Milo Hamilton (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Astros’ fans are lucky to have Milo Hamilton. Yes he is now in retirement from calling games on the radio, but the 86-year old still makes appearances on behalf of the Astros and is an important part of the organization.
We saw him against the Yankees when Derek Jeter was honored, and we saw Hamilton once again as Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman were honored. One thing is clear; Hamilton has been the soundtrack of spring and summer for Astros’ fans for a long time.
But before he found his way to Houston, Hamilton broadcasted games for the Atlanta Braves. That meant in 1974 when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth‘s all time home run record, Hamilton was on the call. As we celebrated the 40th anniversary of that moment yesterday, Hamilton’s famous and widely heard call was once again brought into the spotlight.
Over the years, Aaron and Hamilton have become close, but due to his age Hamilton was unable to travel to Atlanta for the celebration. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate and recognize the call that has stood the test of time.
"“I didn’t have a chance to get nervous about what I was going to say,” Hamilton said. “I figured the home run would take care of it.”"
Just because Aaron no longer holds the record, the fact that he should is a story for a different day and time, it doesn’t dilute the importance of the moment. In typical Hamilton fashion though the call was unplanned and perfect while not taking the spotlight away from Aaron. And that is why so many people have grown up hearing Hamilton’s description of the moment.
"“Here’s the pitch by Downing. Swinging. There’s a drive into left-center field. That ball is going to be … out of here! It’s gone! It’s 715! There’s a new home run champion of all-time! And it’s Henry Aaron!”"