SAN DIEGO - Dick Enberg said it was "certainly an 'Oh my!' moment" when he got the phone call saying he'd won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting.
Enberg got the call from baseball's Hall of Fame, which announced the selection Wednesday at the winter meetings.
Famed for his exclamation of "Oh my!" Enberg has been calling Major League Baseball games in Southern California for nearly 20 seasons, split by stints as one of the most recognizable voices on NBC and CBS.
Enberg said the call from the Hall of Fame "took me to my knees. Baseball is part of my DNA. ... That was certainly an 'Oh my!' moment.
"'Oh my!' came from my mother, in dismay of something I had done or encountered," he said. "It's a nice Midwestern term, a term of acknowledgement."
Enberg was the voice of the California Angels from 1968-78 before shifting to commentating on a national level. He has been broadcasting Padres games on local TV since 2010.
Enberg, who will be 80 next month, is the 39th winner of the Frick Award. He will be honoured during the Hall of Fame awards presentation on July 25 in Cooperstown, New York.
He grew up in Michigan. "I dreamed about playing right field for the Tigers. I was 18 when they signed Al Kaline and he took my job," Enberg said.
"Baseball is family and this award takes me all the way back to my youth and my dreams. As my high school friends and college friends said, 'Enberg, you always thought you were a good player but you only talked a good game.' It takes you back to the men who taught you how to broadcast a game, even though you didn't know that would be your role someday."
Enberg also broadcast events including football, tennis, basketball and golf.