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Ford Christopher Frick, born in Wawaka, Indiana, (December 19, 1894 – April 8, 1978) was an American sportswriter and executive who served as president of the National League from 1934 to 1951 and as the 3rd Baseball Commissioner from 1951 to 1965. His most highly criticized decision as commissioner was to convince baseball record-keepers to list the single-season home run records of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris separately in 1961, based on the length of the season played. Later it was revealed that Frick had served as a ghostwriter for Ruth earlier in his career. Ultimately, the "asterisk" was struck from the record book; the point is now a less contentious one, as three players have eclipsed the single-season totals of Ruth and Maris.
Frick attended DePauw University in Indiana, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. He had begun his career as a midwestern sportswriter and had moved to New York to work with William Randolph Hearst's newspapers. Later he pioneered the daily radio sports report, broadcasting sports scores and news. In 1934 he became the National League's public relations director, and then became president of the league later that year. In the late 1930s, Frick played a central role in establishing the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Later during his tenure as National League president, when several members of the St. Louis Cardinals planned to protest Jackie Robinson's breaking of baseball's color barrier, Frick threatened any players involved with suspension. In 1951, he succeeded Happy Chandler as commissioner of baseball. His critics accused him of favoring the NL in his rulings, such as how the 1960s expansion teams would be stocked.
Hall of FameEdit
Frick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1970. The Hall of Fame created the Ford C. Frick Award in 1978 to honor his name, and presents the award annually to a baseball broadcaster for major contributions to the game.
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
- Baseball Library – biography and career highlights
- Obituary at The Dead Ball Era
- Ford Frick's Photo & Gravesite
|National League president|
A. B. "Happy" Chandler I
|Commissioner of Baseball|