The Giants and its broadcast partners, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and KNBR Radio today launched a campaign to urge fans to vote longtime Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper onto the Ford C. Frick Award Ballot at facebook.com/baseballhall.
The Frick Award is given annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame to one broadcaster for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Voters are asked to base their selections on longevity; continuity with a Club; honors, including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games; and popularity with fans.
This year, the Hall of Fame restructured the Frick Award selection process by organizing the candidates by era. This year's vote will focus on those broadcasters whose main body of work came from the mid-1980s through the present. The Hall has given fans the opportunity select three of the 10 Frick finalists through fan voting on Facebook (facebook.com/baseballhall).
Giants fans are encouraged to vote for Duane Kuiper at facebook.com/baseballhall. Fans can vote once per day and the Giants urge their fans to vote early and often and to spread the word among their friends. Voting ends September 30th.
"Given the Hall of Fame's criteria, I cannot think of another candidate who better represents this era of baseball broadcasting than Duane Kuiper," said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. "Duane has been at the top of his craft for nearly 30 years. He and his partner Mike Krukow - along with the rest of our Emmy award-winning broadcast team - have brought Giants baseball into our fans' homes. Duane has been the Giants link to our fans for so many memorable and historic moments - from Barry Bonds 756th home run, Randy Johnson's 300th win, Matt Cain's perfect game, playoff games and two World Series championships.
"He has a special knack for balancing his great respect for the game with an endearing sense of humor. He makes everyone - whether you are new to the game or a longtime fan - feel like they are a part of the Giants family."
The Giants have a long tradition of broadcast greats - including Ford C. Frick Award winners Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons and Jon Miller. Kuiper's background is particularly compelling given that he had no professional training before moving into the broadcast booth after an 11-year career in the big leagues.
Over the next two weeks, the team will utilize a number of promotional tools to "get out the vote" - including its social media network, which includes 525,000 twitter followers and 1.7 million Facebook friends.
Kuiper's broadcast partners have also lent their voice in support of his candidacy. "Duane Kuiper is a gifted broadcaster. He educates. He entertains. He creates anticipation and when a game situation rises his timing is flawless," said Broadcaster Mike Krukow. "When he tells the story of a Major League Baseball game he brings the knowledge of a lifetime fan and a former major league ball player into his perspective of the game. He's passionate and he's knowledgeable of the game and the listening audience that he is speaking to. He includes insight and entertainment with a profound respect of those that played the game and those that wish they could have played the game. He speaks to you like you are sitting across the dinner table from you and he never condescends. He speaks to you like you are his friend. He makes it fun."
"Duane Kuiper is an ambassador to the game of baseball. He excites those that listen to him talk about the game he loves and, through him, his listening audience falls in love with the game as well. When you listen to him you understand completely that there is no other place in the world that he would rather be and there is no other place in the world that you would rather be as well."
"I can't imagine a television voice more important to a franchise than Duane is to the Giants," said Broadcaster Dave Flemming. "He manages to be fun, funny, comfortable, thrilling, dramatic, and accurate all at the same time. He has the perfect feel for baseball. I think there's a case to be made for Duane as the most successful transformation in the history of baseball broadcasting from former player to play-by-play man. There have been some great ones - including Joe Garagiola and Bob Uecker -- but I'd put Duane at the top of the list."
In addition to the candidates elected by the Facebook campaign, a Hall of Fame research committee will set the remainder of the ballot. The final 10-name ballot will be announced in early October. The 20-member Frick Award Committee will cast ballots during November, with the 2014 winner to be announced during the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings from Orlando, Fla., December 10-11.
About Duane Kuiper
Duane Kuiper, a seven-time Emmy award-winning broadcaster, begins his 29th season as a Major League announcer. He embarks on his 20th consecutive year in the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, NBC Bay Area and KNBR Radio broadcast booths in 2013. The former 11-year big league infielder has received seven local Emmy awards for his distinguished broadcasting career: On-Camera talent (4); Sports Live Broadcast (2); and Sporting Event/Game (1). He provided commentary for the Giants from 1987-92 and served a one-year stint with the expansion Colorado Rockies in 1993. The former infielder spent the last four years of his career with the Giants, following seven campaigns with the Cleveland Indians. In 2004 he was voted by Cleveland fans as one of the 100 greatest players in Tribe history. After retiring in 1985, Kuiper provided commentary on Giants radio and TV broadcasts through the end of that season, and had his own radio show on KNBR from 1982-85. Kuiper's scorecards from Barry Bonds' historic 756th home run game, Randy Johnson's 300th career victory and Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012 are displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.