COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Cleveland Indians outfielder and commentator Jack Graney has won the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.
Graney, who died in 1978, will be honored during the Hall's induction weekend from July 22-25.
Graney first played for Cleveland, then known as the Naps, as a pitcher for two games in 1908. He returned as an outfielder in 1910 and played through 1922, a time when the team became known as the Indians. The team's nickname changed to the Guardians this offseason.
He was the first big league batter to hit against Babe Ruth in 1914 and two years later became the first 20th century batter with a uniform number. He earned a World Series title with Cleveland in 1920.
He started as a broadcaster in 1932 with WHK-AM and commented on Indians games for 22 years for WHK, WGAR, WJW and WERE, missing 1945 when local programming was preempted by network broadcasts. He called the 1935 All-Star Game in Cleveland and the 1935 World Series.
“Jack Graney was a pioneer in the broadcast industry, not only establishing a model for game descriptions in the earliest days of radio but also for blazing a trail for former players to transition to the broadcast booth,” Hall President Josh Rawitch said in a statement Wednesday.
Others on this year's ballot, which included the commentators from baseball's broadcast beginnings, included Pat Flanagan, Waite Hoyt, France Laux, Rosey Rowswell, Hal Totten, Ty Tyson and Bert Wilson.
Voters included 13 living Frick winners — Marty Brennaman, Bob Costas, Ken Harrelson, Jaime Jarrín, Tony Kubek, Tim McCarver, Denny Matthews, Al Michaels, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne — and historians/columnists David J. Halberstam, Barry Horn and Curt Smith.
Next year's ballot includes major league markets and the fall of 2023 ballot includes national voices.
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