BOB COSTAS was named this year's Ford Frick Award winner by the Baseball HOF for "superiority in broadcasting the sport," something he "calls his highest honor," according to Dan Caesar of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Costas said, "No disrespect of any other award that I’ve been lucky enough to receive, they all mean a great deal to me. This one means the most." Caesar notes Costas was an "integral part of NBC’s baseball coverage" during the '80s, and he later "called games for the now-defunct Baseball Network and again on NBC" in the '90s. Costas, who in recent years has been calling games for MLB Network, also is "known for his perspective and historical pieces." Costas said, "The work that I did on a baseball ‘Game of the Week’ on NBC in the ’80s and then in the ’90s with BOB UECKER and JOE MORGAN on NBC, that it was that history as much as anything else that led to me being lucky enough to being selected." He added baseball has "always been my favorite sport to broadcast." Costas was voted in during his first year of eligibility, and he will receive the Award on July 28 during HOF weekend in Cooperstown. Caesar notes Costas' candidacy "undoubtedly was bolstered by his vast knowledge and appreciation of the history of the game, which he uses to provide perspectives on current events -- and his outspoken, well-thought remarks on issues of the day" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/14). Costas said, "I can remember listening to ERNIE HARWELL on WJR in Detroit and BOB PRINCE on KDK in Pittsburgh. Fiddling with the car radio through the crackle and static trying to pick up JACK BUCK and HARRY CARAY. ... To think that, in a small way, even if I belonged on the bottom of that list, that I'm part of that fraternity, it gave me goosebumps when I got the call" ("MLB Now," MLB Network, 12/13). Costas "beat out" Morgan, JOE BUCK, BUDDY BLATTNER, DIZZY DEAN, DON DRYSDALE, AL MICHAELS and PEE WEE REESE for the award (Belleville NEWS-DEMOCRAT, 12/14).
WORTHY RECIPIENT: In Boston, Chad Finn writes the HOF honoring Costas is "long overdue." He and TONY KUBEK on NBC's Saturday Game of the Week broadcasts "were as good as it got for a young baseball fan in those days" (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 12/14). MLB.com's Joe Posnanski wrote Costas is "at his best, his truest self, when he's on the microphone at a baseball game." Posnanski: "Bob truly loves baseball. That's his sport. He loves the history of baseball, the numbers of baseball, the cadence and tempo and quirks of baseball. ... He can offer fiery thoughts on ways that baseball can improve, or recite obscure baseball statistics that just stick in his head, or just keep you spellbound as he recalls being a kid, sitting in his father's car on a drive on Long Island, turning the radio dial and listening to those voices, all those voices that he knew would help him find his calling" (MLB.com, 12/13).