ARLINGTON -- Eric Nadel dreamed of broadcasting Rangers games since he was a young boy, just not the Rangers games he's broadcasted for the past 34 years. Instead, he had always hoped of broadcasting New York Rangers hockey games. But despite not having any baseball broadcasting experience, he began in the Texas Rangers booth in 1979. After the Rangers' 40th Anniversary All-Time Team was introduced on the field before Saturday's game against the Tigers, Nadel was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. "I'm so lucky to have shared with you my love for this amazing game and the transformation by the Texas Rangers into one of the most respected franchises in all of professional sports," Nadel told a sell-out crowd during his acceptance speech. "I have felt your joy and I have certainly shared your pain. I am confident, as you are, that the biggest thrill is ahead of us."
Nadel became the Rangers Hall of Fame's 15th member and the fifth to be inducted for his contributions in a non-playing capacity. His 34 years with the Rangers make him the longest-tenured broadcaster in team history and the second-longest tenured radio broadcaster still working today. "It's about time," All-Time Team member Rafael Palmeiro said of Nadel's induction. "He's been here almost as long as the organization's been here. I listen to his games on the radio all the time and he is the best by far. His voice is soothing. He's very knowledgeable of the game. He just gives you the game as it happens and he makes you feel like you're at the ballpark." Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan, who struck out a Major League-record 5,714 batters during his 27-year career, has also enjoyed Nadel's broadcasts. His call of Ryan's 5,000th strikeout is among his memorable moments in the booth, along with the Rangers clinching their first trip to the World Series in franchise history by beating the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2010 American League Championship Series, two months after a group that included Ryan won an auction for the club. "I think it's very meaningful to an organization to have an announcer that stays with an organization like he has for 34 years and have that consistency for the fan base to relate to him and to experience a lot of things that happened with our organization over the years through him," Ryan said. "The thing about a radio announcer is they come into people's homes and they're actually a part of those people and their following of the ballclub. They develop a relationship with Eric as much as they do the ballclub." Ryan was one of four former Rangers starting pitchers that were also included in the club's All-Time Team, along with fellow Rangers Hall of Famers Ferguson Jenkins, Kenny Rogers and Charlie Hough. Fans cast nearly 65,000 online ballots in May to determine who would be on the squad. But the day belonged to Nadel, whose lifetime contract allows the Rangers to be the first -- and last -- baseball team he broadcasts for in his career. "My friends, I am so grateful, I am so blessed," Nadel said. "Tonight, I am so honored to be with all of you and, as always, thanks for listening."
Christian Corona is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.