Lindsey Nelson was the 1988 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. In his 17 years as the New York Mets' broadcaster, Nelson outlasted a stadium (the Polo Grounds), seven managers and 238 assorted ballplayers ranging from A to Z (Richie Ashburn to Don Zimmer).
A journalism graduate of the University of Tennessee, Nelson's broadcasting career began in 1948 following stints as a reporter in Columbia, Tennessee, and as a World War II correspondent attached to the ninth infantry division.
Nelson developed a broadcasting style that was easygoing and inoffensive. He was bright, articulate, knowledgeable, and pleasant. His fortes were his tolerance and patience and he was equally at home in the clubhouse and in the broadcast booth. As Nelson recalled: "No amount of money can replace the joy and the experience of being with the Mets. To me, baseball is theater. It has all the elements: drama, tragedy, and comedy."
Nelson's trademark psychedelic sport coats (he once owned 335) clashed with his soft, southern drawl. Whenever he came on camera, TV viewers may have reached for their sunglasses, but never for their earplugs. Following his long career with the Mets, Nelson broadcast for the San Francisco Giants from 1979-81.
Nelson was the voice of Notre Dame football for 13 years and covered the Cotton Bowl 25 times. He was also an NFL telecaster for over 20 years. In 1979, he was elected to the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in Salisbury, North Carolina, and received the prestigious Tuss McLaughry Service Award in 1988.
Nelson passed away on June 10, 1995.
1988 Ford C. Frick Award Winner Lindsey Nelson - BL-4840-71 (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)