Physioc, Hudler, Mota up for Frick honor
Many with ties to Angels eligible for Hall's broadcasting award
Three current Angels broadcasters -- Steve Physioc, Rex Hudler and Jose Mota -- are among the candidates for the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence.
Other candidates with ties to the Angels include Mario Impemba, Bill Schroeder, Jerry Remy and Amaury Pi-Gonzalez, plus retired broadcasters Ken Brett, Buddy Blattner, Dick Enberg, Ron Fairly, Paul Olden, Bob Starr, Ulpiano Cos Villa and Ken Wilson, and the late Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale.Balloting is under way online, with the top three vote-getters automatically qualifying for the 10-member ballot that will be formulated by a 20-member committee and announced Oct. 6. The winner will be announced Dec. 9 at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas and will receive the award during the induction ceremony on July 26, 2009, during Hall of Fame weekend, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y. Fans may vote for up to three of their favorites among 210 broadcasters eligible in balloting conducted exclusively on the Hall's Web site, baseballhalloffame.org, which carries biographical sketches of each candidate. Fans can vote up to once a day throughout September. Results will be announced when voting concludes Sept. 30. There will be no updates provided during the voting period. Dave Niehaus, the longtime voice of the Seattle Mariners, was the recipient in 2008, which marked the 30th anniversary of the award that was first presented to legendary figures Mel Allen and Red Barber. The award was named for the late broadcaster, National League president, Commissioner and Hall of Famer. Frick was a driving force behind the creation of the Hall of Fame and helped foster the relationship between radio and the game of baseball. The three broadcasters named to the ballot last year through online voting were the Cincinnati Reds' Joe Nuxhall, the Oakland Athletics' Bill King and Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. The other nominees selected by the 20-member committee were former Game of the Week broadcasters Dizzy Dean and Tony Kubek; play-by-play voices Tom Cheek (Toronto Blue Jays), Ken Coleman (Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox), Dave Van Horne (Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins); and broadcasting legend Graham McNamee (NBC), who called 12 World Series beginning in 1923. Past Frick Award winners include Niehaus, Denny Matthews, Gene Elston, Jerry Coleman, Marty Brennaman, Herb Carneal, Joe Garagiola, Ernie Harwell, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Harry Kalas, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker and Bob Wolff. Currently the Angels' TV play-by-play man, Physioc has been in the business for 26 years and has been with the Angels since 1996. He began his Major League play-by-play announcing career in 1983, broadcasting the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and Reds games until 1987. Physioc then moved on to San Francisco, where he served as a Giants announcer from 1987-88. He worked for ESPN from 1989-95, announcing Major League Baseball, college basketball and Big Ten football. In 1995, Physioc announced Padres games and Pac-10 football games for FOX Sports West. Other experience includes radio and television play-by-play for the NBA's Golden State Warriors from 1989-91 and for the Vancouver Grizzlies during their inaugural season, 1995-96. Hudler has been the Angels' color commentator for 10 years, now alongside Physioc. He began his career as a correspondent for Good Morning America during the 1997 MLB playoffs and 1998 Super Bowl before joining the Angels' booth in 1998. Hudler has twice been named the Television Color Analyst of the Year in Southern California, earning the honor in 2003 and 2005. Hudler was a first-round pick in 1978 and played in the Majors for 13 seasons, including three with the Angels from 1994-96. Mota has been a broadcaster for the last 12 years and has been in the Angels' Spanish language radio booth since 2002. Mota began work on the Game of the Week in 1997 and continued through 2001 while also doing play-by-play for DirecTV's intercontinental Major League broadcasts that provided weekly coverage to 26 Latin American countries. In addition to FOX Game of the Week duties, Mota has been awarded extensive playoff duties and was front and center during the 2007 Major League All-Star Game in San Francisco. He also has worked NFL broadcasts for the network. The son of Manny Mota, an esteemed Major League outfielder, Jose Mota played for the Padres in 1991 and for the Royals in 1995. Niehaus broadcast Angels games from 1969-76, but for the last 30 years, he's been the voice of the Mariners. Niehaus began his career working for the Armed Forces Radio and TV Network, calling the action of Dodgers games before moving to New York to handle Yankees baseball. From 1969-76, Niehaus teamed with Enberg and Drysdale to call the action for the California Angels. Enberg was behind the microphone for Angels games from 1968-78 and has been one of the most recognizable sportscasters for the past four decades. Enberg has won 13 Emmy Awards, nine Sportscaster of the Year Awards and is the only person to win a national Emmy as a sportscaster, writer and producer. Enberg currently works for CBS Sports.
Drysdale, a Hall of Fame Dodgers pitcher, was a broadcaster for 23 years, including the last six with the Dodgers, until his sudden death during the 1993 season. He began his announcing career with the Expos in 1970-71, followed by one year with the Texas Rangers and eight years with the Angels. He did national telecasts for ABC-TV for a decade beginning in 1977 and broadcast for the White Sox from 1982-87, then rejoined the Dodgers in 1988, teaming with Scully for six years.Other former Angels broadcasters named as candidates for the Frick Award include Impemba, 1995-2001; Fairly, 1982-86; Blattner, 1962-68; Brett, 1988-96; Olden, 1991; Starr, 1980-89; Wilson, 1991-95; and Spanish language broadcasters Villa, 1983-92, and Pi-Gonzalez, 2007.
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.