Some of the greatest storytellers and voices the Texas sports world has ever known gathered Saturday night in Waco.
Two former Star-Telegram sportswriters and three legendary North Texas broadcasters were among a group of eight media members inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
The class of 2020, which was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is only the second class of media members and first since 2005.
Former Star-Telegram NFL reporter Charean Williams and former Star-Telegram columnist Randy Galloway joined Dallas Cowboys play-by-play man Brad Sham, Texas Rangers play-by-play man Eric Nadel, and Bill Mercer, a former Cowboys and Rangers announcer and longtime broadcasting professor at University of North Texas in the class of inductees.
Thank you to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for the media induction banquet and to @clarencehilljr for presenting me. It was a fun night to say thank you to everyone who has traveled the journey with me. pic.twitter.com/LR0ZtVQBXt
— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) May 22, 2022
The other inductees included the recently retired Houston Chronicle NFL reporter John McClain, Associated Press reporter and editor Denne Freeman, and the late Frank Glieber, a former KRLD sports director and longtime CBS Sports announcer.
“Being a native Texan, growing up in Beaumont, going to school at A&M, and spending most of my 30 years working in Texas is what makes this one so special,” said Williams, who was with the Star-Telegram from 1999 to 2017. “That’s really special to go in with Brad Sham, John McClain and Randy Galloway.”
Williams was the first woman in 2007 to vote on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and she earned the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Dick McCann Award in 2018. She was introduced by the Star-Telegram’s Cowboys beat writer Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Galloway spent 50 years covering sports, including 32 years with the Dallas Morning News and 17 with the Star-Telegram. His last 34 years in the business he spent as a sports columnist. His nightly radio show on WBAP/820 AM and later KESN/103.3 FM was a ratings powerhouse from 1985 until his retirement. He was introduced by ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder.
“There’s no bigger honor if you’re a Texas guy. I’m just highly appreciative, very thankful,” Galloway said. “To be in the same room with a plaque on the wall with [Dallas-Fort Worth sports writing legends] Blackie Sherrod and Dan Jenkins … that makes me a bit nervous.”
Nadel, who was unable to attend because the Rangers were playing in Houston, accepted via video message played during the ceremony. The National Baseball Hall of Famer is in his 44th season with the Rangers. He was introduced via video by former Rangers and Astros radio announcer and current Oakland A’s play-by-play man Vince Cotroneo.
Sham, who was introduced by radio partner Babe Laufenberg, has been calling Dallas Cowboys games since 1976. He has been the lead play-by-play man since 1984. Sham has been named the Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association a record 12 times. Second on that list? Nadel with eight. The press box at AT&T Stadium was recently named in Sham’s honor.
Mercer, 96, was the Cowboys play-by-play man from 1965-72 and the Rangers first radio and television announcer in 1972-73. He taught sports broadcasting for 40 years at the University of North Texas where he helped mentor the careers of many professional sportscasters, including Dallas Mavericks television announcer Mark Followill and KTCK/1310 “The Ticket” morning hosts George Dunham and Craig Miller, among many others. Mercer was introduced by daughter Laura Tiedeman.
McClain covered the Houston Oilers and later the Texans after joining the Houston Chronicle in 1976. He announced his retirement in March. He has been a popular radio guest in Houston and on stations throughout the country for nearly 40 years.
Freeman covered the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and Stars, and a slew of other beats during 31 years as the Associated Press Texas sports editor. He was introduced by Tom Decola.
Glieber got his start in broadcasting as the sports director at KRLD/1080 AM and served as the Cowboys early radio announcer and later did Rangers telecasts. He worked many different sports, including the NFL and The Masters during a 22-year career with CBS Sports. He died in 1985. Sham introduced Glieber, whose induction was accepted by son Mitchell Glieber.