Before the Winter Meetings came to a close in Nashville on Thursday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Graham McNamee, the voice of the first ever World Series broadcast on radio in 1923, will become the 40th recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. The Frick Award is presented annually for excellence in broadcasting.
A broadcasting pioneer, McNamee became a household name as a radio announcer for twelve consecutive World Series from 1923 to 1934 across Westinghouse, CBS, and NBC. McNamee was initially paired with renowned sportswriter Grantland Rice on the 1923 World Series as the New York Yankees collected their first World Championship against the rival New York Giants in six games.
After calling his first World Series for WEAF radio in New York City, McNamee became the premier sportscaster in the United States. He would go on to add the Rose Bowl, Indianapolis 500, and boxing matches to a sizable resumé of accomplishments.
McNamee also was behind the microphone for the first presidential convention heard on radio in 1924 and three years later appeared on the cover of Time magazine. The Hollywood Walk of Fame honored McNamee with a star shortly after his death in 1942. He eventually earned induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2011.
“Graham McNamee defined what it was to broadcast baseball games to a nationwide audience,” said Hall president Jeff Idelson. “Without any blueprint, he created a genre, bringing baseball to an even bigger, national stage: The new medium of radio. The legendary voices of the last three-quarters of a century can trace their lineage straight to Graham. Baseball’s scope and popularity were forever widened in the wake of his pioneering work.”
The induction ceremony for McNamee will take place on Saturday July 23, 2016 in Cooperstown, New York along with Spink Award winner Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. Induction for the players selected by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America will take place the following day.