Former Montreal Expos play-by-play announcer Dave Van Horne was amongst 10 candidates for the 2009 Baseball Hall Of Fame's Ford Frick Award for Broadcasting. Dave Van Horne was the voice of the Montreal Expos for 33 years and has been the voice of the Florida Marlins since 2001. The award was bestowed on former NBC color analyst Tony Kubek.
Among the other candidates were Joe Nuxhall, Tom Cheek, Jacques Doucet, Dizzy Dean, Ken Coleman, Lanny Frattare, Billy Berroa, and Graham McNamee. Jacques Doucet was Dave Van Horne's French language radio broadcast counterpart in Montreal for decades.
Past Frick honorees include Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Ernie Harwell, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Harry Kalas, Dave Niehaus, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker, and Bob Costas.
For Dave Van Horne to be considered in this realm of broadcasters is truly recognition long overdue and a real accomplishment, given Expos games Van Horne did play-by-play for, on both radio and TV, rarely showed up outside Montreal into the US.
To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have had a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a club, network or combination of the two. In 2008, more than 200 broadcasters were eligible for consideration for the award.
Dave Van Horne has been showing up for the past 15 years on various ESPN MLB game broadcasts to a much deserved, wider audience for his talents. During the best days of the Montreal Expos, Van Horne teamed with former Brooklyn Dodger Duke Snyder to enhance the baseball fan's experience with a unique experiential texture of what was going on down on the field.
Van Horne's knowledge, vocal style, and sense of humor took many Montreal Expos fans through the lean and bleak years into a greater appreciation for the success that eventually unfolded starting in 1979.
As a kid growing up in Montreal, starting with the Expos in 1969, there was no better way to enjoy a summer day then listening to Dave Van Horne broadcast an Expos doubleheader. He made it very one-on-one, fun and highly informative. It was like having a friend over to spend an afternoon to talk to you about something you both loved—The Montreal Expos. His signature remark to dramatize an Expos' home run of "Up, Up, and Away" was a catch phrase heard all over Montreal for decades.
As Dave Van Horne goes past his 40th year of MLB broadcasting, I believe he will be getting a call from the committee at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY very soon.
Dave Van Horne is a testament to how excellence endures. I know he will be justly rewarded for his talents and skills. In 2003 Van Horne got a well-deserved World Series ring when the Florida Marlins shocked the New York Yankees, upsetting them in the World Series.
Listening to baseball games without Dave Van Horne has never been the same since.
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