Howard Kellman, eighth recipient of the Spirit of the International League Award.
Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Indians
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The International League has announced the 2018 recipient of the Spirit of the International League Award is long-time Indianapolis Indians radio and television broadcaster Howard Kellman.
The award, created in 2010, is designed to recognize the essential role filled by individuals who are dedicated to helping make sure league fans have the most enjoyable experience possible. Kellman’s award will be presented by League President Randy Mobley at a special ceremony July 27 between games of a doubleheader for Indianapolis against Buffalo at Victory Field.
Two men associated with the Rochester Red Wings have previously won the Spirit of the International League Award. In 2011 Fred Costello, Red Wings team organist was the second award winner. Last season, the Red Wings director of security, Blaise DiNardo, was honored.
Kellman is during his 43rd season behind the microphone for the Indians. He joined the Tribe in 1974 and has been the play-by-play voice of the team every year except for the 1975 and 1980 seasons. He has been a staple in the International League since the Indians came over from the American Association during the expansion and realignment of Triple-A Baseball in 1998. After calling his 6,000th game for the franchise last summer, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett declared July 1, 2017 as “Howard Kellman Day” in the city.
Honors have been plentiful for Kellman throughout his career. He was the 2002 Indiana Sportscaster of the Year, has been inducted into the Indiana Sports Writers & Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame (Class of 2009), the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame (2015), and the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2018). Ballpark Digest named him the 2017 Broadcaster of the Year. Kellman has also called games for the Chicago White Sox (1984), the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers (1988-90), IHSAA football and basketball on local television and Yale football on the YES Network (2012).
One of the industry’s most respected voices, Kellman has been the broadcaster for three AAA All-
Star Games and three AAA National Championship Games. He currently manages his own professional speaking service which features life lessons drawn from sports-related stories. He published the book “61 Humorous & Inspiring Lessons I Learned in Baseball” in 2010. Indians President/General Manager Randy Lewandowski said, “Howard has become synonymous with Indians baseball to all our listeners in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. His passion, enthusiasm and dedication have shined through each and every one of the 6,000-plus games that Howard has called over his illustrious career.”
The Spirit of the International League Award was created to recognize individuals who work tirelessly to enhance the fan experience and significantly contribute to the overall success of the production that is today’s Minor League Baseball game. IL ballparks are an integral part of their team’s communities, and each season thousands of individuals dedicate themselves on a nightly basis to helping fans have the most enjoyable experience possible. While some are in more visible roles than others, every one of them is vital to the success of the operation of their team and the League, Mobley remarked.