Bob Costas, synonymous with the Olympics and also called three NBA Finals’ in the late 90s, but it’s baseball that the announcer most identifies with. Yesterday, Costas joined an elite group by winning the Ford C. Frick Award presented by the baseball Hall of Fame for broadcasting excellence.
The 28 time Emmy Award winner was humbled and excited over the award that will have him honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 28, 2018. “Even if you’re coming off the bench, you’re on the same team as Jack Buck, Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, Red Barber, Harry Caray and Mel Allen,” said Costas.
“For almost 40 years, Bob Costas has presented an incredibly thoughtful and informed voice on every game he calls for NBC, The Baseball Network and MLB Network,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said in a statement. “But it’s Bob’s pure affection for baseball that has made him a national treasure. From the first day he entered our living rooms, Bob became one of the National Pastime’s greatest friends.”
Costas grew up in New York loving the game of baseball, he still carries a 1958 Mickey Mantle card in his wallet and honored his childhood hero with a Eulogy in 1995.
Costas’ first opportunity to call a baseball game came in 1980. Broadcasting the “backup game” with Bobby Valentine for NBC, their Tigers vs Yankees telecast would only be seen if the main game didn’t get on air. The primary game entered a four hour rain delay, giving Costas his first Major League Baseball broadcast.
He continued to be a fundamental part of NBC’s baseball coverage until they lost their MLB rights in 1989. After NBC regained MLB coverage, Costas had the opportunity to call the 1997 World Series in its entirety, winning an Emmy for his performance. Costas’ recognition in baseball even went as far as having his name thrown around as a potential candidate to replace Bud Selig as MLB Commissioner.
“Because of my love of baseball and because of the other names that (won the Frick Award), this is at the top of the list,” Costas said on a conference call. “No disrespect of all the other awards, because they all mean a lot to me, but this means the most.”