HOUSTON, TX--Longtime Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown was named the 2013 Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (NSSA).
He is the first Astros broadcaster to win the award since Gene Elston in 1971. Past winners also include Texas Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel and Verne Lundquist. Finalists for the award were nominated by NSSA members. Final balloting took place in December.
"This is a huge thrill, professionally," Brown commented. "To be recognized by one's peers is certainly a thrill. Any award in television is a team award. Others must do their job well, and that includes my partners, Alan Ashby and Geoff Blum, sideline reporters, producers, directors, engineers and others. It really is a team award."
The award is one of many for Brown. In 2011, he was inducted into the Houston Media Wall of Honor and was presented with the Fred Hartman Award for Long and Meritorious Service. On Nov. 12, 2004, Brown was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.
"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."
The 2013 season was Brown's 27th season as the television play-by-play announcer for the Astros, having joined the club's broadcast team on February 6, 1987.
Brown has had the opportunity to call several memorable moments during his Astros broadcasting career, which includes six postseason appearances and the National League Pennant-winning season in 2005. As for player milestones, Brown called Craig Biggio's historic 3,000th hit in 2007, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez' record-setting 2,227th game caught in 2009, Jeff Bagwell's 400th career home run in 2003 and the 2,000th career hits for Bagwell, Miquel Tejada (2009) and Carlos Lee (2011).
At Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2003, he called the Astros improbable no-hitter in which a Major League record six different pitchers were used. Other historic moments include the final Astros game ever played in the Astrodome in 1999 and the first game played at Minute Maid Park in 2000.
Brown's first game of his Astros career came on April 6, 1987, an Opening Day, 4-3 Astros win over the Dodgers in the Astrodome.
"Calling the Astros games has been a dream job for me," Brown said. "Anyone with a job like this is extremely fortunate. The Astros have been very supportive of me over the years, for which I am very grateful."
"So glad to hear that Brownie has been named the Texas Sportscaster of the Year," said Ashby, Brown's current broadcast partner and a former Astros catcher. "No one could possibly be more deserving. His talent is undeniable. Combine that with his dedication to his work and his love of the game of baseball and you get a man who's as top flight as they come. On top of all that, you won't find a better guy."