Former EP Diablos Radio Announcer Tests Positive For COVID-19
Former El Paso Diablos play-by-play announcer Matt Hicks, who has been the radio man for Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers for the past eight seasons, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday after experiencing symptoms at his home, according to a news release from the Texas Rangers front office.
Hicks, 59, was inducted into the El Paso Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 and came to town for the induction ceremony. Since the start of the Covid-19 delayed baseball season last Friday, Hicks has been working in the new Globe Life Field radio booth in Arlington with fellow veteran Rangers announcer Eric Nadel. Nadel, 69, winner of the 2014 Ford Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has since tested negative for the virus.
Hicks spent 25 years calling games in the Minor Leagues in hopes of making it to the big leagues before being called up by none other than former Rangers team executive and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan in 2012 when another broadcaster became ill. Ten of those seasons (1995-2004) were right here in El Paso, calling games for the Double-A Diablos at the now demolished Cohen Stadium in Northeast El Paso.
His predecessor in the Cohen Stadium radio booth was none other than MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian. Hicks left El Paso to become the play-by-play announcer for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2005, after the Diablos lost their Major League affiliation.
In addition to calling Diablos games in El Paso, Hicks also spent time broadcasting UTEP men's basketball games, El Paso Buzzards hockey games and area high school football and basketball games.
The Texas Rangers announced they will be following safety protocols to isolate anyone who has come into direct contact with Hicks over the past couple of weeks. Let's hope he recovers quickly and is back in the lineup calling Rangers games at the beautiful new Globe Life Field in Arlington soon.