It happens every December, and at the end of July or the beginning of August, a new Ford Frick award winner takes his place in Cooperstown. Under the relatively new rules, this year was the year for a pioneer to be enshrined. The former voice of the Indians, Jack Graney was selected. Mandy Bell of MLB.com told the world this way:
Cleveland fans are guaranteed at least one reason to celebrate at next year’s Hall of Fame induction.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that former Cleveland play-by-play voice Jack Graney has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, which is presented annually for excellence in broadcasting.
“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,” said Josh Rawitch, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in a press release.
“In calling Cleveland’s games for parts of three decades after a successful playing career of his own, Graney brought the exploits of future Hall of Famers like Earl Averill, Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller and Satchel Paige into homes throughout Ohio’s North Coast, becoming as much a part of the fabric of the team as the players themselves. His attention to detail and love for the game made Jack Graney one of the National Pastime’s radio legends.”
Graney did what no other Major League player had done before. After being the first player to bat against Babe Ruth in the big leagues in 1914 and being the first player to bat with a number on his uniform two years later, he was the first to transition from player to broadcaster.
Graney’s playing career started with the Cleveland Naps in 1908, and he was part of the World Series-winning club before retiring in 1922. But more than a decade later, in 1933, he decided to pick up a microphone. For 22 seasons, Graney stayed in the booth, becoming one of the most beloved voices in Northeast Ohio as he called games on WHK, WGAR, WJW and WERE, spending time alongside the 1997 Frick Award winner, Jimmy Dudley.
Graney passed away on April 20, 1978, and now his legacy will live on forever, thanks to the 16-member Frick Award voting electorate. Graney was one of eight broadcasting pioneers on the final ballot, topping Pat Flanagan, Waite Hoyt, France Laux, Rosey Rowswell, Hall Totten, Ty Tyson and Bert Wilson to become the 46th recipient.
Following on from what Mandy Bell said, if you go to youtube, look up July 7 1942 Service All Star game. While announcers Bob Elson of Chicago and the Reds’ rookie broadcaster Waite Hoyt get credits, Jack Graney gets some air time. It is the only known recording of the 2022 Ford Frick winner. It’s in reasonably good shape considering the recording is nearly 80 years old. The sound is far better than the only known recording of the Cubs’ Bert Wilson-and that sound was from 1955, the year Wilson died. Listen, enjoy and salute the latest winner among the voices of the game.0
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