|photography by Tadd Myers|
I’ve been listening to Texas Rangers radio broadcaster Eric Nadel since the days when I had a dog named after Bump Wills. So have a lot of people: Nadel is set to begin his 30th season with the team. Talk to him for a few minutes and his passion for his job comes through. He loves road trips to Seattle, San Francisco, and New York; in June, he’ll finally get to call games at his childhood park, Shea Stadium, when the Rangers visit the Mets for the first time ever. “I have a little trouble getting excited about going to Detroit, since we don’t play in Tiger Stadium anymore,” he says, when pressed for a least favorite. Over all other Rangers he’s seen, Julio Franco was the most fun to watch at bat. He learned the most about the game from Jim Sundberg and Buddy Bell early in his career, fresh from the minor league hockey broadcast booth. He lists Charlie Hough and Mickey Rivers as the funniest characters to come through Arlington, and John Burkett, Bobby Witt, and Mark McLemore as some of the “good guys” he’s been lucky to know. Rangers fans feel the same way about Nadel and will show him their love when he throws out the first pitch at the Rangers’ home opener April 8. Even though he once had a dog named Mookie Wilson.