CSN Houston’s Astros television play-by-play announcer Bill Brown has been named the Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
After joining the Astros in 1987, Brown will now be entering his 28th season calling the team’s games in 2014, but he has been involved with broadcasting Major League games for over 30 years.
“It means a great deal,” Brown said. “To be honored by peers is always special. It was a complete surprise.”
Brown wondered to himself how this happened, especially when he’s in the same company as colleagues like Texas Rangers radio broadcaster Eric Nadel, who has won the award seven times and was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Ward which is presented annually for excellence in in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Brown said Nadal actually last emailed him Friday morning to tell him that he has nominated him the past few years (as a rule, NSSA members cannot nominate nor vote for themselves). Brown also shared a story of how Brett Dolan, another colleague and former Astros broadcaster, confessed how he spearheaded a movement a couple years ago to generate votes for him. Brown called all of this “very humbling,” but admitted it wouldn’t be possible without his broadcast partners, Alan Ashby and Geoff Blum, and all of the people behind the scenes.
“For an award like this – of course the guys in the booth and on TV get the award – but a lot of people are responsible for this,” Brown said. “It's a team award. There are many people that can share in this.”
“Congratulations to Brownie for this well-deserved honor,” said Astros President Reid Ryan. “As the TV voice of the Astros, he has been such a very big part of our ballclub for the past 27 seasons. It is extremely gratifying to see him recognized for the great, quality work he has provided on air for Astros fans for so many years. We’re very proud of Bill.”
Brown is also honored to be recognized by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, a group he respects.
“They’ve handed out these awards for 55 years (this is 56th year), they have their own Hall of Fame,” Brown said. “When you read the names they have honored over the years, you really appreciate an organization like this.”
The other Texas award winner was Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist, Randy Galloway. National winners were NBC hockey announcer Mike Emrick (national sportscaster of the year) and Peter King of Sports Illustrated (national sportswriter of the year). Marv Albert (CBS/Turner Sports announcer) and Rick Reilly (ESPN.com writer) were selected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
All of the state and national winners will be honored over three days -- June 7-9 -- in Salisbury, N.C., home of the NSSA. Even though Brown calls occasional road games (he calls all home games), he was actually planning on going on the Astros’ road trip to Minnesota that weekend because Target Field is the only ballpark he hasn’t been to yet and he his daughter and her family live close to Minneapolis. They were going to make a family affair out of that road trip, but now the family is happy to be making the trip to North Carolina instead.
Past honors for Brown include the being inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Astros’ Media Wall of Honor at Minute Maid Park in 2011 as well as receiving the Fred Hartman Excellence in Sportswriting Award in 2012.