Cincinnati Reds connection to great announcers and Ford Frick finalists

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have strong ties to two of the Ford C. Frick Award finalists for 2018.

Two former members of the Cincinnati Reds are nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame.  The Hall Fame announced the finalists for the 2018 Ford C. Frick Award.  They are Buddy Blattner, Joe Buck, Bob Costas, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Al Michaels, Joe Morgan and Pee Wee Reese.

Some younger Reds fan may only know Michaels as the voice of Sunday Night Football.  Alongside former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cris Collinsworth, the Skyline Chili references are common place.  The reason is that from 1971 through 1973, Michaels was the play by play announcer for the Reds.

After leaving the Reds, Michaels moved out west to cover the San Francisco Giants and UCLA basketball.  He did that for three seasons.  Then he signed a deal with ABC sports.

For Olympic fans, Michaels’ call of the Miracle on Ice was one of the most memorable announcing jobs in American history.  That was the 1980 Winter Olympics medal round for hockey that pitted the United States team against that of the USSR.  The US won 4-3.

Michaels was also the play by play man for Monday Night Football for twenty seasons.  He began in 1986 and stayed with the franchise until it moved to ESPN in 2006.  At that time Michaels followed his commentator at the time, John Madden, to NBC where he still is with Collinsworth.

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The other member of the Cincinnati Reds is better known for his on the field play and his Honda dealership.

Joe Morgan is the best second baseman in the history of the Reds and likely in all of baseball.  He combined offense with defense at a time before anyone else was doing it.  To this day many of his career offensive stats still stand.  He also sells a nice Honda.

Morgan followed up his baseball career with a career as announcer.

He was on the microphone the day that Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s records for most hits in a season.  Then he left Cincinnati for San Francisco.

Morgan went from ABC to NBC before finally finding a permanent home with ESPN.  For years he partnered with Johnny Miller on ESPN, but he also had other partners and assignments.  He also controversially took aim at the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis that discussed how the Oakland Athletics valued players at the big league level.

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If this is about announcing, there are few if any better than Michaels.  If it is about connections, then Morgan has a chance.  Then again Jack Buck’s baby boy, Joe, is also on the ballot.