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Gene Elston (born 1922) is a former Major League Baseball broadcaster, primarily with the Houston Astros.

Contents

Early life and career

A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Elston's first job in announcing was high school basketball in 1941. From there he progressed to minor league baseball starting in 1946. His first job in the major leagues was 8 years later in 1954, when he became the number two radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs, alongside Bert Wilson. In 1958, he moved to a national radio audience by announcing the Game of the Day on the Mutual Broadcasting System, with Bob Feller.

Houston Buffaloes & Houston Astros

In 1961, Elston joined veteran radio broadcaster Loel Passe to announce the final season of Houston's minor league franchise, the Houston Buffs. With the expansion of the major league and the inaugural 1962 season of the Houston Colt 45s, Elston was chosen to lead the radio broadcast. (Loel Passe stayed on as the color commentator with Elston until Passe retired in 1986.) The team changed its name to the Astros three years later, and Elston continued as their main announcer through 1986, when he ended his association with the Astros and joined Tal Smith Enterprises as a consultant and researcher.

CBS Radio

Starting in 1987, Elston went back to calling national radio broadcasts instead of games for a specific team. He called the CBS Radio Game of the Week until 1995, and also called postseason games on CBS Radio in 1995, 1996, and 1997. He then retired from broadcasting.

Ford C. Frick Award

In 2006, Elston was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. The award is given annually to a baseball announcer who has given major contributions to the game. Elston was healthy enough, at the age of 84, to accept the award in person at Cooperstown.

Broadcasting style

Elston's broadcasting style was somewhat restrained. He left just enough room to get excited during historic moments, such as Nolan Ryan's fifth career no-hitter:

Two balls and no strikes to Baker. And a ground ball to third. He has got it! Art Howe...he got it! Nolan Ryan, no-hitter number five!
Preceded by
Jerry Coleman
Ford C. Frick Award
2006
Succeeded by
Denny Matthews

External links

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