For those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, Jack Brickhouse and Vince Lloyd were the voices of our summers, the lead broadcasters on WGN-TV and WGN radio for the Chicago Cubs.
There's another man who spent 10 seasons -- 1955-64 -- as the lead radio broadcaster for the Cubs, who I think deserves to be remembered. Jack Quinlan would likely be the man we'd all remember as the Cubs' radio voice of our youth; unfortunately, Quinlan died in a car accident during spring training in 1965. He was just 38 years old; the Tribune noted of Quinlan in an article reporting on the accident:
Quinlan had described the play-by-play of Cubs baseball games since 1956, and officially joined the sports staff of W-G-N in 1958. He began announcing Cubs games in 1952 on station WIND, as an assistant to the late Bert Wilson. Wilson died in 1955, and Quinlan became the "voice of the Cubs" the following year. In 1964 the American College of Radio Arts, Crafts and Sciences voted Quinlan the "best sports performer in a radio series," for his coverage of the Cubs games. For the last four years, Quinlan was voted the best Illinois sportscaster by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters association.
Quinlan was a Chicago-area native (New Trier High School) who had grown up a Cubs fan and was working in his dream job. At just 38, he could easily have been a lead Cubs broadcaster well into the 1990s. Now, you can help vote for Quinlan for the Baseball Hall of Fame's Frick Award, so he'll never be forgotten. As the Hall has done for Veteran's Committee player votes, they have broken down the Frick Award voting into eras:
The "High Tide Era" – will consider candidates whose contributions have come during the regional cable network era, beginning with the mid-1980s through today. The "Living Room Era" – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2015 – will consider candidates whose most significant years fell during the mid-1950s through the early 1980s, as the game spread through television and into homes across the country. The "Broadcasting Dawn Era" – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2016 – will consider candidates who contributed to the early days of baseball broadcasting, from its origins through the early-1950s.
Quinlan is considered part of the "Living Room Era," which is being voted on this year. Here's how to do it. Go to this page. You'll have to "sign in" with a valid email address -- even though that's a Facebook page, you don't have to use your Facebook account -- and you can vote once per valid email address every 24 hours, through the end of September.
I remember hearing Quinlan's voice in 1963 and 1964 and remember him as an enthusiastic voice of baseball and the Cubs. There's more on Quinlan at this link, including an audio link to Quinlan calling a Cubs/Mets game at Shea Stadium in 1964. I'm sure BCBer ernaga can add in some personal recollections of listening to Quinlan frequently during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Let's get Jack Quinlan this honor so he'll never be forgotten.