Richie Ashburn a Finalist for Ford C. Frick Award


Sep 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws a pitch during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies’ legend Richie Ashburn is a top 10 finalist for the prestigious Ford C. Frick Awards, the most prestigious award for a baseball broadcaster.

Ashburn, already a 1995 inductee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is seeking to become the first Hall of Famer to win the award.  This time around both Richie Ashburn and fellow finalist Ralph Kiner have a chance to complete this feat.

After his decorated playing career ended in 1962, Ashburn took to the broadcasting booth in 1963 with the Philadelphia Phillies.  He spent 12 years in the Phillies’ outfield before spending 34 years behind the microphone, many of them beside the legendary Harry Kalas.

The charismatic duo of Ashburn and Kalas is widely considered one of the greatest of all time.  The two legends became great friends and their on-air antics are still remembered today.  Harry Kalas would often refer to his partner as “His Whiteness” in the booth.  Ashburn, who was nicknamed “Whitey” in his playing days was famous for having very light hair.

Perhaps the most colorful banter between the two came when Ashburn claimed he would sleep with his bats just be sure the clubhouse manager couldn’t mistake his bats for others the next game.  Many pizzas were ordered to the booth from Celebre’s pizzeria in Philadelphia during games as Ashburn had a common practice of mentioning the restaurant while on air in order to receive fresh pies a short time later.

In 1997, what was said to be Ashburn’s final year in the booth, he died of a heart attack on September 9th.

The Ford C. Frick Award is named after the former Baseball commissioner and National League president who also served time in sports media.

A panel of previous Ford C. Frick Award winners will vote on the winner that will be announced during Winter Meetings.