It's like clockwork. Each October, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announces that Eric Nadel, the longtime voice of the Texas Rangers, is a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award. And every year, the award goes to someone else.
Not this time. This morning, the hall of fame declared Nadel the champion.
It's a decision that's hard to argue with. Nadel's a Rangers legend who's been calling the club's games since 1979, the second longest active tenure in Major League Baseball. He narrated Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout, the Rangers' record-setting 30-run outburst in 2007, and the team's two American League titles. When Spanish-speaking players began joining the team in numbers during the 1980s, he learned the language and traveled to Latin America during the off-season to broadcast games there. His catchphrase, "That ball is history!" is music to Rangers fans.
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More importantly, Nadel is really good. His delivery is unvaryingly smooth, his baseball knowledge expansive. He keeps inane chatter to a minimum, mercifully steering clear of any and all cookie talk.
Nadel's getting lots of shout-outs this morning, including one from former Rangers owner/leader of the free world George W. Bush: "Any announcer can call a game, but Eric brings his listeners into the stadium."
So, well done.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.