be honored July 26 during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“I’d like to say it’s an award that I’ve received because of what I did, but (my bosses) share an award like this,” Kubek said on a conference call. “An award like this really shouldn’t be about one person.”

After retiring following a nine-year playing career, Kubek worked for NBC, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Yankees for 30 years. He was at the microphone for 11 World Series, 14 AL championship series and 10 All-Star games, and was the color commentator for the final NBC “Game of the Week” telecast on Sept. 30, 1989.

Kubek is the first exclusive television analyst to win the Frick Award, which has been presented since 1978. He also is the first primarily TV broadcaster to be honored since Bob Wolff in 1995, and the first Frick Award winner to have called games for a Canadian team.

“For an entire generation of baseball fans, Tony Kubek was the face and the voice of the game,” Hall president Jeff Idelson said. “In the days before all-sports TV networks, Tony brought baseball into your living room every Saturday afternoon for almost three decades.

“His straightforward style, quick and detailed analysis and no-nonsense commentary on the game’s nuances gave viewers an insider’s look at what the players were experiencing on the field,” Idelson said.

An AL Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star, Kubek retired after the 1965 season and joined the NBC booth that year. After working the weekly backup games for three seasons, he was promoted to the main game in 1969. Over the years, he paired with play-by-play partners Jim Simpson, Curt Gowdy, Joe Garagiola and Bob Costas.

Kubek did local broadcasts for the Blue Jays from 1977-89 and called Yankees’ game from 1990-94.

To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have had a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a club, network or combination of the two. In 2008, more than 200 broadcasters were eligible for consideration for the award.

==More on Kubek from MLB.com (linked here)

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