Frick Award can cap Coleman's career

Frick Award can cap Coleman's career

The unmistakable voice of Ken Coleman echoed throughout the New England region via car stereos and transistor radios during the "Impossible Dream" season of 1967.

It was there again in 1979, when Coleman feverishly told Red Sox fans that Carl Yastrzemski had singled to right for hit No. 3,000. Four years later, Coleman, with high drama, chronicled Yaz's emotional farewell in a Boston uniform.

Then came the magical summer of 1986, when Coleman called a record-setting 20th strikeout from the lightning-bolt right arm of Roger Clemens, and a season-saving home run off the bat of Dave Henderson in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series from Anaheim, Calif.

For 20 years, Coleman, the pride of Quincy, Mass., was the voice of his hometown Boston Red Sox. And those games are just a small sample of a distinguished broadcasting career that makes Coleman a strong contender for the 2007 Ford C. Frick Award, which recognizes excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Online voting on MLB.com is already under way, with fans having the entire month of November to cast votes for up to three baseball broadcasters.

Presented annually since 1978, the Ford C. Frick Award is given to an active or retired broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.

Fans will have the opportunity to vote for up to three of the nearly 200 broadcasters eligible for consideration for the 2007 Ford C. Frick Award. Fans are allowed to vote once daily. Results will be announced in early December. The fans' selections, along with the full ballot of 10 candidates, will be announced in late January.

The final ballot will be comprised of three online selections, along with seven other candidates determined by a Hall of Fame research team. The Frick electorate includes all living award winners and six historians appointed by the Hall of Fame.

Coleman, who died in the summer of 2003, represents a strong contingent of former or current Red Sox announcers that also includes the late Ned Martin. Current Sox announcers Jerry Remy (television) and Joe Castiglione (radio) are also nominees.

Coleman called games for the Red Sox from 1966-74 and 1979-89. Before going home to become the voice of the Sox, Coleman called every touchdown scored by NFL legend Jim Brown.

In all, Coleman spent 35 years as a Major League broadcaster, also calling games for the Indians (1954-63) and Reds (1975-78).

While Coleman traveled around a bit during his illustrious career, Martin was a rock of stability, calling Red Sox games from 1961 until his retirement following the 1992 season.

Martin happened to be a rookie in Boston the very same year eventual Hall of Famer Yastrzemski broke into Fenway. He called more Yaz moments than any other broadcaster.

And he had a signature expression that he delivered in his typically low-key way. It was one word: "Mercy." Martin had a way of using that word to say just about anything, and Red Sox fans always seemed to relate.

Only Martin has had a longer continuous run on the Red Sox airwaves than Castiglione, who has been a radio announcer with the team for the last 24 years.

Of course, Castiglione got to make the call every Red Sox broadcaster dreamed of making on the night of Oct. 27, 2004.

"Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by [Ken] Foulke, he has it, he underhands to first and the Boston Red Sox are the world champions!" exclaimed Castiglione from the radio booth at Busch Stadium. "For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball's world championship. Can you believe it?"

Jerry Trupiano -- Castiglione's partner for the last 14 years and a free agent this winter -- is on the ballot as well. He's known for a booming voice and his "Way back! Way back!" roar on prodigious home runs.

Another candidate is television play-by-play man Sean McDonough, who was a fixture calling Red Sox games from 1988-2004. Though McDonough is most known in the Boston area, where he has lived his entire life, he is no stranger to the national baseball audience.

He was the lead play-by-play man for CBS in 1992-93, providing him the chance to call Joe Carter's legendary, walkoff homer in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. McDonough put a nice capper on that moment by bellowing, "Winner and still world champions, the Toronto Blue Jays."

McDonough, during his Red Sox years, was known for his concise descriptions and entertaining dialogue with color commentator Remy.

The wildly popular Remy has been in the Red Sox booth since 1988. Remy was known by Boston fans long before his years as a broadcaster. He played second base for the Sox from 1978-84 and was popular for his gritty style of play. On Nov. 9, he will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. But he has become a folk hero during his years in the broadcast booth, being known as the "Rem Dawg" by fans all across Red Sox Nation.

Other candidates who have the Red Sox on their resume are Ken Harrelson (1975-81), Jon Miller (1980-82), Jim Britt (1940-42), Fred Hoey (1925-38), Bob Kurtz (1993-2000), Bob Montgomery (1982-95), Bob Starr (1990-92) and Jim Woods (1974-78).

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.