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Dave Van Horne named Ford C. Frick Award winner

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The Canadian Press
12/8/2010 8:09:02 PM
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Longtime Expos and Marlins play-by-play announcer Dave Van Horne won the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting on Wednesday.

Van Horne began his broadcasting career with the International League's Richmond Braves before joining Montreal for its first season in 1969. He switched to Florida's radio team in 2001.

Van Horne will be honoured during induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 24.

"This is the highest award a baseball broadcaster can receive. I am obviously thrilled, humbled and very excited. It is the professional highlight of my career," he said during a telephone conference call after the announcement.

"I am humbled to be among those people that are previous winners of this award. This was a very overwhelming and emotional day."

Van Horne is the second Frick winner to have worked for a Canadian club, joining 2009 honouree and former Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Tony Kubek. ESPN announcer Jon Miller won the award last year.

Van Horne is the first Expos broadcaster to win the award. Felo Ramirez is the only other Marlins broadcaster to receive the honour.

"Dave Van Horne introduced Major League Baseball to English-speaking fans in Montreal and his voice became the standard for two generations of Expos fans," Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said in a release. "Since 2001, Dave has energized Marlins fans in South Florida with his infectious love for the game, his excitable play-by-play and his signature 'Up, Up and Away' home run calls.

"We are thrilled to announce Dave Van Horne as the 2011 Frick Award winner."

Van Horne, a native of Easton, Pa., beat nine other broadcasters on this year's ballot, including Tom Cheek and Jacques Doucet, who were voted on by fans.

Cheek was the radio voice of the Toronto Blue Jays for 28 years, calling an astounding 4,306 consecutive games. His streak was interrupted in 2004 by his father's death, and Cheek died from brain cancer in 2005 at 66.

Doucet, a 70-year-old from Montreal, spent 34 years as the Expos' French play-by-play radio voice until the team moved to Washington following the 2004 season. He now broadcasts games of the Quebec Capitales, a team in the independent Can-Am league.

Van Horne called Expos games on radio and television, describing such memorable moments as the team's debut on April 8, 1969, Willie Mays' 3,000th hit, Nolan Ryan passing Walter Johnson on top of the career strikeout list and Steve Carlton striking out his 4,000th batter. Van Horne also called games for The Baseball Network on ABC and NBC.

He joined the Marlins in 2001 as the club's lead radio voice. He broadcast the team's 2003 world championship season, adding to a resume that included three World Series and National League Championship Series broadcasting assignments.

Van Horne also broadcast the last Expos game in Montreal, in 2004, as a member of the visiting Marlins radio broadcast team.

In 1996, he received the Jack Graney Award from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for contributions to the game through broadcasting.

The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and baseball commissioner.

Dave Van Horne (Photo: Florida Marlins/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Florida Marlins/Getty Images)
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