Cheek, Van Horne among Frick award finalists
Winner of broadcast honour to be named Dec. 9 at baseball's winter meetings
Canada is well represented on the ballot for baseball's Ford C. Frick award.
Former Montreal Expos broadcasters Jacques Doucet and Dave Van Horne and late Toronto Blue Jays play-by-play man Tom Cheek were among the 10 finalists selected Monday in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The award is given annually at the baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for excellence in broadcasting. It is named after Hall of Famer Ford C. Frick, a renowned sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and baseball commissioner.
Doucet, the Expos' French radio play-by-play voice from 1972 to 2004, finished second in fan balloting with 10,282 votes, behind only former Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Joe Nuxhall (19,547).
Cheek, who called more than 4,300 consecutive regular-season games for the Blue Jays prior to his death in October 2005, earned 8,992 votes. He'll appear on the ballot for a fourth consecutive year.
Nuxhall, a 135-game winner during 16 major league seasons spent almost entirely with the Reds, died last year of cancer.
A Hall of Fame research committee selected Van Horne, who now calls games for the Florida Marlins. Billy Berroa, Ken Coleman, Dizzy Dean, Lanny Frattare, Tony Kubek and Graham McNamee are also in the running.
Cheek died at the age of 66 after a long battle with brain cancer.
He had called every Blue Jays game since their inception in 1977 until learning of his father's death on June 3, 2004.
Cheek missed that night's broadcast to join his family in Salinas, Calif., ending a 27 1/2 year streak of 4,306 consecutive regular-season games plus 41 post-season games.
His famous call of Joe Carter's 1993 World Series winning home run — "Touch 'em all Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life" — was, perhaps, his finest moment in broadcasting.
Voting will be conducted by the 15 living winners of the award, given for excellence in baseball broadcasting, and five broadcast historians/columnists.
The winner will be announced Dec. 9 at the winter meetings in Las Vegas.