Jack Graney Award

The Jack Graney Award

Presented annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to a representative of the media who has made a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Canada through their life’s work, or for a singular outstanding achievement.

The committee is Chaired by Kevin Glew, sports writer and editor for the Canadian Baseball Network. The voting committee are the previous winners of the Graney award.

Jack Graney’s Career

Jack Graney’s road to the big leagues began in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he was born and recommended to the Chicago Cubs by fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Bob Emslie.

After a season in the Cubs organization, Graney was sold to Cleveland, where he would evolve into a steady, dependable outfielder.

First Batter to Face Babe Ruth

His big league resume boasts a number of firsts. When Graney walked to the plate in a game against the Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter to face Babe Ruth.

Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he would be the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform.

World Series Winner

A scrappy leadoff hitter, Graney would lead the American League in walks twice (1917 and 1919) and in doubles once (1916). The speedy Canuck also finished in the top 10 in triples in 1913 and 1916, with 12 and 14 three-baggers respectively. He was also a member of the World Series-winning Indians squad in 1920.

Transition to Broadcasting

Following his playing career, Graney became the first ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953.

Nominate a Media Representative

If you feel someone is worthy of winning the Jack Graney award please submit your nomination in email to the Hall of Fame’s office by November 1 of each year. Winner is announced late November.

2020 AWARD Winner

Dan Shulman

Dan is one of the best baseball broadcasters in the world and he has been consistently outstanding during his career, but we especially marveled at his work this year when due to the COVID-19 pandemic he was confined to a studio in Toronto to call the Blue Jays games. He was so good that it truly felt like he was at the ballpark.

Born in Toronto in 1967, Shulman attended the University of Western Ontario and took up broadcasting as an extracurricular activity in his freshman year. He soon found himself doing play-by-play for the university’s basketball, football, and hockey teams.

Dan started working as an anchor for CKBB, a Barrie, Ont., radio station, on weekends, until he was offered a full-time position with the station in 1990.

In 1991, Shulman moved on to the FAN 1430 (now Sportsnet 590 The FAN) where he hosted a number of shows, including Prime Time Sports, The Major League Report and Baseball Today. In 1995, he began serving as the Blue Jays’ play-by-play commentator alongside Buck Martinez and also working part-time for ESPN.

He joined ESPN full-time in 2001 and was the voice of Wednesday Night Baseball from 2002 to 2007, Monday Night Baseball from 2008 to 2010 and Sunday Night Baseball from 2011 to 2017. The Toronto native has now been calling MLB postseason games on the radio for ESPN since 1998 and World Series contests since 2011.

Shulman returned to the Blue Jays television crew in 2016 and has been calling games for Rogers Sportsnet in each season since.

Past AWARD Winners

2020 – Dan Shulman – Rogers Sportsnet & ESPN
2019 – Ken Fidlin – Toronto Sun
2018 – Jeff Blair – Sportsnet 590 The FAN
2017 – Alison Gordon – Toronto Star
2016 – Larry Millson – Globe and Mail writer
2015 – Serge Touchette – Montreal Expos writer
2014 – Richard Griffin – Toronto Star
2013 – Rodger Brulotte – Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays
2012 – Jerry Howarth – Sportsnet 590 The FAN
2011 – W.P. Kinsella “Shoeless Joe” novel adapted to film “Field of Dreams”
2010 – Bob Elliott – Toronto Sun & www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com
2009 – Ian MacDonald – Montreal Gazette
2005 – Len Bramson – TBS Sports
2004 – Jacques Doucet – Montreal Expos
2003 – Allan Simpson – Baseball America
2002 – Ernie Harwell – Detroit Tigers
2001 – Tom Cheek – Sportsnet 590 The FAN
1996 – Dave Van Horne – Montreal Expos
1991 – Joe Chrysdale & Hal Kelly – CKEY
1990 – Austin Dink Carroll – Montreal Gazette
1988 – Milt Dunnell – Toronto Star
1987 – Neil MacCarl – Toronto Star