Longtime broadcaster and current FOX voice Tim McCarver was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award, according to the Hall of Fame. The award, presented for broadcast excellence, is not the same as an induction into the Hall of Fame, but the Hall of Fame will feature a little thing about McCarver in the broadcaster's section, and you'll have to pay to see it, so it's as close as a media-type can get. And I know what you're thinking: It's about time.
McCarver is a universally beloved figure in the baseball world -- a way for us to see how big Vin Scully's star would have grown if he had continued to do national baseball games. His annual snubbing by the Hall became a cause célèbre for the enlightened, but the tortured wailing can stop; McCarver has been honored for the Ford C. Frick Award. Type it again and again if you'd like. It doesn't feel ridiculous at all.
The 70-year-old McCarver was a catcher during his playing days, earning two All-Star appearances and three World Series trips with the St. Louis Cardinals. Looking at the careers of McCarver and right-hander Bob Gibson, there's a chance that they may have overlapped, and that McCarver might have caught Gibson, though McCarver has declined to comment on that possibility.
McCarver is also known for his precision and meticulousness in his broadcasts, and he's famous for "The McCarver Pause," where he'll let a moment of dead air linger in the broadcast booth as he gathers his thoughts, arranging the words in just the right order like a master wordsmith. The careful way with which he breaks down the action on the field was even the subject of a popular documentary.
The award is selected by historians and past winners. From the Hall's website:
The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 15 living Frick Award recipients and five broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, 2011 Frick Award winner Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of NY Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).
Baseball enthusiasts: Pick another battle. Ron Santo and Bert Blyleven are in the Hall of Fame, and now Tim McCarver has won the Ford C. Frick Award. It's proof that sometimes those windmills will crumble after you tilt at them long enough. Well done, everybody. Well done.