Though Richie Ashburn entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 for his achievements as a player, he could go in again next year, this time for his career as a broadcaster. According to Philly.com, Ashburn is up for the Ford C. Frick Award, awarded to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball.” Whitey is one of 42 candidates to receive the award this year — along with fellow HoF players Dizzy Dean, Pee Wee Reese, Don Drysdale, Harmon Killebrew, Duke Snider, Ralph Kiner, and other non-player broadcasters — and you can vote for him once a day until September 30th over on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page.
The top three vote getters will be placed on a the HoF ballot “before a Hall of Fame research committee fills out the rest of the ballot early next month,” and the winner will be announced at December’s Winter Meetings.
And in case you’re wondering if Ashburn really deserves the honor, instead of just basing your vote on Philly sports homerism, take this now-popular story from Harry Kalas’ own Hall of Fame speech:
People ask me what it was like working with Richie. His Whiteness and I were together for 27 years, and it was such a joy. He not only brought to the booth baseball expertise, but also laughter. Whitey had a marvelous sense of humor. I remember doing games with him, and it would be getting late in the game, late in the evening, and Whitey would say on the air, “I wonder if the people at Celebres Pizza are listening tonight?” Well, within 15 minutes, bang, pizzas are delivered to the radio booth.
This went on for a little while, and pretty soon Phillies management called him in, and they said, “Richie, Celebres Pizza is not one of our sponsors. We can’t be giving them free plugs.” Now, we do do birthday and anniversary announcements on the air. So shortly after his meeting with the Philadelphia brass, it’s getting late again in the evening, and he’s getting hungry, he said. “Well, I have very special birthday wishes to send out tonight to the Celebres twins, plain and pepperoni.”
That story alone is worth the award.