SAN DIEGO — Dick Enberg, the TV face and voice of the San Diego Padres, has been named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award. The Fick Award is presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Moments ago he spoke with the media here in San Diego and talked about his life and career.
Enberg, who spent over 25 years with the good people at NBC Sports, broadcasting all manner of sports, is a baseball man first and in his heart, he said a few minutes ago. He said he was teethed on a baseball bat — literally — and wanted nothing more than to be the right fielder for the Detroit Tigers when he was a boy. When he was 18 the Tigers signed Al Kaline, however, and Enberg joked that he decided that he maybe needed to do something else in life.
That something else was broadcasting, which he started doing while at Central Michigan University. From there it was on to Indiana and eventually on to teach and coach baseball atSan Fernando Valley State College, which is now known as Cal-State Northridge. In the 1960s he began broadcasting in Los Angeles, eventually becoming the play-by-play man for the California Angels.
After his career blossomed and went national with NBC from the 1970s through the 90s, he went on to CBS and then ESPN. In 2009 he came back to baseball on a full time basis, calling games for the San Diego Padres, which he continues to do, even though he’ll turn 80 next month.
Enberg is a warm TV presence, and has never seemed like anything but a nice and decent man who truly enjoys what he does. His comments today, reflecting on his love of baseball and the many kind people he’s worked with over the years certainly supports that. At times he welled up with tears and didn’t apologize a bit for it, nor should he. He seems truly touched by this honor and truly at home in the broadcast booth. Padres fans are lucky to be able to invite him into their home each night.
Congratulations, Dick Enberg. The 2015 Frick Award winner.