Houston Astros: CTH Says “So Long” to Milo Hamilton


Apr 6, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros former broadcaster Milo Hamilton addresses the crowd at Minute Maid Park before a game against the Cleveland Indians. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Houston Astros organization lost a legend franchise figure in Milo Hamilton.  Milo called play-by-play for seven different organizations in the MLB start in 1953.  He started as the Astros main announcer in 1987 before calling his last game in 2012.

When the Braves made their move to Atlanta in 1966, Hamilton took over calling play-by-play for the team where he called his most history moment.  It was 1974, and Hank Aaron was on the brink of passing Babe Ruth on the all-time list.  Hamilton would call it this way:

"“Henry Aaron, in the second inning walked and scored… He’s sittin’ on 714… Here’s the pitch by Downing… swinging… there’s a drive into left-center field… that ball is gonna beeee… OUTTA HERE! IT’S GONE! IT’S 715! There’s a new home run champion of all time… and it’s HENRY AARON!”"

Hamilton’s ability to bring fans not only into the game but into the moment like this is why so many fans loved tuning in hear his voice and commentary.  His ability to make you feel like you were sitting a few rows behind home plate in the midst of the action was one of a kind.  From this very special moment calling Hank’s #715, Hamilton would continue to bring baseball into homes all over the world.

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Before landing with the Astros 1985, Hamilton spent time with the Pittsburg Pirates and the Chicago Cubs organization calling play-by-play.  Fans quickly fell in love with Hamilton, and Hamilton found himself in love with the city of Houston as his home.  While, in Houston, Hamilton received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributes to baseball.  Houston’s love for Hamilton grew so strong that in 2009, Mayor Bill White renamed Hamilton street outside Minute Maid Park as Milo Hamilton Way to honor his contributions to this Astros organization.  In 2012, Hamilton announced his retirement.  In the last home game of that season, he gave a heartfelt “so long” to fans.  Some of his final words of the game were:

"How can you describe when you done your whole adult life something that you’ve enjoyed.  And that’s been my story.  And I’ll stick to it because I want to keep doing some of the things around here.  Be with the ball club.  And most of all, I know it’s been a tough year for the fans, we’ve got some light at the end of that tunnel because we went right to the top in the farm system this year.  And I want to stick around awhile and watch these kids along and put this franchise back on the map and get it where it belongs right here at Minute Maid Park."

I highly encourage you to listen to the full audio by clicking here.

I’d like to think Milo got to see that light.  With Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, George Springer, and many more – the kids are getting the Houston Astros franchise back on the map.  Hardly anyone plays better at their home park than the Astros do right now.  We’ve had some tough losses of the past few weeks, but Milo would remind us there always another one.

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Hamilton called baseball for generations of fans.  He did it was class, authenticity, and precision.  He oversaw multiple hall of fame careers such as the Astros beloved Craig Biggio.  During his tenure, he called games at 59 MLB parks.  But most of all, he loved the game and the city of Houston.  So long, Milo.

CTH Reader: Jason Wallace’s (@jason_wallace) best Milo moment.

The day after Albert Pujols hit that monster off Brad Lidge in the NLCS, Milo called into an afternoon drive time show to take AP to task for the way he admired it. He said if he’d been pitching, the next guy would’ve taken one between the numbers. These weren’t just casual remarks either. The ferocity and venom he came with was palpable. It was reassuring to know the guy calling the game not only cared about the Astros winning but cared about players not being shown up in unfriendly moments. That’s my best Milo memory.

Next: Houston Astros minor-league playoffs: Grizzlies win Triple-A Championship