The Baseball Hall of Fame issued its latest list of candidates for the Ford Frick Award, which is a plaque that has a bunch of baseball broadcasters names on it, and two things stick out.Bill King, the longtime Oakland As voice, is on the list of 41, which will eventually be whittled to three by that bane of our existence, internet voting.
And so are Ray Fosse, Hank Greenwald, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow.This suggests that yet again, King is in the process of being crowded out by a populace whose memories are of people theyve seen on television rather than radio. King belongs on this list; frankly, truth told, he belongs on the plaque. But he isnt, and unless InternetWorld has grown a conscience or an interest in research, hes going to miss again because fewer and fewer people remember him or his work.REWIND: The late Bill King up for Ford C. Frick Award
But Kuiper and Krukow being on the ballot together raise a different issue namely, since only one can be plaque-ified in any one year, who goes first? How does a voter separate the two, since they clearly have been, are, and will always be considered a singular menu item?It would be promoting Penn without Teller, Burns without Allen, Omar without Marlo.Well, I think weve strained that analogy about as well as we can. Now back to the subject.As for Fosse and Greenwald, their candidacies speak for themselves, but somehow one suspects their time is not yet upon us, and were only making that case because voters gravitate toward the biggest names they can think of, and Fosse has toiled in relative cover in Oakland while Greenwald has retired.So for purposes of this discussion alone, we are covering the most prominent oversight in King, and the hot flavors in Krukow and Kuiper.If King has a prayer, it is only a faint one. He doesnt work any more, what with having died and all, and his last tenuous link to the short-attention-span voter was his voice in MoneyBall. This, in addition to the fact that only worked radio for almost all of his career with the As, and the fact that its the As, makes him a poor candidate to advance unless there is an enormous ballot-stuffing attempt this time around.RELATED: Vote here for the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award
And we can presume there will be campaigns for the other 40 candidates as well. After all, the Internet not only stands for democratization but voter fraud at the same time.The fail-safe here is that the fan vote will place three names on the final 10-person ballot, with the other seven named by a committee that includes among others, Jon Miller and Lon Simmons, of whom you may have heard.But the fail-safe has never worked in Kings benefit before, so the voter fraud part is a thin reed.Indeed, the only way that King has a decent shot this time is if Kuiper and Krukow go out of their way to promote King to voters, as in, Wed love to be in one day, but lets clean up this Bill King oversight first. We suspect Greenwald and Fosse would promote King on their own, given their personal relationships, but again, theyd like to be on the plaque someday, too.Weve seen the way Giant voters can abscond with an All-Star Game, so it wouldnt be an empty gesture but a cry to action. One word from Kuiper and Krukow, and they are mobilized.On the other hand, it means Krukow and Kuiper would be (a) voting against their own self-interests), and (b) voting for an As figure at a time when the Giants stated management policy is that the As really are better off back in Philadelphia, and only if utter nonexistence is not an option.They could do it anyway, using their inherent popularity to buck management, but thats a tough ask a very, very tough ask. Plus, we dont even know if they were overly fond of King one way or the other. Were not saying they werent, we just dont know if they were.Even that wouldnt get him out of the final committee, of course. Tom Cheek was the long-time voice of the Toronto Blue Jays. Richie Ashburn was much beloved in Philadelphia. Ron Santo just got into the regular Hall of Fame, Eric Nadel has been the voice in Texas for years upon years, and Joe Nuxhall was Cincinnatis broadcasting mascot for even more years than that.In short, its a tough field, and getting to 10 is a difficult achievement.But for King, it is only getting more difficult the more he fades into the memories of those who dont tend to vote 50 times on their computers. At this point, hell need outside help from insiders, and one wonders if thats more help than anyone can comfortably provide.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com