Oct. 5—Ernie Johnson Sr., who spent the better part of four decades as a broadcast voice for the Braves franchise, was named one of 10 finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award on Wednesday.
Presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Frick Award recognizes the work of baseball broadcasters. According to a release from the Hall of Fame, criteria includes a broadcaster's "commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans and recognition by peers."
Johnson began his link to the Braves in 1942, when he signed with the then-Boston club as an 18-year-old minor leaguer. After serving three years in the Marine Corps during World War II, he returned to the organization in 1946 and ultimately made his major league debut in 1950.
Johnson pitched for the Braves through 1958 and the team's move to Milwaukee, then after ending his playing career with one year in Baltimore, returned to Milwaukee as a broadcaster in 1962.
From that point, Johnson worked continuously as a Braves broadcaster through 1999, following the team once again, this time to Atlanta in 1966. He helped build the Braves' vast network of radio affiliates, and he became one of the pillars of the team's WTBS and radio broadcast crews alongside Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren.
Johnson began to scale back his broadcast duties in the 1990s, transitioning from WTBS to SportSouth, where he often worked with his son, Ernie Johnson Jr. The younger Johnson has since become a broadcast stalwart himself with Turner Sports.
Ernie Johnson Sr. died in 2011 at the age of 87.
The other finalists for the Frick Award are Dave Campbell, Joe Castiglione, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Jerry Howarth, Pat Hughes, Duane Kuiper and Steve Stone. The winner of the award will be announced Dec. 7 at baseball's winter meetings in San Diego.