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.
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.
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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.