Gerry Fraley to be honored posthumously with BBWAA Career Excellence Award

The late Gerry Fraley, whose writing style was crisp, insightful, and punchy, matching his feisty
temperament, was elected the 2024 winner of the BBWAA Career Excellence Award. He will be honored
with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball
writing” during the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s induction weekend next July 19-22 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Of the 369 ballots, including one blank, cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years’ service, Fraley was named on 173 in becoming the 75 th winner of the award since its inception in 1962.

He was the runner-up in the 2023 election to John Lowe by merely two votes, the closest election in the history of the balloting. Finishing second this year with 113 votes was Bruce Jenkins, a baseball writer and columnist for almost half a century for the San Francisco Chronicle. Longtime New York Post baseball columnist Joel Sherman received 83 votes. Candidates were chosen by a three-member, BBWAA-appointed committee and announced during the All-Star Game meeting July 11 in Seattle. Voting was conducted in November.

For nearly 40 years from his home town of Clearwater, Fla., to major-league beats in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Arlington, Texas, Gerry Fraley formed relationships with players, coaches, scouts, executives, and umpires that made him one of the most trusted voices in the industry. “Frales,” who died in 2019 at the age of 64, covered the Phillies, Braves and Rangers and was a pioneer in the advent of daily notebooks as part of beat coverage.

He also was a national baseball writer at the Dallas Morning News, where he spent nearly 25 years as beat writer and columnist. During that time, Gerry eventually took on the role of “Super General Assignment Reporter” that was created especially for him because he was adept at assisting on other beats, including football, basketball, and auto racing. As former President (and former Texas Rangers owner) George W. Bush noted, “Gerry was an accomplished writer and a keen observer of many sports. It always seemed to me that baseball was his real passion, thereby establishing a kinship and a lasting friendship.”

Never one to seek accolades or honors, Fraley nevertheless was a Texas Headliner Award winner for his career coverage of Nolan Ryan. While at the Atlanta Journal & Constitution covering the Braves, Gerry served as national BBWAA president in 1987.