LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Texas Rangers announcer Eric Nadel won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting.
''I'm so excited,'' Nadel said during a conference call Wednesday. ''I'm happy, tremendously flattered. It's an amazing thrill for a kid from Brooklyn, who grew up as a radio junkie. I'm still a radio junkie, I guess.''
The award was announced by the baseball Hall of Fame at the winter meetings.
Nadel has been with Texas for the past 35 years. For the last 19, he has been the lead voice on Rangers radio broadcasts.
Former President George W. Bush, a former Rangers owner, has fond memories of listening to Nadel, whom he called a friend.
''His passion for the sport is evident in every broadcast,'' Bush said in a statement issued through the Rangers. ''Any announcer can call a game, but Eric brings his listeners into the stadium. He is a wonderful ambassador for our national pastime.''
The 62-year-old Nadel called Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout on Aug. 22, 1989, and was on air for the Rangers' six playoff berths and two American League pennants. His signature home run call, ''That ball is history!'' is part of Rangers lore.
''Eric's description and analysis of thousands of Texas Rangers games over the last 35 years have been a joy for the fans,'' Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan said through the Rangers. ''He has always made the games entertaining and informative. He is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word and is very deserving of the honor.''
Nadel will be honored during the Hall of Fame awards presentation July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y.