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Jon Miller wins the Frick Award

Feb 2, 2010, 11:29 AM EDT

Jon Miller.jpgI somehow missed this yesterday, but Giants/ESPN announcer Jon Miller was selected
as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award
, which is given annually to recognize
excellence in baseball broadcasting.

First, a digression: There is no “broadcaster’s wing” in the Hall of Fame. Indeed, broadcasters — even Frick Award winners — are not considered members of the Hall of Fame, even though it is the Hall of Fame which gives out the award. True, the winners are honored in an exhibit
near the Hall’s library, but that no more makes them members of the Hall of Fame than my name on a plaque at the Beckley, West Virginia Rotary Club makes me a Rotarian. They gave me an award once when I was a kid. Miller has one now too.  That doesn’t make him a “Hall of Famer” or put him in the “broadcaster’s wing,” and anyone who writes differently — which appears to be everyone — is full of beans on this point.

That aside, congratulations to Miller on what — no matter what you call it — is a major and prestigious award.  It’s totally deserving in my view, as I find Miller to be a wonderful play-by- play man, even more so on the radio than on TV.  While I appreciate that there are some people who don’t care for him, I can’t help but think their view is clouded by the fact that he has to interact with Joe Morgan every Sunday, which takes him off his game a bit.  That’s on Joe, though, not Miller.

Indeed, if Miller wasn’t there, we would be subjected to a much more concentrated dose of Joe Morgan on a weekly basis, and I don’t think any of us could handle that.

  1. Simon DelMonte - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Hey, I like Joe Morgan. But then I haven’t watched Sunday Night Baseball in years. And when you are unable to listen to a single Yankees game on the radio because of John Sterling, everyone else seems good, I suppose.
    That said, Miller is definitely deserving of this honor. He brings a sense of humor and also a lack of hyperbole often missing from the broadcast booth these days.

  2. Stone - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    I agree with you, he seems to be a pretty decent broadcaster but when mixed with Joe Morgan, he’s brutal. All Miller does during Sunday night baseball is kiss Morgan’s ass like he’s some kind of second coming. Joe Morgan needs to go and I bet Miller would be as relieved as we would be.

  3. snArky Vaughn - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    I am not a Giants fan, and I do like the A’s but I tend to listen to more Giants than A’s games on the radio. Jon Miller is one of those reasons. Actually, the Giants have a very good team of announcers with Miller, Duane Kuiper (JoePo’s guy), Mike Krukow, and a guy named Dave Flemming, who I think, will one day be the next Jon Miller.
    Congrats to Miller though. I always enjoy how he calls a game. He is one of the few announcers that continually updates you on the score and outs in a inning, which is importatnt on the radio. He does some great impersonations (his Scully is great), and once in a while will throw in some Japanese.

  4. Jonny5 - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    This makes me miss the best announcer the world has ever seen……. Waaaaahhhh!!!!

  5. YANKEES1996 - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Congrats on the award Mr. Miller it is well deserved. I used to listen to John Miller on the radio when I would drive down to Baltimore and catch the Yankees playing the O’s, always enjoyed his call of the game especially when a home run was hit, “That ball is well hit, way back there, its’ gone”!

  6. David Martinez - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Are you serious when you say “there are some people who don’t care for him”? Those people need to rethink their lives. I am lucky to be able to listen to Jon here in the Bay Area, and I love hearing him even though I don’t like the Giants. He’s great: smart, funny, articulate, knowledgeable, and impartial.

  7. aceshigh - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    His voice is a bit grating to me…he sounds like a game-show host, but in terms of calling a game, he is quite good. I can think of far worse *cough* Joe Buck, Tim McCarver *cough*

  8. Old Gator - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Well then Craig, here’s a thought.
    If there were a wing for broadcasters in the Hall of Fame, who would be in it?
    To keep things under control, let’s start with an “inaugural” class of inductees, say five or so, to kick things off – the five bedrock best of the lot.
    Then, let’s let the doors fly open and see who gets nominated.
    I think we might want to ask whether we should distinguish betyween play-by-play guys like Mel Allen, Harry Caray and Red Barber, and broadcast journalist types like Bill Mazur, Howard Cosell (whose baseball play by play we could live without) or, oh, Mad Dog Russo. But it ought to be an interesting exercise.

  9. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 2, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    I think I’d be open to anyone. Maybe leave the print writers out for now or do them separate, but my inaugural class would probably be: Red Barber, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully and Jack Buck. The next class could have Kalas and Coleman and those guys, but I think that’s a solid starting five.

  10. Old Gator - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Let’s not allow the print writers at all – unless they’re willing to turn voting for the Hall back over the the fans. Otherwise, you would have a conflict of interest. Why, it’d be like…like… permitting corporations to contribute as much money to political campaigns and PACs as they wanted to. Who could imagine such a thing?
    Meanwhile, here are a few more: Phil Rizzuto, Bob Eucker (for Cleveland, of course), Lindsay Nelson, Ralph Kiner, and Boog Sciambi (yeah, I know, he hasn’t been around that long but he really is that good).

  11. Michael - Feb 2, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Jon Miller is what made many an ESPN Sunday game palatable. He doesn’t do it so much anymore, but 10-15 years ago he could call a slider before it broke. The biggest shame of Peter Angelos’ ownership career is that he fired Miller for inherently stupid reasons.
    Say what you will about Joe Morgan, but he’s at least less grating than McCarver or just about any other color guy ESPN puts in the booth nowadays – more like your forgetful yet opinionated but kindly grandpa. Imagine Miller paired with Steve Phillips or Rick Sutcliffe, or Phillips AND Sutcliffe, and be thankful.
    There are a LOT of broadcasters who could fill a Hall wing. Most of the Ford Frick award winners are worthy.
    No print writers. In general they have been the problem rather than the solution too many times, and in specific the ones most likely to be voted in are the ones who should be kept out.

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