HOUSTON -- Baseball fans have an opportunity to put Pirates broadcasters Steve Blass and Lanny Frattare one step closer to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The annual online vote to determine three finalists for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting starts Sept. 1.
The process will allow fans to cast votes at the Hall of Fame's Facebook page -- http://www.facebook.com/baseballhall. This is the ninth consecutive year that fans will select three of the 10 names on the ballot for the Frick Award. Voting runs through Sept. 30. Fans can cast votes once per day through September for the broadcaster of their choice.
This season is Blass' 52nd with the Pittsburgh organization and his 26th as a color commentator. Blass pitched his entire 10-year Major League career with Pittsburgh, compiling a 103-76 record with a 3.63 ERA. In the 1971 World Series against Baltimore, Blass had two complete-game wins.
This year, the Museum has pared the list of fan-eligible candidates to 75 -- two representing every current big league team and 15 at-large selections -- based on popularity, longevity and past voting results in the online fan balloting. Eligible candidates must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network, or a combination of the two.
Results of the fan voting will be announced on October 5. The final 2012 Frick Award ballot will be comprised of the three fan selections -- along with seven other candidates -- determined by a Hall of Fame staff research team. This fall, a 20-member electorate will vote on the final 10-name ballot to determine the 2012 Frick Award winner.
The winner will be named on Dec. 6 and honored in Cooperstown during the 2012 Hall of Fame Weekend, held from July 20-23.