Al Helfer, radio pioneer, wins Hall of Fame’s Frick Award
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Al Helfer, who broadcast games on radio for the “Mutual Game of the Day” in the 1950s, has won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by baseball’s Hall of Fame and Museum.
Helfer, who died in 1975, will be recognized on July 20 at Cooperstown, New York, as part of the Hall’s induction weekend.
He called 14 no-hitters and memorable events that included Gabby Hartnett’s Homer in the Gloamin’ in 1938 and Bobby Thomson’s NL pennant-winning home run in 1951.
Helfer called his first games at age 16 in 1933 for Pittsburgh. He spent two seasons with the Pirates, two with Cincinnati, two with the New York Yankees and three with the Brooklyn Dodgers alongside Red Barber.
After serving in the Navy during World War II, he broadcast Yankees’ and New York Giants’ games in 1945, then worked for the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1950-54. He broadcast the World Series from 1951-55 and for the Dodgers from 1955-57.
When the Giants and Dodgers moved to California, he broadcast Philadelphia Phillies’ games for the New York market in 1958. He also worked games for the Houston Colt .45s (1962) and Oakland (1968-69).