ARLINGTON -- Longtime Rangers radio broadcaster Eric Nadel could become a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, given annually for excellence in broadcasting, for the third straight year and is looking to win it for the first time.
Nadel, who was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame earlier this month, was one of 10 finalists for the Frick Award each of the past two years. Already a seven-time recipient of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Texas Sportscaster of the Year Award and twice named the best broadcaster in Texas by The Associated Press, Nadel has been in the Rangers booth for 34 years, making him the longest-tenured broadcaster in club history.
"More than anything, it means that I have been here long enough to have bonded with our fans and developed a relationship with them," Nadel said of his Rangers Hall of Fame induction. "It's not easy listening to the same voice, night after night, 162 times a year without getting sick of it. To have people enjoy listening to me doing that for this long is very special to me. And having had the opportunity to experience the growth of this organization into a model franchise has been incredible."
Online voting, which began on Monday morning and closes Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. CT, will determine the 40 broadcasters that advance to the Fan Finals -- a three-week period that begins Sept. 10 and ends Oct. 5 during which fans decide three of the 10 finalists and a Hall of Fame committee choosing the other seven candidates. Those 10 finalists will be announced Oct. 9. The 16 living recipients of the Frick Award and five other Hall-nominated historians make up a 21-member electorate that chooses the 2013 Frick Award winner from the group of 10 finalists. The winner of this year's Frick Award will be announced in December.
"I think it's very meaningful to an organization to have 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," Rangers president and CEO Nolan 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."
Among Nadel's most memorable calls include the ones he made when Ryan recorded his 5,000th strikeout in 1989 and when Neftali Feliz struck out Alex Rodriguez in Game 6 of the 2010 American League Championship to clinch the Rangers' first trip to the World Series in franchise history. He became the 16th member of the Rangers Hall of Fame and the fourth to be inducted for his contributions in a non-playing capacity when he was inducted following a ceremony that honored the team's 40th Anniversary All-Time Team.
"It's about time," All-Time Team member Rafael Palmeiro said. "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."
Any active or retired broadcaster with at least 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a team and/or network is eligible to win the award. Fans can go to www.facebook.com/baseballhall to vote for their favorite broadcaster and visit www.baseballhall.org to explore the bios of the 222 eligible broadcasters.
ChristianCorona is an associate reporter for MLB.com.