COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Former Houston Astros broadcaster Gene Elston was picked Tuesday to receive the Ford C. Frick Award and will be honored at this summer's Hall of Fame induction.
Elston was a broadcaster for the Houston Colt .45s and Astros from the franchise's inception in 1962 through 1986. He began his baseball career with the Waterloo White Hawks of the Three I League in 1946, broadcast radio for the Chicago Cubs in 1954 and was an announcer for Mutual's "Game of the Day" from 1958-60, working with Bob Feller.
He was on the broadcast team for CBS Radio's "Game of the Week" from 1987-95 and CBS Radio's postseason coverage from 1995-97.
"Gene Elston's soothing voice and knowledgeable broadcasts helped educate and entertain generations of budding fans as baseball headed south," Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said. "Today, the Houston area is one the real baseball hotbeds in the country, and Gene's influence for a quarter of a century is largely responsible."
Reliever Bruce Sutter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 30 along with anyone elected at the special Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues selection meeting on Feb. 27. Also to be honored at the induction is Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News, winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, given to a writer for meritorious contributions to baseball.
The Ford C. Frick Award, named after the former commissioner, is voted on by the 13 living recipients of the award plus six broadcast historians/columnists. Curt Gowdy, the 1984 winner, submitted a ballot before his death Monday.
Elston beat out nine other finalists: Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Dizzy Dean, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Graham McNamee and Dave Niehaus.