Legendary Tribe broadcaster Jack Graney worthy of 2016 Frick Award consideration
We in Cleveland are blessed with the best radio announcers in all of Major League Baseball today. But before we were graced with timeless sounds and banter between Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus, we had Jack Graney.
Jack Graney was the Tribe radio broadcaster from 1921-1944 and broadcast some of the most historic events in baseball history. Before his days behind a microphone, Graney played his entire major league career with the Indians, from 1908-1921.
There’s a strong case that Graney should be deserving of the 2016 Ford C. Frick Award. The award is given to a broadcaster who worked during the Broadcasting Dawn Era (roughly 1930-55) for “major contributions to baseball.”
Author Barbara’s Gregorich’s story makes the case; you can read the full version here:
That word “first” is important because Jack Graney, by both disposition and happenstance, was a man of many, many firsts. He was called up to the majors in 1910 and assigned to play League Park’s left field, which at one spot extended 505 feet. He was assigned to the first position in the batting order. Graney had a keen eye for balls and strikes and, because of his discerning eye, often drew walks. [He led the league in walks in 1917 (94) and 1919 (105).] As leadoff batter Jack often posted the first hit of the season, or the first run of the season, for his team.
It is due to Jack Graney’s courage, love of baseball, and character that he stepped into the future in 1932, when he became the first former major leaguer to become a baseball broadcaster. And that was for the team he had dedicated his playing life to: the Cleveland Indians…..Jack Graney was the first former baseball player to nationally broadcast a World Series.
And Jack Graney, if given the award, would become the first Ford Frick recipient born in the 19th century. Not only the first, but most likely theonly. Ever. Think about the significance of that for a moment. Each and every one of the 39 Ford Frick Award honorees was born in the 20th century. Although baseball broadcasting did not come into being until the 20th century, baseball as we know it was born in the 19th century.
Click here to help vote Graney into the Hall of Fame! Fans can vote every day until early October.
-TribeVibe Contributor Ryan Delgado