The late Al Helfer, a radio pioneer will be honored at next July’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony after being named the 2019 Ford C. Frick Award winner.
Helfer, who died in 1975 is the 43rd winner of the award which is presented annually to a broadcaster for making major contributions to baseball.
Helfer’s broadcasting career began in 1933 for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of 16. The soon to be Hall-of- Fame broadcaster went on to call games for the Reds, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants, Phillies, Colt. 45’s and Athletics.
“Al Helfer helped grow interest in baseball exponentially as the voice of Mutual Game of the Day radio broadcasts during the sport’s golden days of the 1950s,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “Working in the dominant broadcasting medium with television in its infancy, Helfer was known as ‘Mr. Radio Baseball,’ bringing game action into living rooms across the country every week. A true fan of the game, Helfer’s work with eight teams over four decades connected listeners in their markets to their team’s heroes, as baseball spread its reach throughout America and around the world. His passion and delivery made him one of the iconic voices of his era.”
During his career, Helfer called 14 no-hitters and memorable events which included Catfish Hunter’s 1968 perfect game and Bobby Thompson’s NL pennant winning homerun in 1951. Dubbed the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” Helfer was calling the game nationally for the Mutual network.
Other finalists for this year’s Ford C. Frick award were Connie Desmond, Pat Flanagan, Jack Graney, Harry Heilmann, Waite Hoyt, Rosey Rowswell and Ty Tyson. The 2019 Baseball Hall-of-Fame induction weekend will begin July 20th in Cooperstown, NY.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Kevin Shockey Named Program Director of Altitude Sports Radio
Shockey has been with iHeartMedia in Seattle since August of 2006, ascending to the Assistant Program Director role in 2015.
KJR Assistant Program Director Kevin Shockey has been named the new Program Director of Altitude Sports Radio in Denver.
“I’m leaving a station that I love and going to a new station with talent that I believe in and I can’t wait to work with,” Shockey said in a Facebook post announcing the move. He added that it’s time “for a new challenge and a step up. That also means it is time to step out and take a risk.”
Shockey has been with iHeartMedia in Seattle since August of 2006, ascending to the Assistant Program Director role in 2015. He will fill the seat vacated by Dave Tepper, who became the Program Director of KOA earlier this summer.
His final day at KJR will be Wednesday. He’s expected to start working in Denver in the next few weeks.
Dan Le Batard: What 790 the Ticket Did to Jonathan Zaslow Was Horrifying
“But what they did to Zas was horrifying. What they did to Zaslow after 18 years of service, calling him in and not giving him any explanation, awful.
The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz used its local hour portion of their podcast to discuss the folding of Miami’s 790 the Ticket. A large portion of the show staff previously worked at The Ticket and had many memories and thoughts on the end of an era for the brand.
Le Batard began by saying that it feels like they’ve grieved four different things in relation to the station, but it still stirred something when the news became official. Le Batard asked Stugotz, one of the founders of the station, what he felt when the switch happened.
“I wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be for a couple of reasons,” Stugotz said. “One: super proud of what we accomplished and built there. Secondly, and I’m serious about this, it probably lasted 17 years longer than what I thought it was going to last and for that I am thankful.”
The show went on to talk about one of the last pillars of the station, Jonathan Zaslow, being let go recently and how it was the final connective tissue that many had to the station where they began.
“My connection point (to 790 the Ticket) was the people there,” began Mike Ryan Ruiz. “The final nail in the coffin was when they let (Jonathan) Zaslow go, who was one of the original 790 hires. They did so in a crude fashion, I felt but…”
“Oh it was crude. It was crude,” Le Batard jumped in. “And that is what got stirred for me. That’s what got stirred for me when, it seemed 790 was dead to me because of some of the stuff that happened with the Local Hour at the end that I found disrespectful. But what they did to Zas was horrifying. What they did to Zaslow after 18 years of service, calling him in and not giving him any explanation, awful. The awful part of this awful radio business.”
Ruiz said that Zaslow should have been given an explanation and it wouldn’t have taken much.
“In fact, the explanation Zaslow should have gotten was ‘we’re consolidating both stations and don’t worry, we’ll tell the Miami Heat for you,’. Should have been a nice little human touch in regards to the Zaslow thing.”
Kayla Anderson Added to 104.5 The Zone Morning Show
Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor to WKRN-TV in Nashville.
Kayla Anderson has been added to the 104.5 The Zone morning show, newly titled Ramon, Kayla, and Will, joining Ramon Foster and Will Boling on the Nashville station.
Anderson will begin hosting Wednesday morning. She has previously worked as a sports anchor, reporter, and digital contributor on WKRN-TV in Nashville. A graduate of Washington State University, she has also worked at television stations in Spokane, Missoula, Tucson, and Columbus in addition to her time in Nashville.
“After spending the last 15 years in local TV covering sports, I’m thrilled to venture into Sports Talk radio, joining 104.5 The Zone in the mornings with Ramon, Will and producer Jonathan Shaffer,” Anderson said. “I’m truly looking forward to hanging with this talented crew, talking sports, interacting with the listeners, and having lots of fun doing it!”
Anderson said on Twitter she is “so excited to join this group!”
Boling had been the interim host of the morning show after the August departure of Jason Martin.
Ramon, Kayla, and Will will be heard from 6:00 AM-10:00 AM each weekday morning.