The announcement that Milwaukee native Tony Kubek won the Ford C. Frick Award for contributions to baseball broadcasting was very well received by a pair of current Milwaukee baseball broadcasters -- Brewers radio announcer Jim Powell and his TV counterpart, Brian Anderson.
"I have been rooting for Tony Kubek to get the Frick award for several years and have had a hard time understanding why he wasn't already in," Powell told OnMilwaukee.com in an e-mail shortly after the announcement.
"I guess it was a bit of a leap for some voters to support a broadcaster who was an analyst and not a play by play man, but it is not a leap for me. As a young baseball fan, hearing the voices of Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek instantly meant the game was huge and demanded my attention. I have missed watching him break down a game since the moment he retired."
"There are only a few sounds that can conjure up specific memories of my childhood," he said in an e-mail. "Tony Kubek's voice is one of those sounds. As a kid sitting in the living room with my brother watching games, Kubek's delivery was unmistakably "baseball," and as comfortable as the living room itself."
A standout shortstop during his career, Kubek was adept at explaining situations and strategies while they unfolded.
"Kubek helped pioneer the transition of the second announcer from a sidekick, or "color man," to that of a serious analyst providing in-depth breakdown and insight -- a model still used today," Anderson said. "It's fitting that he's the first true baseball "analyst" elected into the broadcasters wing of the Hall of Fame."
Said Powell: "I know he was a good player, but as a broadcaster he was an icon for a generation of baseball fans. The Frick voters rarely back a television broadcaster and have never voted in a true analyst before now, but in Kubek they wisely made exceptions on both fronts. The Hall is richer today because of the addition of Tony Kubek to the list of Ford C. Frick Award winners.
"Plus, you just can't have enough Wisconsinites in Cooperstown."
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.