Nack Among Seven Voted Into National Sports Media Association Hall Of Fame

A record seven men have been voted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame. They are sportscasters Bill King, Jim Nantz, and Dick Stockton, and sportswriters Larry Merchant, William Nack, William C. Rhoden, and Rick Telander.

In addition, NSMA members voted Mike “Doc” Emrick as the 2020 national sportscaster of the year, and Nicole Auerbach as the 2020 national sportswriter of the year.

Among the 108 who won 2020 state sportscaster or sportswriter of the year honors, 51 are first-time winners. They include two who passed away during the year: Detroit sports talk show host Jamie Samuelsen and 100-year-old Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The NSMA will honor its winners and Hall of Fame inductees during the organization’s 61st awards weekend, tentatively set for June 26-28, 2021, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

As the play-by-play voice of the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants, University of California Golden Bears, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, and Oakland A’s, King was on hand to broadcast some of the most famous sports moments in San Francisco Bay Area history. He had a signature beard, a signature call (“Holy Toledo”), and provided for many, the soundtrack of Bay Area sporting life. King died in 2005.

Nantz is a five-time winner of the NSMA’s national sportscaster of the year award, a three-time Emmy winner, and a member of the Sports Broadcasting, Pro Football, and Naismith Basketball Halls of Fame. After stints at local television stations in Houston and Salt Lake City, Nantz moved to CBS in 2005 and has worked there ever since. Nantz is the network’s lead play-by-play announcer for its coverage of the NFL, the PGA Tour, and the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Like Nantz, Stockton is one of sportscasting’s most versatile play-by-play announcers, with vast experience calling the NFL, Major League Baseball, and the NBA. Currently in his 27th year at FOX Sports, following 17 years at CBS, Stockton also has worked 19 years for Turner Sports. He began his career with local television sports jobs in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Boston.

Merchant may best be known as a boxing analyst with HBO Sports, but he began his career in the Army, as a sportswriter for the Stars and Stripes. After his discharge, Merchant wrote for the Wilmington (N.C.) News, where he became sports editor. From there it was on to the Associated Press before becoming sports editor and columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News. He then spent ten years as a New York Post general columnist. He joined HBO Sports as a boxing analyst in 1978, calling some of the sport’s marquee fights, before retiring in 2012.

What Merchant was to boxing, Nack was to horse racing. He spent 11 years writing about sports, politics, and the environment at Newsday, before going to work at Sports Illustrated in 1978. He spent 24 years at SI, covering every big horse racing story and winning several awards. He also wrote three books, including Secretariat: The Making of a Champion. Nack died in 2018.

Rhoden spent 34 years as an award-winning columnist at the New York Times, with more than a decade spent as the author of its “Sports of the Times” column. In 2006, he wrote the book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves, He was a frequent panelist on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters, and after retiring from the Times in 2016, he began as a writer-at-large for The Undefeated, ESPN’s digital site that explores the intersections of race, sports, and culture.

Telander has spent the last 26 years as an award-winning sportswriter at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he is now the senior sports columnist. Prior to that, he was an award-winning special contributor, then a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. Also an author, Telander wrote the book, Heaven is a Playground, which in 2002, SI ranked #15 in its Top 100 Sports Books of All Time.

Emrick was voted National Sportscaster of the Year for the fourth time. The Michigan resident retired in the Fall after calling the Stanley Cup Finals for NBC Sports. The Hockey Hall of Famer had been calling the sport professionally since 1973.

At age 31, Auerbach is the youngest to win an NSMA national award in the organization’s 61-year history. In her fourth year at The Athletic, she is one of its primary national college football writers. She also serves as a studio analyst for the Big Ten Network. Prior to The Athletic, she spent six years as a National College Sports Reporter at USA Today.

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