If you followed the Astros any time from the mid-80's until a few years ago, you can't help but remember Milo Hamilton. He was the main man on Houston baseball broadcasts for over 25 years. So in a moment of remembrance, let's look at some replays of memorable moments in which we had the privileged to hear Milo practice his craft. (All videos courtesy the MLB YouTube channel)
Scott's NL West Clinching No-Hitter
I don't believe Milo was the main man on the broadcasts that season, but he was calling the ninth inning of this game. As Will Clark grounded out we got to hear "Mike Scott has thrown his first career no-hitter, and the Astros are National League Champions of the West!" with the same excitement of every fan listening to his broadcast.
Astros Clinch Playoff Spot In 2004
In 2004 the Cardinals ran away with the NL Central, but the NL Wild Card came down to the last day of the season. The Astros won nine of their last ten games of the season to take that final playoff spot. After what seemed like an eternity (but was actually only two years) since they had been to the playoffs, they defeated the Rockies on their way to the NLCS. Milo conveyed that excitement. "The celebration has begun at Minute Maid Park...playoffs, here we come!"
Burke's Homer To WIn 2005 NLDS
For most, this will be Milo's most memorable call. This game lasted forever. Children who were conceived in the pregame show were getting their drivers licenses by the time this play happened. The team had been down big. There were a couple of other big moments in the game, including a grand slam by Lance Berkman to get the team to within one in the eighth, and a game tying homer by notorious power hitter Brad Ausmus. But then both teams settled in for more almost nine more innings of scoreless ball. Then just shy of six hours from the first pitch Chris Burke steps in the box and sends the team to the NLCS. In a voice that sounds one part exhausted, one part excited, and one part relieved, Milo shouted "IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT'S GONE! IT'S GONE! IT'S GONE! HOLY TOLEDO...WHAT A WAY TO FINISH!" A call from the heart.
Astros Win 2005 NLCS
In the game after Pujols almost destroyed Brad Lidge, the Astros had to head to St. Louis for Game Six of the NLCS. They won the game without any drama. Well, no drama except OUR FIRST WORLD SERIES EVER! Barely hiding his animosity for the Cardinals he let out with "They let it get away Monday at home. Now you can do it on the road on the Cardinal grass!"
Biggio's 3000th Hit
As far as numbers go, this was probably the biggest thing to happen since Nolan's fifth no-hitter. Everyone knew it was coming, and Milo probably had most of this call worked out long before this night, but still made it sound spontaneous. "History...at Minute Maid Park...in downtown Houston. We have the newest member of the 3000 hit club!"
Milo's Final Call
It was win number 55 in a season where they lost 107. The final game of the 2012 season. Doesn't sound like much, but it was the end of an era in multiple ways. It was the last game the Houston Astros would play as a member of the National League, and it was the last game called by Milo Hamilton. Nothing special about the call except the man himself. The voice of a generation of Astros fans was signing off.
The pace of the game of baseball has always worked well as a radio sport. When I was young you could watch road games on TV, but the home games were all radio. In this age of technology and media I'm not sure baseball radio announcers will be held in the same regard as they were in the past. Television, and now streaming video has taken over the spot radio had at one time. Milo was the one of the last of his generation of broadcasters, and I am glad I can look back fondly on the memories he helped make over the years.