To broadcast sports play-by-play, one must cultivate the skill of swiftly composing prose to describe or augment events unfolding in real time. Few, if any, have ever done it better than the Texas Rangers’ Eric Nadel, the 2014 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, given to a broadcaster annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
It turns out that Nadel’s language skills go beyond vivid descriptions of tape-measure home runs, full-count fastballs, and the occasional manager ejection. He also expresses himself in verse, specifically limericks. He has a new book out entitled “LIM-ERIC! Whimsical Rhymes from the Voice of the Texas Rangers and his Friends.” It’s full of poems about baseball and more, written mostly by Nadel and supplemented by some authored by colleagues and fans.
The book came about because Nadel instituted the practice of nightly poetry (limerick) readings during the eighth innings of radio broadcasts this past season. The feature’s popularity, along with Nadel’s desire to do something to benefit the baseball club’s eponymous charity, led to the collection’s publication.
In the video interview that serves as the centerpiece of this post, Nadel and I discuss the subject matter of the poems and read a few. We also get into the origins of the nightly broadcast feature and more. If you’d like your own copy of the book, you can find it at Amazon or the Majestic Grand Slam Gift Shop at Globe Life Park in Arlington. You can also get it at one of a number of signings Nadel has scheduled this month.