HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have announced the five nominees for induction into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor. All five esteemed media members were nominated by fellow colleagues in the industry. The 2022 nominees are KCOH radio host Ralph Cooper, former Astros Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Jamie Hildreth, former Houston Chronicle and MLB.com columnist Richard Justice, former Colt .45s and early Astros beat writer Clark Nealon, and former Astros broadcaster Bill Worrell.
The Astros began the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor in 2007, when Anita Martini was chosen as the inaugural inductee. She’s been followed by Gene Elston (2008), Neil Hohlfeld (2009), Mickey Herskowitz (2010), Bill Brown (2011), Milo Hamilton (2012), Rene Cardenas (2013), Alex Treviño (2014), Harry Shattuck (2015), Mark Berman (2016), Bob Allen (2017), Karen Warren (2018), Larry Dierker (2019) and Kevin Eschenfelder (2020).
Votes must be submitted no later than Sunday, Sept. 11.
Cooper, one of Houston’s longtime on-air personalities, has been covering the Houston Sports scene at KCOH radio for over 35 years. A native Houstonian, Cooper began his career as a journalist at the Houston Forward Times before moving to KYOK Radio in 1973. In 1984, Cooper moved to his longtime home at KCOH 1230 AM, where he has been a Houston staple ever since. His long and successful career in radio earned him an induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class. Cooper can be heard daily on his sports talk show, Sports Rap, every Monday through Friday from 5-7 p.m. on KCOH 1230 AM.
Hildreth last served as the Astros Senior Vice President of Broadcasting and Alumni Relations before sadly passing away in Spring Training of 2017. A fixture in the local radio market, Hildreth originally joined the Astros in 1987 as the club’s Director of Broadcasting after having a successful career in radio, which included stops at KRBE and KTRH in Houston and KTRM/KALO in Beaumont, TX. Hildreth had a highly decorated career, which included winning the 2014 Fred Hartman Award, given annually by the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Additionally, in 2021, he was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. A native Texan, Hildreth was graduate of the University of Houston, majoring in radio and television.
Justice, now a contributor at Texas Monthly Magazine, has covered MLB for over 30 years, including 11 years with the Houston Chronicle (2001-11), mostly spent as the lead sports columnist, and another eight years (2011-20) at MLB.com. He also spent time covering the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles with The Dallas Times Herald, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. A well-known figure in the national media, Justice has appeared on national programs for ESPN and MLB Network.
Nealon, a pioneer of professional baseball in Houston, covered the sport for parts of five decades from the 1930’s until his retirement in 1974. He entered and retired from the Houston media as the sports editor at the Houston Post, with his time at the Post being interrupted by stints in the armed services and with the Houston Press. During his time in the Houston media, Nealon covered the minor league Houston Buffs until Major League Baseball came to Houston in 1962. He was among the first group of Houston-area writers to be at Apache Junction for the Colt .45s inaugural Spring Training. The 1991 recipient of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Award, Nealon passed away in 1992 at the age of 83.
Worrell had a broadcasting career that spanned over 50 years, which included time serving as an analyst on Astros telecasts from 1985-2004, a run that featured seven Astros playoff teams. A graduate of the University of Houston, Worrell covered the Astros from 1970-80 while at KPRC Channel 2, where he served as Sports Director from 1974-80. During his time at KPRC, Worrell received six “Best Sportscaster” awards from the United Press International and the Texas Association of Broadcasters. In addition to his time covering baseball, Worrell served as the Houston Rockets lead play-by-play announcer for 40 seasons before retiring following the 2021 campaign.