Laux, Dean finalists for Frick Award

Laux, Dean named finalists for Frick Award

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It could be a big Hall of Fame Year for the Cardinals. Just months after Bruce Sutter was enshrined in Cooperstown, N.Y., two St. Louis broadcasters were announced as finalists for the Hall's Ford C. Frick Award.

France Laux and Dizzy Dean both made the cut of 10 candidates for the Frick Award, presented annually since 1978 to broadcasters for "major contributions to baseball." The award is presented annually to an active or retired broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.

Past winners include Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully and former Cardinals announcers Jack Buck and Harry Caray, as well as 2006 honoree Gene Elston. The 2007 finalists were announced on Tuesday at baseball's Winter Meetings.

If either Laux or Dean is honored, it could make two St. Louis representatives in this year's Hall of Fame class. St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel is one of three finalists for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which is the Hall of Fame honor for baseball writing.

Laux, a charter member of the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame, stepped into the broadcast booth at old Sportsman's Park in 1929, and for 19 years he broadcast baseball, serving as the radio voice of both the Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns. Laux drew the attention of national outlets as well, and called games for CBS Radio from 1933-38 and the Mutual Game of the Day from 1939-41.

He broadcast nine World Series and nine All-Star Games, including some of the most famous moments in both those events. Laux was behind the microphone for Carl Hubbell's memorable five-strikeout performance in the 1934 Midsummer Classic.

Dean made the Hall of Fame as a pitcher, and the Cardinals retired his No. 17. He called Cardinals and St. Louis Browns games from 1941-46, Browns games from 1947-49 and 1952-53 and called CBS' "Game of the Week" from 1954-65.

The voting electorate consists of 20 members, featuring Elston and the other 13 living Frick Award winners. Six historians and veteran media members are also part of the electorate, including Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian), Curt Smith (historian) and Larry Stewart (Los Angeles Times).

Voters are asked to base their selections on the following criteria: longevity, continuity with a club, honors -- including national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games -- and popularity with fans.

Paper ballots will be cast by voting members each January and the final results will be announced at the Hall of Fame's Web site on Feb. 22, 2007. Each voter will cast ballots for three candidates and the broadcaster with the most support will be named as that year's award winner, and be honored the following summer at the annual induction ceremony in Cooperstown.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.