Longtime Rangers radio voice Eric Nadel has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The announcement was made this morning at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Nadel will be recognized during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 26, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2014. Nadel becomes the first primary voice of the Texas Rangers to be honored with the Frick Award, as he earned the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame's 20-member Frick Award Committee.
"On behalf of the entire Texas Rangers organization, we congratulate Eric Nadel for winning the 2014 Ford C. Frick Award," commented Rangers Co-Chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. "Rangers fans have had the ultimate privilege and pleasure of listening to Eric's description of Rangers baseball for 35 years. Eric is taking his rightful place with the top baseball broadcasters in the history of the game. It is a great accomplishment."
The Rangers will honor Nadel at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington during their series with the Los Angeles Angels, July 10-13. Details will be announced at a later date.
Nadel completed his 19th year as the lead voice on the Texas Rangers radio broadcasts in 2013. It was his 35th year broadcasting Rangers baseball, the longest tenure of any announcer in the history of the franchise and the second longest continuous current stint with one team in the American League to Kansas City's Denny Matthews (46 years through 2013).
A finalist for the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Ford C. Frick Awards, Nadel joined the Rangers in 1979 and called games on television and radio in his first three seasons. Beginning in 1982, he began a 13-year run with Mark Holtz as the radio team on WBAP while returning to the television booth for one year in 1984. Nadel became the team's lead radio voice on KRLD Radio when Holtz moved to television in 1995. Among his most memorable calls are Nolan Ryan's 5,000th career strikeout on August 22, 1989, the Rangers' major league record 30-run outburst on August 22, 2007, and the final outs of Game 6 of the 2010 and 2011 American League Championship Series which sent the franchise to its first two World Series. Since becoming the lead radio voice, his regular partners have been Brad Sham (1995-97), Vince Cotroneo (1998-2003), Victor Rojas (2004-08), Dave Barnett (2009-11), Steve Busby (2011-12), and Matt Hicks (2012-13).
A seven-time recipient (1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011) of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Texas Sportscaster of the Year Award, and two-time winner of the Associated Press award for best play-by-play in Texas. Nadel is a graduate of Brown University, where he called football and hockey on the college radio station. He had minor league hockey play-by-play stints in Muskegon, MI, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Fort Worth, and was also the radio voice of the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Professional Basketball League.
Nadel has spent several off-seasons learning Spanish and has taken part in Spanish game broadcasts in numerous Latin American countries. He is also the author of three books, including Texas Rangers: The Authorized History, published in 1997.
Nadel, who is a member of both the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame (1991) and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame (2012), will be honored at the Hall of Fame's Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 26 in Cooperstown, along with 2014 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Roger Angell, who was selected by the BBWAA on December 10. Joe Garagiola will also be honored during the event with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
Managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, who were elected on December 9 by the Expansion Era Committee, will be inducted as part of Hall of Fame Ceremonies on July 27, along with any electees who emerge from 2014 Baseball Writers' Association of America election, to be announced Jan. 8.
Nadel was chosen from a list of 10 finalists selected in October, featuring three fan selections from an online vote and seven broadcasters chosen by a research committee from the Cooperstown-based museum. The final ballot featured broadcasters whose main contributions came from the mid-1980s to the present, identified as the High Tide Era following the restructuring of the Frick Award election process by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors this summer. The other finalists were Joe Castiglione, Jacques Doucet, Ken Harrelson, Bill King, Duane Kuiper, Eduardo Ortega, Mike Shannon, Dewayne Staats and Pete Van Wieren. In September, a total of 20,968 votes were cast in the Museum's online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot, with Doucet, King and Kuiper as the top three fan poll selections.
The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 16 living Frick Award recipients and four broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC/MLB Network), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).