Padres have eight Frick candidates
Leitner, Vasgersian, Grant headline award candidates
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have eight eligible candidates for the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award, the annual award that reserves a place for the recipient in the "Scribes and Mikemen" wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Channel 4 San Diego broadcasters Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant, Mighty XX Sports Radio play-by-play men Ted Leitner and Andy Masur, Spanish TV/radio broadcasters Eduardo Ortega and Juan Avila are all eligible for the honor, as are retired Padres broadcasters Bob Chandler and Gustavo Lopez Moreno.
Balloting for the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence begins Sept. 1, with the top three vote-getters by the fans 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 July 26, 2009, 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 will carry 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.
Vasgersian is in his seventh season as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Padres. He came to San Diego after five years as the Brewers' lead play-by-play man. The 1989 University of Southern California graduate has broadcasted at every level in baseball.
Vasgersian's partner in the broadcast booth, Grant, has provided color commentary for the Padres for the last 12 seasons. He's been with Channel 4 San Diego since its inception in 1997, two years after retiring from Major League Baseball, where he had a career 22-32 record and a 4.31 ERA in 233 big league games.
Leitner has been the Padres' radio play-by-play man for the last 29 seasons, part of a 33-year career in broadcasting San Diego sports.
Masur, who is in his second season with the Padres, previously worked for the Chicago Cubs from 1999-2006.
Ortega has been the Padres' Spanish TV and radio broadcaster for the last 22 years, and he has been broadcasting Major League Baseball for 21 years. Since 2000, he has been the Spanish play-by-play man for the All-Star Game, and over his long career has also called 10 World Series. For nine winter seasons, he's been the voice of the Caribbean World Series for Galavision and the FOX Sports Network as well as for radio networks from four different host countries.
Ortega's broadcast partner, Avila, has called Padres games for the past 12 seasons.
Chandler, a fixture on the San Diego sports scene, joined Jerry Coleman on the radio-television crew for the Padres in 1972 and was front and center for many of the team's greatest moments. A versatile broadcaster who retired in 2003, Chandler served as play-by-play man alongside Coleman, forging a popular team that greatly enhanced the club's popularity.
Moreno spent 23 seasons calling Padres games on the Spanish-speaking radio. He brought Padres action to Spanish-speaking fans from the team's inception in 1969 to 1991, when he retired.
Dave Niehaus, the long-time voice of the Seattle Mariners, was the recipient at the 2008 induction in July, 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 on-line voting were the Cincinnati Reds' Joe Nuxhall, the Oakland Athletics' Bill King and Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan of "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.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.