Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Hall of Fame TTM

I received another TTM the day before I left on my trip to the upper-Midwest. This one left my hands shaking when I opened it. 

I'm certain you saw the inscription and thought to yourself, "That doesn't look like any of the men elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014." You're right...and wrong.

As a kid, I lived out in the country. My closest neighbor was a few miles away. We had three television stations by antennae broadcast, but Texas Rangers baseball wasn't on any of them.

We did receive the games on the radio, though. That's where I would get to hear Eric Nadel call the games as I hoped to hear his signature "That one is history!" call for a home run. It seemed to happen a lot in the mid-to-late 90's and it has made its way back to the mainstream during the last decade.

In 2014, Nadel received the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award, which acknowledges the game's great radio broadcasters. It was his fourth time being name a finalist for the award. This makes him a Hall of Famer, though many people forget about the Frick Award when thinking of the Hall. 

Nadel has essentially provided the baseball soundtrack of my lifetime. While the Rangers have a great (in my opinion) television color commentator in Tom Grieve, Nadel is on a level few ever reach. He doesn't have the national name recognition of Vin Scully, but you wouldn't be disappointed if you ever tuned-in and listened. The man calls a game flawlessly.

He began calling games for the Rangers in 1979 made a few television appearances in his early career. Recently, it has been solidly radio with his partner Matt Hicks. The duo was awarded "Best Broadcast Team" by Fangraphs in 2016.

I've cried twice listening baseball. The second time was when the Rangers lost the World Series to the Cardinals. The first, however, came as I listened to these words driving along Interstate 20: