Shaikin: Forget Frick. Time to put Vin Scully’s name on this award

The postseason won’t be the same without Vin Scully. The last time we had one without him, “the postseason” was simply called “the World Series,” won by the most famous team in baseball history: the 1927 New York Yankees.

Scully was born a month later, and his successful career included some of the most memorable calls in postseason history, including those 1988 words that will live forever: “In a year so unlikely, the impossible happened!”

If you’re an old Dodgers fan, these 1959 words will live on forever: “Up with it is Mantilla, throws low and wild!” Hodges scores, we’re going to Chicago!” If you’re struck by East Coast bias, these 1986 words will live forever: “It goes through Buckner!”

The postseason begins Friday, two days after the Hall of Fame announced this year’s nominees for the game’s top broadcast award. By the time the Frick Award winner is honored in the Hall of Fame next July, the award should be renamed the Scully.

If you ask me, the award should be renamed after Scully and Jaime Jarrín. No sport fosters closer ties between a station and a fanbase, and no other voice has done it better or longer for a team: 67 years for Scully, 64 years for Jarrín.

Scully was the soundtrack of Southern California’s summer. And as Edward James Olmos noted at Jarrín’s retirement ceremony last week, Jarrín’s dignity — and later Fernando Valenzuela’s popularity — enabled the Dodgers to amass a huge fan base among Latinos wary of absolving the Dodgers of the original sin of building their city-provided stadium Land that was once home to Latino communities.

But when I asked Jarrín, he said the honor should only belong to Scully.

“I think the credit should go to Vin,” Jarrín said.

Why?

“He was the best,” Jarrín said. “He knew baseball very well. He had the talent to paint with words. Nobody else likes him. I think most of my colleagues accept that.

“I think the consensus right now is that they should change the name of the Ford Frick Prize to his name. I am 100% for it.”

— Jaime Jarrín on Vin Scully

“He was the best of the best. No question.”

The Frick Award is named for Ford Frick, Major League Baseball’s third commissioner and the man generally credited with the idea of ​​the Hall of Fame.

Frick was a broadcaster, but only briefly. He spent more time as a newspaper reporter than as a broadcaster. He served MLB for 32 years, first as National League president, then as commissioner. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as an executive.

The game’s top broadcast award should be named after a broadcaster. Scully should be the name.

“I think the consensus right now is that they should change the name of the Ford Frick Prize to his name,” Jarrín said. “I’m 100 percent for it.”

Retired Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, left, jokes with Spanish-language Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin

Retired Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, left, jokes with Spanish-language Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin September 2, 2018 at Dodger Stadium.

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

That feeling has found its way to Cooperstown. Josh Rawitch, the President of the Hall of Fame, doesn’t need convincing of Scully’s size. Raised in Southern California, Rawitch covered the Dodgers as a beat writer and later promoted them to team publicist.

“There are very few people in the history of the game who have had an impact like Vin did,” Rawitch said. “You saw the outpouring of support when he died because he means so much to everyone.”

Rawitch didn’t want to decide whether to rename the award. That would be a matter for the board of directors of the hall.

“Throughout the game, a few people have suggested doing something to honor Vin,” Rawitch said.

“I’m sure we’ll talk about it on the board when the time is right. Most importantly, we already recognize him in the transmitter wing of the Hall of Fame, and he’s a big part of our history throughout the museum. We have to check whether there is anything else.”

The hall also welcomes a baseball author each year. This award was formerly known as the Spink Award, named after the longtime editor of the Sporting News, until a review revealed that during Spink’s tenure, the so-called Bible of baseball was littered with stereotypes and racist language.

The Baseball Writers Assn. of America, which administers this award, voted last year to rename it the Career Excellence Award.

In that case, Halle wouldn’t drop Frick’s name for doing something wrong. And if the hall considered changing the name of the award, there would be calls for support from other legendary broadcasters — including the award’s inaugural winners, Mel Allen and Red Barber.

So, yes, there would be some diplomacy involved. It would not be so easy to change a few pages on the Hall of Fame website in the next few days.

Honestly, the decision shouldn’t be difficult. The game’s greatest broadcasting honor should be renamed in honor of the game’s greatest broadcaster.

Scully has wowed us with a lifetime of great calls. The Hall of Fame just needs to make a grand appeal.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-10-06/put-vin-scully-name-on-frick-award-hall-of-fame Shaikin: Forget Frick. Time to put Vin Scully’s name on this award

Emma Bowman

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