clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nominate Ken Singleton for the Ford C. Frick Award

The New York City native might have gained notoriety in Montreal and Baltimore, but he has become one of the voices of the Yankees as a broadcaster. It's time to send him to Cooperstown.

Michael Heiman

Growing up watching the Yankees has certainly lent itself to amazing moments, and many of them have been made all the more special by the men broadcasting the game for the television audience. John Sterling and Michael Kay calls resonate with me since I associate them with great moments, even though their histrionics are a bit much at times. However, there is one other broadcaster who has been with the Yankees for the duration of my fandom, a man who I have always appreciated in the booth--Ken Singleton.

For older fans who had to watch the three-time Orioles All-Star beat up on Yankees to the tune of a .282/.369/.415 triple slash in 133 games, it might have been difficult embracing Singleton as a common voice on Yankees broadcasts. Perhaps to some, it did not matter at all, and alternatively, maybe some still don't really like it. I never knew that Ken Singleton though, so it was easy for me to become a fan of him. His professionalism, objectivity, and efficiency in the MSG and YES Network booths have always made the Yankees' television broadcasts more enjoyable.

Some fans grew up with Mel Allen and his "Ballentine blasts." Others were more fans of Kay's "SEEYA" on WABC and YES. I've always gotten a kick out of Singleton's simple "THIS ONE IS... GONE!" Jason Giambi's stunning 14th-inning walk-off grand slam in 2002 was punctuated by Singleton's call of the game, echoing the similar stunned fan reaction to the sudden change of events. (Sadly, MLB's clip of it has Sterling, not Singleton.) As Greg mentioned in the comments, his "CALLED... STRIKE THREE!" is one of the best K calls out there as well. There's also Singleton's memorable "LOOKOUT" whenever a ball sailed in on a hitter, whether for a hit by pitch or a narrow miss, certainly situations Singleton often experienced as a player during his 15-year career.

Although Singleton is great at play-by-play, he's been superb on color commentary, where he is most often featured. As a switch-hitter, he understands both righty and lefty hitters' approaches and he's done a terrific job at explaining situations to the thousands of fans at home who could never even imagine stepping into a batter's box at the MLB level. It can be a challenge relaying these interpretations to such an inexperienced crowd, and yet Singleton communicates with aplomb.

In 1985, Singleton first became a broadcaster with one of his former teams, the Montreal Expos, a year after his playing career ended. For 11 years on TSN, he teamed with the great Dave Van Horne, a Ford C. Frick Award winner himself in 2011, and they witnessed the rise of a talented young team that featured Larry Walker, Moises Alou, and Pedro Martinez. One of Singleton's finest moments was broadcasting "El Presidente" Dennis Martinez's perfect game on July 28, 1991. Although the team was dismantled before it could reach its seemingly-destined prominence in 1994, Singleton's voice became more recognized on a national level, especially when in '96, he served as an analyst for FOX Sports in addition to his TSN duties. The next year, Singleton returned to his native New York, becoming a broadcaster for the Yankees on MSG. Singleton then called another perfect game in '98 when David Wells blanked the Twins.

The Yankees liked him enough to keep him on the regular broadcast team when they moved from MSG to their own YES Network, where he frequently served as the brilliant color commentator in broadcasts with Kay. He has now been announcing Yankees games longer than anyone other than Sterling or Kay, the only one to do the video broadcast for the duration of his tenure. Overall, he's been broadcasting baseball for 28 consecutive years, and at age 66, who knows how much longer Singleton will stay in the booth? Hopefully he will stay there with the YES Network for years to come.

Singleton's work in the broadcast booth deserves recognition, and fans can help nominate him for the 2014 Ford C. Frick Award on The current "Hide Tide Era" ballot has tons of names on there right now, so it will be awhile before it is whittled down. Yankees fans can do their part to make sure Singleton is at least considered for the Award by voting for him to make the first cut. Other good Yankee broadcaster nominees are there in the likes of Jim Kaat and Bobby Murcer, but my vote's going for Singleton.

LOOKOUT, Hall of Fame.

More from Pinstriped Bible: