The Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Bob Costas has won the Ford C. Frick Award-- which means he will be getting inducted into the HOF at the summer induction ceremonies Sunday July 29th in Cooperstown, New York.

The Ford C. Frick Award is presented annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball." The award, named after the late broadcaster, National League President, Commissioner, and Hall of Famer, has been presented annually since 1978. Frick was a driving force behind the creation of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and he helped foster the relationship between radio and the game of baseball.

St. Louis sports fans of a certain age will remember when Costas ruled the sports airwaves along with other greats like Jack Buck, Dan Kelly and Bill Wilkerson.

Costas got his broadcasting start in St. Louis at KMOX Radio in 1974 at the young age of 22. KMOX was looking for a basketball play-by-play guy for the St. Louis Spirits of the ABA.

After pouring through the audition tapes (back in those days prospective job seekers would record their demo on a cassette and mail it to the station) Robert Hyland, the KMOX General Manager and CBS Vice-President selected Costas. Hyland said at the time that despite the broadcaster's age, his voice "sparkled"

Hyland told Dave Doerr of the Post-Dispatch back in 1979 that the only thing Costas lacked was experience and that he "overwhelmed us in his other qualities. He has a bright future."

Hyland recognized Costas' talent in all areas of broadcasting. Costas has always had a quick wit, uses no notes, and a head full of facts. Costas was quickly doing Sports Open Lines at KMOX and then began filling in for other announcers in various sports for play-by-play.

Baseball has always been his passion and he used to carry around a MIckey Mantle baseball card and never could have believed as a child going to Yankee Stadium that he would one day be friends with his childhood idol and even speak at his funeral.

Some of the criteria that the Baseball HOF uses in their decision is “Commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.”

He has long had a reverence for the game dating back to his days at Yankee Stadium.

He recounted a story that happened when he was seven years old to Doerr.

"They used to let people leave the stadium by way of the field and everybody wanted to be on that field where Ruth and DiMaggio and Mantle had walked. I couldn't believe how green the grass was contrasted with the reddish clay of the warning track. I remember looking up at the three tiers of Yankee Stadium and I had a feeling of reverence. It was as if I was in a holy place, a cathedral of baseball."

In his early years at KMOX the youthful Costas was popular as both a broadcaster and talk show host where he loved engaging with the callers. The powerhouse morning host Jack Carney took special interest in Costas as soon as he arrived and gave him the nickname of "Young Bobby Costas" which stayed with him for years.

It became apparent that Costas was destined for bigger things as networks came calling and he would leave on the weekends to do games-- something that Hyland gave him the blessing to do but at the same time he disliked sharing his radio talent with television.

Fans joked that he was like an encyclopedia and he especially shone when talking about baseball.

"I just try to be as quick and sharp as possible," he told the Globe-Democrat in 1979 also. "I started when I was seven, listening to Mel Allen do the Yankees games. When I played baseball I I'd announce what I was doing. I'd say 'There goes Costas rounding third trying to score...he slides...he's safe!'"

By the time Costas was 29 he was working for NBC doing about 45 events a year for the network.

He has done work for many networks including CNN, HBO, MLB and NFL, but besides baseball, Costas is best known for hosting the Olympics which gave him world-wide publicity.

Though he has moved to New York for all his network work, Costas has always returned to St. Louis, keeping an office here. For many years he supported Cardinal Glennon Childrens Medical Center with fundraisers and there is a pediatric cancer wing at the hospital named for him.

Here is the press release from the Hall of Fame:

Bob Costas, who has passionately and poignantly called games and narrated the baseball experience for four decades, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Costas will be recognized during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 28, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2018. Costas becomes the 42nd winner of the Frick Award, as he earned the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame’s 15-member Frick Award Committee.

The final ballot featured broadcasters whose main contributions were realized on the national level, identified as the National Voices ballot. The eight finalists were: Buddy Blattner, Joe Buck, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Al Michaels, Joe Morgan, Pee Wee Reese and Costas.

“For almost 40 years, Bob Costas has presented an incredibly thoughtful and informed voice on every game he calls for NBC, The Baseball Network and MLB Network,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “But it’s Bob’s pure affection for baseball that has made him a national treasure. From the first day he entered our living rooms, Bob became one of the National Pastime’s greatest friends.”

Born March 22, 1952, in Queens, N.Y, Costas graduated from Commack High School and enrolled in the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Learning his trade at Syracuse, N.Y., stations while still in school, Costas graduated in 1974 and landed the play-by-play duties with the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association on KMOX-AM. After handling regional NBA and NFL telecasts for CBS in the late 1970s, Costas moved to NBC in 1980. In 1982, Costas was paired with Sal Bando on the backup broadcast of NBC’s Major League Baseball Game of the Week package, then teamed up with 2009 Ford Frick Award winner Tony Kubek in the same role from 1983-89.

Along the way, Costas handled play-by-play of the American League Championship Series in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989 along with pregame duties at the All-Star Game those same years as well as pregame assignments at the World Series in 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1988.

NBC and ABC formed The Baseball Network following CBS’ handling of the MLB contract from 1990-93, and Costas worked the 1994 All-Star Game as well as the 1995 ALDS, ALCS and World Series for TBN. When The Baseball Network dissolved, Costas called the World Series for NBC in 1997 and 1999, the 1998 and 2000 ALCS, the 1999 NLCS and the 2000 All-Star Game.

In 2009, Costas – a 28-time Emmy Award winner – returned to baseball when he joined the new MLB Network, where he has called games and served as a documentary host for nine seasons.

The 15-member Frick Award voting electorate, comprised of the 11 living recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Dick Enberg, Jaime Jarrin, Tony Kubek, Tim McCarver, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne, and historians/columnists David J. Halberstam (historian), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).

The list of eight Frick Award finalists was constructed by a subcommittee of the electorate that included Enberg, McCarver, Miller, Nadel and Smith.

The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and baseball commissioner. Frick was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970. The complete list of Frick Award recipients includes:

As established by the Board of Directors, criteria for selection is as follows: “Commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.”

To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous major league broadcast service with a ball club, network, or a combination of the two.