Baseball can feel like a marathon for everyone involved. There are 162 games in a season with the possibility of 50 players making an appearance in each game. The countless managerial moves that can make each game unique. It is a tapestry of individual plays coalescing into a beautiful narrative of a team sport.
For all of the 28 years of my life, there has been one narrator for the yearly spectacle that is Astros baseball — Bill Brown.
That is not to downplay Milo Hamilton on the radio but I would argue my generation was the first to have an entire 162 games on television. Game after game and year after year, Brownie was the same voice guiding me through Astros baseball.
I always had this feeling that I was listening to the game with my grandfather when I had Milo on the radio. But when I had the television on, Brown made me feel like I was watching the game with my dad. Brown was always warm and welcoming. He would ask questions to help the viewer understand the game.
Brown’s focus was always on being the frame for a baseball work of art rather than being the artist.
Brown was subtle, allowing the moment of the game to wash over the viewer. He would set up both the events and his color commentator perfectly to let them take center stage with the story of the game.
What I will remember most about Bill Brown is his ability to convey the importance of an event with a simple change of tone. Brown didn’t need catchphrases or one-liners. The game was enough.
Anytime I heard Brown’s voice raise, I knew I need to raise my head up to see what was going on in the game.
Brownie’s voice will ring forever in Houston sports history, and everyone at TCB will miss you.