This morning as I went about my routine—walking the dog, watering stuff in the yard that’s already dead—my earbuds brought me a few different calls by Dallas and New York broadcasters of Aaron Judge’s historic home run at Globe Life last night. Two of the calls I heard included a “case closed” pun. Actually, that’s not really a pun, is it? It’s just an allusion. And it’s a bad one, because judges don’t say, “Case closed.” Police investigators might say that. The dude’s name isn’t Aaron Cops. It’s too cute by half.
You know who didn’t flub an allusion? Hall of Famer Eric Nadel, the Rangers’ radio play-by-play man. Nadel grew up in Brooklyn. That American League home run record that Judge broke? When he was a kid, Nadel saw Roger Maris set the record. So this was a big moment for him. And he absolutely nailed it.
When I saw the video below of Nadel making the call, it impressed me in a way that went beyond how the audio alone hit me. From hearing just the audio, maybe I expected Nadel had come out of his chair. That’s the excitement I heard in his voice. But seeing the video, you get a better idea of what goes into a call like that.
He remains seated because he’s watching a monitor and the field while also taking a moment to consult the notes on his desk. You can see the on-field action on Nadel’s monitor, so you can appreciate when he decides to let the crowd noise play without embellishment, when he decides to jump in. The Yankees “pour” out of their dugout; it’s a great verb. As they congratulate Aaron, they don’t do it at home plate; Nadel calls it “the dirt circle around home plate.” The rhythm is pleasing, and it better evokes the image. There’s just so much going on in this short clip, and Nadel handles it all like a man in total control of his craft.
Ladies and gentlemen, Eric Nadel is the best. I rest my case.