For the second year in a row, longtime Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus is a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, bestowed on an announcer during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony...

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ANAHEIM — For the second year in a row, longtime Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus is a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, bestowed on an announcer during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., in July.


Niehaus was the leading vote-getter among fans in Internet balloting, which took place in November and determined three of the 10 finalists. Niehaus had 14,490 votes, Toronto’s Tom Cheek had 6,958, and the Cubs’ Ron Santo had 5,848.


The seven other finalists, selected by a Hall of Fame research committee, are Tony Kubek, Jerry Coleman, Ken Coleman, Dizzy Dean, Gene Elston, France Laux and Graham McNamee.


The Frick honoree will be picked by a 20-member voting committee, comprised of the 14 living Frick winners and six broadcast historians/columnists. The winner will be announced Feb. 22.


Niehaus has been the Mariners’ lead broadcaster since their inception in 1977. Last year’s award went to longtime Bay Area announcer Lon Simmons.


M’s pass on Rule 5 draft


The Mariners, despite having the third overall pick, didn’t make a selection in yesterday’s Rule 5 draft.


The Rule 5 draft exposes players that have been left off teams’ 40-man rosters. Selecting teams pay $50,000, but the catch is that the player must remain on the major-league roster all season, or be offered back to the original team for $25,000.


The Mariners lost one player in the Rule 5 draft when left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith was taken by the Twins with the 18th pick. Rowland-Smith, a member of the 2004 Australian Olympic team, was 5-3 with a 3.79 earned-run average and 119 strikeouts last year in 99-2/3 innings for Class A Inland Empire.


Left-handed pitcher Andy Sisco, who attended Eastlake High School, was selected second overall in the draft. He was taken by the Royals off the Cubs’ Class A Daytona roster. Sisco was 4-10 with a 4.21 ERA last year.


The Mariners did add three players in the Class AAA portion of the Rule 5 draft — first baseman Aaron Rifkin from the Yankees’ organization in the first round; infielder Aaron Herr (Atlanta) in the second round; and infielder Kervin Jacobo (San Diego) in the third round. Rifkin hit 23 homers last year at Class AA Trenton.


Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or lstone@seattletimes.com