Pat Hughes has been the Cubs’ radio play-by-play voice since 1996 — that’s 27 seasons on the North Side. Only Jack Brickhouse served longer as a Cubs broadcast voice.
Hughes’ play by play is first-rate and he’s become a beloved part of the Cubs family. Having met him on a number of occasions — and he did some writing for me both for the old Maple Street Press annuals I edited and forewords for two of my books — i can also tell you he’s one of the most genuinely nice human beings I have ever met.
That’s why I am thrilled to tell you today that Pat has been named one of 10 finalists for the Hall of Fame’s Frick Award for 2023. While there are other deserving nominees — and another is Steve Stone, who broadcast Cubs games from 1983-2004 (with a two-year hiatus) — I fervently hope that Hughes will be the winner. Not only would that honor be richly deserved — and Hughes has 40 years total as a baseball broadcaster, also calling Twins and Brewers games — but there’s no doubt he’d give a wonderful speech next summer in Cooperstown.
You can read short bios of the 10 nominees here. They are: Dave Campbell, Joe Castiglione, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Jerry Howarth, Pat Hughes, Ernie Johnson Sr., Duane Kuiper and Steve Stone. I also have a six-degrees connection to Castiglione, as he is also a Colgate University graduate. I met him at a school reunion in 2018 and can tell you he is also a genuinely nice person.
From that link:
Criteria for selection is as follows: “Commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.”
No question, Pat Hughes qualifies under all those categories. The Hall also says:
The 2023 Frick Award ballot was created by a subcommittee of the voting electorate that included past Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Ken Harrelson and Eric Nadel, and broadcast historians David J. Halberstam and Curt Smith.
Final voting for the 2023 Frick Award will be conducted by an electorate comprised of the 12 living Frick Award recipients and three broadcast historians/columnists, including past Frick honorees Brennaman, Bob Costas, Harrelson, Jaime Jarrín, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Al Michaels, Jon Miller, Nadel, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne, and historians/columnists Halberstam (historian), Barry Horn (formerly of the Dallas Morning News), and Smith (historian).
The results of the balloting will be announced December 7 and the winner will speak in Cooperstown as part of the Hall of Fame’s Award Presentation July 22, 2023.
Good luck to all the nominees, but I’m kind of biased — I hope Pat Hughes wins.