Most people know Eric Nadel as the voice on the radio, calling Texas Rangers games. Most people know his home run call, “That ball is history!”
On Saturday, he took center stage in a ceremony honoring his 2014 Ford C. Frick Award before the first pitch at Globe Life Park.
The award is presented annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, according to its website. Nadel, already a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, joins the likes of Tim McCarver, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne, among others.
The term Nadel uses to describe joining such a list: mind-blowing.
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“To be on the same plaque with those guys, and even some of the guys who’ve been my mentors more recently like Ernie Harwell and Dave Niehaus who helped me once I got this job, it’s really, really flattering,” said Nadel, who will be honored at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 27. “It’s a tremendous honor.”
Nadel started working for the Rangers in 1979. From 1982-94 he worked with Mark Holtz. In 1995, he took over as the main radio voice.
The ceremony was emceed by Fox Sports Southwest anchor John Rhadigan, while play-by-play announcers Chuck Cooperstein of the Dallas Mavericks, Brad Sham of the Dallas Cowboys and Ralph Strangis of the Dallas Stars were on hand as Nadel was presented with a crystal microphone from the Rangers.
“I know that most of you will not be able to be with Eric physically two weeks from today in Cooperstown, but the important thing to remember is that you will be there because Eric Nadel is getting this deserved recognition on behalf of the Texas Rangers and Rangers fans,” said Sham, who worked with Nadel from 1995-97.
Jeff Idelson, President of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, congratulated Nadel first from above the right-field porch.
“For 35 years, you have taken Texas Rangers baseball and brought it to life in the living rooms of homes throughout the state of Texas, and the entire state thanks you for your great work in helping to bring the game into their homes,” Idelson said.
Frick Award recipients Jaime Jarrin, Denny Matthews, Dave Van Horne, Milo Hamilton, Marty Brennaman, Jon Miller, Uecker and Scully also sent their regards via the video board. Longtime announcer and broadcaster Marv Albert sent his regards to his fellow Brooklyn, N.Y., native.
“Thirty-five years as the radio voice of the Texas Rangers, that is some run and far from over,” Albert said. “From now on, it is Hall of Famer Eric Nadel. Kind of has a nice ring to it.”
Also Saturday, Nadel received a proclamation from the City of Arlington stating that July 12, 2014, would be Eric Nadel Day. He also received four large cards that had been placed in the ballpark for fans to leave messages on.
Nadel was presented the letter of recommendation sent to the Ford C. Frick selection committee by former President George W. Bush.
“His passion for the sport is evident in every broadcast. Any announcer can call a game, but Eric brings his listeners into the stadium. He is a wonderful ambassador for our national pastime,” Rhadigan read during the pregame ceremony.
To commemorate Nadel’s achievement, the first 15,000 fans received a bobblehead depicting Nadel behind a desk. The bobblehead plays an audio clip from the Rangers clinching the 2010 American League championship.
“Thank you all so very much for this amazing honor,” Nadel said. “I am so grateful. I am so blessed, and I can honestly tell you that I’ve now achieved my one career goal: I have a bobblehead.”