Lindsey Nelson

Lindsey Nelson

Lindsey Nelson (May 25, 1919 - June 10, 1995) was an American sportscaster best known for his broadcasts of college football and New York Mets baseball.

Early life and career

Born on May 25, 1919, in Campbellsville, Tennessee, Nelson broke into broadcasting in 1948 following a short career as a reporter in Columbia, Tennessee for the "Columbia Daily Herald" newspaper. He was the first play-by-play announcer for the "Vol Network" which was set up to broadcast the games of the University of Tennessee.

Nelson subsequently did the play-by-play of the Cotton Bowl for 25 seasons on CBS television, where he earned widespread recognition for his deep Southern drawl and signature opening greeting: "Happy New Year - This is Lindsey Nelson in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas." For 13 years he was the syndicated television voice of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, and he called the Mutual Broadcasting System's Monday night radio broadcasts of NFL games from 1974 to 1977. Nelson also called NFL games for CBS television for many years.

Nelson began his national baseball broadcast career as one of Gordon McLendon's radio announcers for the Liberty Broadcasting System, which primarily did re-creations of games. After a stretch as an administrator with the NBC television network, he began doing NBC baseball broadcasts in by|1957.

New York Mets

In by|1962, Nelson was hired by the Mets, and for the next 17 seasons did both radio and television with Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy. All three men were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. When Chicago White Sox pitcher and former Mets ace Tom Seaver went for his 300th victory in August 1985, against the host New York Yankees, Yankees TV flagship WPIX had Nelson call the final half-inning of Seaver's history-making win.

an Francisco Giants

In by|1979, Nelson moved on to the San Francisco Giants, for whom he worked three seasons. He also worked with CBS Radio broadcasts of Major League Baseball in by|1985. Nelson is remembered for being the announcer during the first NFL game, on CBS, to feature the use of "instant replay", which he had to explain repeatedly during the game, reminding viewers that "this is not live."

Fashion sense and style

Television broadcasts featuring Nelson were notable for his "loud" psychedelic-colored or multi-colored plaid sports jackets, 335 of which he was reputed to have owned at one time. They often clashed with the set and his other surroundings and caused scintillation to the picture when his image was being broadcast, the television technology of the time being inadequate to represent them accurately. Mutual Broadcasting System president C. Edward Little would complain that Nelson never sent any of his jackets to the cleaners and they often smelled quite awful.


Nelson's honors include induction into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in Salisbury, North Carolina in 1979; induction into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in by|1984; induction into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1986; the Tuss McLaughry Service Award for sports broadcasting in 1988; the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988; the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990; and an Emmy Award for Life Achievement in 1991.

Retirement and death

After his retirement from active broadcasting he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to an apartment across the Tennessee River from the University of Tennessee campus from which he had a view of Neyland Stadium, the Vols' home field, and wrote an autobiographical memoir.

Nelson died at age 76 on June 10, 1995, in Atlanta, Georgia.

ee also

* List of NFL on NBC commentator pairings
* List of NFL on CBS commentator pairings

External links

* [ Baseball Hall of Fame - Frick Award recipient]

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