Rene Cardenas, who helped create the first Spanish-language baseball broadcast in 1958 with the Dodgers and worked 38 years for the Dodgers, Astros and Rangers, is among the 10 named as finalists for the 2011 Ford C. Frick Award, given annually to a baseball broadcaster and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The other nine: Tom Cheek, Dizzy Dean, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Ned Martin, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Dave Van Horne. Cheek, Doucet and King were added to the ballot via fan Facebook.com voting.
The winner will be announced on December 7.
McCarver, Nadel and Van Horne are the only active broadcasters on the ballot. Cardenas and Doucet are the only other living candidates.
Cardenas, 80, worked with future Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin for three seasons, calling games in Spanish for the Dodgers starting in 1959, and then again for 16 seasons starting in 1982. When Cardenas left for a job in Houston in 1961, Jarrin was still a rookie. When he returned several years later, Jarrin had been working with Cardenas’ replacement, Jose Garcia, but already on his way to solidifying his status as a Dodgers legend.
To us, the most interesting names to pop up here are McCarver and Dean.
Like it or not, McCarver has been in the TV booth for 30 seasons, the last 15 for Fox. This year he will extend a streak of 21 years working in the postseason.
Dean did 24 years in St. Louis and nationally on CBS’ Game of the Week from 1955-65 following a Hall of Fame pitching career. He would be the first to be named to the Hall as both a player and broadcaster.
To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network, or a combination of the two. In 2010, more than 200 broadcasters were eligible for consideration.